By Jon Dougherty
Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has said that many of his ideas from his failed 2016 campaign have now become “mainstream.”
While some of his ideas have gained traction with some Americans, his latest policy proposal — allowing all felons to vote — is a no-go for an overwhelming majority of Americans.
According to a new Business Insider survey, fully 75 percent of respondents “opposed enfranchising all inmates, with just 15 percent saying they supported it,” the Free Beacon reported. “The poll found about 35 percent supported giving the vote to incarcerated persons in some capacity. Twenty-four percent said violent felons should lose their right to vote permanently.”
Last week, Sanders incredibly claimed during a CNN town hall that even “terrible people” (who have violated our social contract by harming society and/or others) should nonetheless retain the right to vote.
This, after he was asked whether that included terrorists like convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they’re going to be punished,” Sanders said. “They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime, but I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.”
Sanders is virtually alone on this one, according to the Business Insider poll. Overall, the news site reported, just 35 percent of respondents believe criminals should be allowed to vote, and even then only those who committed non-violent offenses.
One quarter, or about 24 percent, said people convicted of violent offenses should be forever barred from voting, even after release from prison.
Obviously, Sanders and some other Democrats running for the 2020 nomination believe prisoners would overwhelmingly support their party.
But most Americans believe that if you violate the social contract that keeps our society intact — that is, obeying our laws and refraining from harming fellow citizens — you have made the decision to give up your rights to live in a free society.
As for Republicans, they believe Bernie has given them a campaign gift: The party has already produced an ad highlighting his belief that even the most terrible among us should not be disabused of their right to vote.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10