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‘Voice of the Patriot Movement’ Backs Property Requirement to Vote

By Alexander Zaitchik on July 1, 2010 - 2:50 pm, Posted in Patriot Groups

The last couple of years have been boom times for the far right’s distinctive rhetoric of dispossession. From backwoods militias who believe foreign troops are training on U.S. soil to take away their constitutional rights, to suburban Tea Party weekend warriors who heatedly promise to “take the country back” from their perceived demonic Democratic overlords, America is abuzz with groups and individuals claiming to represent and defend the “true” republican ideals upon which they believe this country was founded.

Of course, not all of these groups and individuals have the firmest grasp on American history. Take, for example, the website, one of many Internet pages mounted by members of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement since the election of Barack Obama.

Like many of their peers, the activists behind Rebel Republic — which bills itself as the “Voice of the Patriot Movement” — aim to “promote a return to early Republic ideals.” It is curious, then, that the site’s agenda includes a promise to “[d]rive a change in voting laws to allow only US Citizens that meet at least one of the following criteria the opportunity to vote: they pay taxes, have served or are serving in the U.S. military, and/or own land in the U.S.” In another post on the subject of “voting reform,” the site maintains: “This country is built on the fundamental premise that property is to be protected from the government and other raiders. It only makes sense that those that have a vested interest in maintaining and protecting that property should have a direct say in how government intervenes.”

Forget the fact that anyone who buys a carton of milk “pays taxes”—we were more struck by the bit about “owning land.” Why stop there—should we also bring back feudal estates and the law of primogeniture?

We were curious to know if Rebel Republic really thinks bringing back property qualifications for voting represents a return to “early Republic ideals.” The expansion of the franchise that took place in America during the late 1780s and 90s — limited though it was to white males — was rightly viewed by the Founders, particularly Thomas Jefferson, as the very fulfillment of that republican ideal, i.e., the self-government of free men. The only early Americans who worried about the democratizing of political power were arch-Federalists, elitist in style and politics, who also favored a strong central government at the expense of states’ rights. Hardly the kind of people you’d expect to find sites like Rebel Republic making common cause with.

We wrote Rebel Republic asking them to clarify their support for a voting property requirement. “Since there is no right to vote within the US Constitution,” explained a spokesperson in response, “the basis for this voting criterion is simple; it is to assure that the people who have the privilege to vote have a vested interest in their country.”

“The US Constitution,” he continued, “is about limiting Federal interference into the property rights of its citizens. Unfortunately we now live in a country where 47% of the people pay no [income] taxes and the majority of that 47% actually get a handout from the Federal government.”

If Patriots such as those at Rebel Republic had their way, many of those in that 47% would be deprived the right to vote, much like the men — many without property — who took up arms against King George.

  • Frank Creegan

    Let’s all step back and think for a moment..Put yourself back in time..Back in 1776. Forget about slavery,it was a fact back then. Our founding fathers were educated..Sent back to England to be educated when they were just children. They spent years away from their family getting educated.When these teenagers grew up, they realized they were getting ripped off by the very people in England that educated them. So…….
    When they decided to break away and form a new government, they wanted only Their Kind to have voting rights..Their kind ? Educated people.
    In their minds, educated people owned land ! Back then, only the rich owned property. Back then, in order to become rich, you had to be educated..And that’s it !
    Oh, by the way, If you take a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia
    This will all be verified, in OLD writing.

  • James D’Angelo


    I don’t know about Slavery, but Paul and Angle seem to have no trouble bringing back “Jim Crow” style laws. . .

  • Paen

    What else do these nuts want bring back,maybe slavery?

  • Tony Irvington

    If Pete Stark retires, then he’ll be replaced with a someone who will vote exactly as their party tells them too. I’m in Pete Stark’s district and I’ll tell you the reason why he keeps getting reelected by huge margins. Because this is a working-class district with strong union traditions and very patriotic.
    Pete Stark is a Democrat who is intelligent, has opinions and backbone. I’m sure his own party wishes he would retire for those reasons. Take an objective look at his voting record and whether you agree with it, disagree with it, or both, you’ll clearly see, that it follows no specific pattern except its own. We’re proud to be one of the rare districts represented in congress by someone who’s votes are his own, decided here, and not in another district by someone else’s representative.
    The jingoistic rhetoric on T.V. may make some people think that it isn’t Patriotic to be liberal, we here in the East Bay say it is.

  • Tamra Burgess

    well, what would be funny, all the single college students in paid-for-by-their parents-apartments or dorms across the country who suddenly can’t vote, or housewives/househusbands who don’t work and have no property in their name. ooh sooo sorry, you can’t participate in the political process.

    these stupid people behind, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, etc. should just leave, go away, stop blocking the progress of a country which was never theirs to begin with. their ancestors are in another country, not this one, as most all of them migrated here during Jim Crow.

    living white ancestors of original founding fathers are rare. hell, you can’t even find an ancestor of Abraham Lincoln. BUT there are MORE slave/non-white ancestors of founding fathers. the irony is almost all the hatriots today are immigrants during Jim Crow and their descendants.

    not to mention the hatriotism that exists now was NOT the basis upon which this country was founded. 1699 and onward greed first destroyed our once progressive and inclusive country, and now ignorance is still cripling it

  • Carter

    No question,, is a low-functioning collection of morons. Everyone who buys a quart of milk DOES pay taxes! As for owning land: whose land did the “founding fathers” own? Property they stole.

    These fellows are actually working against the conservative Americans they think they are.

    I love this: {Quoting}:
    “The only early Americans who worried about the democratizing of political power were arch-Federalists, elitist in style and politics, who also favored a strong central government at the expense of states’ rights. Hardly the kind of people you’d expect to find sites like Rebel Republic making common cause with.”

    No question; low-functioning jack-asses!

    I believe I know why they have gotten their panties in a bunch; they believe that many who vote on certain issues do not have the money taken from them to implement the agenda they are voting forward.

    The problem is that is not true.