Is There a Right to Vote?

In the mind of Bernie Sanders, everyone in America has a right to vote. He includes felons behind bars. At the same time, as a socialist he does not believe that everyone has a right to their property. His beliefs mean that Sanders places power above freedom.

Sanders says there is an “inherent American right to participate in our democracy.” Is this true?

Each of the 50 states decides who gets to vote. This is written into the U.S. Constitution. The states confer voting opportunities as they see fit. Voting systems, qualifications and restrictions are all products of politics. They are not inherent in a person. They are not even inherent in being a citizen.

Sanders, as a democratic socialist, believes that voting legitimizes the annulment or curtailment of property rights. For him, voting “rights” are superior to property rights. But voting is an act of POWER, not an act of voluntary exchange of a person. When voting occurs, there is the hope that one’s side will win; but there is also the fact that one’s side may lose. Voluntary exchanges are win-win situations. Voting is not. Sanders believes that the political means of power take precedence over the voluntary or freely-constructed means of exchange.

How can a good society ever be attained by building up a state-made “right” to vote and placing it ahead of natural rights of free exchange? In the classical liberal view, the state has a limited role in protecting property rights. Elevating the role of voting as superior to property rights is a political philosophy subversive to property rights.


9:09 am on April 23, 2019