I was left speechless by the March 26 “Local View” commentary, "In any individual's world, few would be allowed to vote," by the Rev. David Tryggestad of Duluth. The quotes cited — including, "Everybody shouldn't be voting" and, "Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes as well" — were incomplete.
The comments came at a hearing about proposed changes to Arizona’s vote-by-mail provisions and concerns over voter fraud. This is the entire quote from Rep. John Kavanagh, R-New York: "Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”
There are few things more deceitful than taking comments out of text and changing them to fit a narrative. Focusing just on "everybody shouldn't be voting" was suggesting that all votes are not equal; and what follows from that is that not all voters are treated equally. This is so far from the truth, because the focus is on legal votes and voter integrity and not voter suppression.
Interesting, too, was the title borrowed from John Irving — "The World According to Me" — in drafting voting qualifications in the column. I found the qualifications of voters chosen to be excluded to be troublesome.
Especially troublesome was this comment: "Perhaps the most egregious of all are the so-called evangelical-Christian leaders who masquerade as sincere followers of Jesus, who unashamedly supported the former president.”
The column also stated that “if qualifications were to be imposed on voting, the only criterion I would defend is the capacity for compassion and empathy. Imagine the world according to those values." Apparently this pastor doesn't practice what he preaches and prefers politics over his faith. So he wouldn't even qualify with his own criteria.
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