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Two Amendments
Author: BobR    Date: 2014-05-21 11:02:33

Of all the rights we have guaranteed in this country - the right to free speech, the right to practice whatever religion we choose (or choose not to practice), the freedom to own a gun, the right to not be forced to incriminate oneself in a court of law - there are a couple rights that aren't spelled out very clearly. Of all the suggestions for Constitutional amendments, there are two that we really need.

The first is a guarantee to privacy. The NSA data collection, the FISA court, the anti-abortion legislation all point to a need to guarantee that government entities cannot pry into our private lives without a real requirement, specified in writing on a case-by-case basis. Sure, they can't use evidence gathered discretely without a court order, but that's not good enough. We need it spelled out in the Constitution that Americans are guaranteed a right to privacy in all personal matters unless there is compelling evidence of a crime being committed.

The other amendment we need is a guaranteed right to vote for all citizens, unless currently in prison. Why should a convicted felon have to give up their right to vote for life once their debt to society has been paid? Why shouldn't the homeless guy living under a bridge be allowed to vote? They are all citizens. The right to vote is the most sacrosanct aspect of living in this country - without that voice, we have nothing. Without that right, we are not a free country.

And yet, that right is constantly being curtailed by egregious and unnecessary voter ID laws, by the aforementioned felon law, by reduction of early voting times, by reducing the number of voting machines in "certain" precincts so voters need to wait in line for hours, by kicking voters off of rolls and making them prove they are worthy to have a voice in our democracy. As if that isn't all bad enough, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) thinks only landowners should be allowed to vote:
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) has warned that uninformed voting is as dangerous as a “loaded gun,” and that one solution could be allowing only “property owners” to vote.

It's a baseless assumption that only property owners are informed enough to vote. There are plenty of brilliant people living in apartments, and idiots living in the middle of nowhere on land they inherited. Land ownership is a non-sequitur for being an informed voter. We left that one behind a long time ago, and for good reason. We are already dangerously close to slipping into an oligarchy, and this would be the final nail in the coffin.

Two amendments... two rights... I don't see it happening with the current Congress. Time to vote in people who will move to ensure that the things we treasure the most in our democracy are maintained.

69 comments (Latest Comment: 05/22/2014 01:36:20 by Will in Chicago)
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