Routine definitions of the word “citizen” include such phrases as a “person who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that country” and a person “who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.”
The common point is the transaction — a citizen gives something and gets something, as does the government.
One of those rights that has universally distinguished citizens from noncitizens is the right to vote. Unfortunately, we can now add that distinction to history’s trash heap thanks to the far left’s war on the nation’s culture and legal systems.
The decision by New York’s City Council to allow more than 800,000 noncitizen immigrants to vote in municipal elections is a watershed moment for the left’s goal of erasing standards and merit in American life.
In this case, the compact between rights and responsibilities is severed, with only the rights remaining to the immigrants who are relieved of any responsibilities to the city and the other 8 million inhabitants.
Here 30 days? OK
Under the measure, in addition to meeting rules for age and registration, the only other requirement is that the immigrants be either lawful permanent residents or authorized to work in the United States. In either case, they can vote starting next January after living in New York for as few as 30 consecutive days.
Yes, 30 days, which is the equivalent of a drive-by vote from people who have sworn allegiance to another nation.
There is no logic or legal argument to this one-sided measure, only a desire to destroy a reciprocal relationship. Under the ever-flexible guise of “equity,” all distinctions are to be erased.
Other examples of this new radicalism abound. The push to drop Gifted and Talented programs in public schools is designed to end any recognition of special ability and effort. As with participation trophies, all children are deemed equally gifted and talented, so there is no need to have selective programs or schools.
Another front opened by the left was the goal of erasing the language that separates legal from illegal immigrants. Even though it remains an accurate description under the law, calling people “illegal” has been deemed an insult against their humanity.
New York, of course, is doubly cursed, with new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg aiming to erase many distinctions in the criminal code. Bragg says he will not prosecute quality-of-life crimes and most property crimes, and would limit filing charges that could mean prison to murder, sexual assault and a few other cases involving violence.
Similarly, the implications of the council’s vote are so vast that they, too, constitute a change without precedent. For comparison, consider that the 800,000 added voters would be more than the 750,000 votes Eric Adams got in winning the mayoral election.
If even half of the noncitizen voters united to form a bloc, they could probably elect a whole slate of officials, from council to public advocate to controller to mayor.
That’s not likely in the short term, but the possibility highlights the potential impact of making such a vast number of new people eligible at the same time.
Big Dem advantage
The measure was sponsored by Ydanis Rodriguez, then a council member and the city’s new Commissioner of Transportation. In defending the measure, he said that “We build a stronger democracy when we include the voices of immigrants.”
The issue is not the right of immigrants to voice opinions. For there to be a fair and functioning democracy, large groups of voters cannot have the right to the privileges of citizenship without the commitment.
Otherwise, what is the point of citizenship, a question that future immigrants might ask themselves.
The council vote last month was 33-14, which came just before the departure of the 35 members who were term-limited, including Rodriguez.
Mayor Adams initially suggested he was opposed because the 30-day residency requirement was too short, but changed his mind after talking to unnamed backers and let the bill become law without signing it.
He, like most other supporters, probably assumes the new voters would vote Democratic, and therefore sees the measure as practically guaranteeing that New York will never again have a Republican mayor.
In response, some Republicans have sued, saying the measure runs afoul of the state constitution. They cite language in the constitution that grants voting rights to “every citizen” who is 18 or older.
There are also practical problems. The council directed the Board of Elections to “implement this new system, which would include developing a new registration form specifically for municipal voters and giving them the opportunity to enroll in a political party so they can vote in local primary elections.”
How that would work, and how the board would stop registered noncitizens from voting in state or national elections is unclear. One thing that is certain is that counting on the board to get a gigantic new responsibility right is a fool’s errand.
But maybe that’s the whole point. After all, anybody who cares about old ideas like citizenship and is worried about ballot integrity is just trying to deprive oppressed people of their “equal rights.”
Did I say that correctly?
Race has no place in lifesaving decisions
The heroic New York firefighter pictured at right is Matt Zimpfer, and thank God he didn’t ask the race or national origin of the baby he was saving.
It’s a sure thing that not a single one of the Bravest cared about the skin color of those they saved or those they couldn’t. They save all lives equally.
But imagine if they didn’t. Imagine if police, firefighters, ambulance drivers and emergency-room doctors and nurses adopted the same rules being perpetuated by so-called health officials.
In a breathtaking development, federal, state and city agencies have announced that, in some cases, nonwhites should get preference in COVID tests and treatments.
The Food and Drug Administration, and the city and state departments of health justify this discrimination on claims of past inequality or special health issues. But skin color is not a medical condition, and to base medical decisions on it is not science.
It’s racism. And if Matt Zimpfer had followed that rancid path, the Bronx baby he saved would be dead
QB scores big with ‘dog’ged advice
Words to live by come from Stetson Bennett IV, the often-ridiculed quarterback for the University of Georgia Bulldogs.
After leading his team to victory over Alabama in the national championship game, Bennett was asked on TV what his triumph means for the little guy bucking the odds. After saying he hopes it encourages them, he added: “Keep your mouth shut, work hard. Life is tough. Work through it.”