During World War Two in Germany, in order to prevent those who were being targeted from having a voice in society, the Nazis used any imagined mental disorder to prevent someone from getting their say. Surely, using the severely disabled (who may not even be able to think) as an extra vote for the guardian needs to be watched out for, but that is not what Germany did. It also is not what is happening now as even those afflicted with things like autism are being denied the right to vote, as Pew Charitable Trust reported today.
Greg Demer, for example, is able to think perfectly fine, but not communicate clearly. As toxins (allowed into our environment and diet for the good of CEO bottom lines) causes autism rates to rise, it seems like the illness and similar ones will be used to deny voting rights, which is what 31-year-old Demer is seeing just because he needs a little help. These are in no way “mentally incapacitated” people who are seeing their right to vote being erased.
In 2005, when he turned 18, his mother knew that he would need assistance making “complicated decisions about his finances and health care,” so a judge granted her conservatorship. The “California-based Spectrum Institute” is one group looking to see that such infringements stop at once.
“I wanted to protect him,” Linda Demer said.
Instead of protecting him, the law was written far too stringently, and he was not allowed to vote due to being “mentally incapacitated.” Now, someone who has even the slightest mental hangup is going to find that they are to have no say in who runs their lives.
Demer missed over a decade of votes before he was able to get a judge to restore his rights. How many others are not so lucky?
This is seen as even those seeking help for depression are being told that they may not be allowed to own lifesaving firearms again, too. Seeking help in this day and age can one of the worst choices that anyone who values their freedom and liberty can make, as sad as that is to admit.
Thirty-nine states and D.C. do not allow those with Down’s Syndrome to vote, and while that is often warranted, depending on the severity, that should not always be the case, either. Even if it were, to see so many with mental problems much less severe and which do not diminish a person’s ability to think and reason being used as means to deny a voice should mortify those who support liberty.
It is written that “Dan Marson, a professor emeritus at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s department of neurology” finds that there is no standard used to say who can vote, also. “What should we require as a minimal standard? There is not a clear answer,” he lamented.
Since “Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont” all feel the need to police such rights, this is no small matter.
As alluded to above, a patient with something like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease could be given a ballot by a healthy caretaker and in essence given a second vote. While that is to be stopped, calling someone like Demer too dull to understand politics is to paint with far too broad of a brush.
This blurring of the lines is used to silence people and is supported by far too many restrictive officials within the system. “Imagine if it became known that all the residents of a nursing home in the district voted in the election, and many of them were so impaired that they didn’t know what the election was about or didn’t know what filling in a bubble on a form was.” said Paul Appelbaum, “the director of the division of law, ethic, and psychiatry at Columbia University’s department of psychiatry.” He feels that voting could be “tainted” by the casting of votes by those without the “mental capacity of understanding an election.”
As for Greg Demer being too slow of mind to understand: he holds down three jobs and restores “military aircraft, fulfilling his passion for aviation.”
Also, as long as groups were kept out of nursing homes, to use Applebaum’s argument, if only caretakers and guardians were to pad votes for the infirmed, it would even out. There are roughly as many democrats with people in such situations as republicans. That is not to say that cheating should be condoned, only to observe that it would not alter things very much even if abused.
This nuance won’t be talked about by those wanting to deny the right to vote to as many people as possible, though. This issue is about limiting the speech of the common man, not addressing common sense.