Jonah Goldberg got a lot of attention recently for his tirade against the young in a Daily Caller interview, where he (among other things) suggested that that people aged 18-21 should have their right to vote revoked.
As a young person (though not young enough to be subject to Goldberg’s disenfranchisement) it’s obviously irritating to hear people talk about trampling on our civil rights because we’re “idiots,” especially from such a legendary doofus as Goldberg. I started a blistering riposte, but my heart wasn’t in it. The trouble with Goldberg is that (in the second-best phrase ever applied to him) he is a “slow-moving target who bleeds profusely when hit,” meaning I almost feel bad about how easy he is to take down. It’s like hunting a manatee, there’s no sport in it.
But today Josh Marshall takes another, closer look at this proposal:
…it is of a piece with a general trend on the right these days: the effort to take non-right-leaning segments of the electorate and simply ban them from voting entirely. That’s what’s behind the big push for voter ID: the fact that it hits primarily poor people, immigrants and minority groups, people who don’t tend to vote for Republicans. And it’s the same with young voters.
In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense that Goldberg would be the one proposing the blatant violation of civil rights. The rest of the conservative movement, while equally dedicated to disenfranchising any group that leans Democratic, is hiding behind the fig leaf of never-happens “voter fraud.” Goldberg was too dense to realize the strategy, if you could even call it that.
But there it is, young folks. Because you tend to vote for the wrong party, the Republicans are coming for your civil rights. Take heed.
PS: In case you were wondering, the greatest line ever written about Goldberg is here.