Voting Felons

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New member of The Conservative Brotherhood Joseph C. Phillips writes about the ban on felons' being allowed to vote. The following quote stood out to me as showing genuine insight into something I think it's easy to ignore if you don't look at it from the proper perspective:

Confronting a party that is suffering due to its own lack of vision is discouraging enough, but it is truly disheartening to witness a party so cynical that it would look to criminals to shore up its base, particularly when the overwhelming majority of the victims of this new interest group were other black people.

Now that's the kind of argument you won't see from most white conservatives, who tend to give general arguments that they expect most people to follow. What distinguishes black conservatives is that they will tend to argue for what's best for black people, from the perspective of black people, since they are themselves black. If you want to convince white people of conservative views on this issue, tell them to read George Will. Black conservatives tend to come up with arguments that black people will hear, at least if they're not tuning someone out from the outset as an Uncle Tom merely for being conservative. Joseph has provided just such an argument here.


If I may ask, do you not think that refusing to reinstate a felon's voting rights after his or her release is self-defeating. We want to reintegrate these people back into society. Denying them access to its most basic institutions strikes me as pretty irrational.

Oh, I'm not sure I'm going to commit to any position on an issue I know little about, and this is one I know very little about. I was just pointing out the difference between how black conservatives and other conservatives approach the same questions, even when they end up with the same conclusions. The considerations they pay attention to are really quite different from classic conservative arguments.

Fair enough, it is interesting to note the difference.

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