I enjoy grappling with tough issues. And the recent flap about mayoral candidate Jody Harding is a tough issue.
A year or so ago, Harding wrote that people on the government dole should not be able to vote while on the dole. These people include those who are on food stamps, housing assistance, farmers who receive subsidies and others. The Racine Post has all the details.
The word "crestfallen" probably best describes my initial reaction to this news. But after a day or two of reflection, I have a different view.
For starters, Harding was discussing a real problem. It is a problem when a person votes to enrich themselves. In virtually all other circumstances in real life, this is considered a conflict of interest that should be avoided via a recusal.
For the record, I disagree with Jody Harding. There is no legislative solution for this problem. Detirmining who is or is not voting for selfish reasons is simply not possible. People should not vote for selfish reasons, certainly, but education and morals are the needed antidote to this problem, not disenfranchisement.
And finally, the mayor of Racine would have no authority to disenfranchise anyone, so this whole issue is just a bit of political philosophizing on her part. Granted, it does suggest that Harding may be a bit prone to saying what is on her mind but I like that in a politician. I still hope she wins.