Many conservatives appear to think badly of poor people, but Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center takes it a step further. According to the title of his latest article for American Thinker, he believes that “registering the poor to vote is un-American.”
“Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?” Vadum asks. “Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.”
“Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals,” he continues. “It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country– which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote. … Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor. It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money.”
Vadum goes on to claim that “registering the unproductive to vote is an idea that was heavily promoted by the small-c communists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven” — and if that assertion sounds suspiciously like the similar theories involving Cloward and Piven promoted by Glenn Beck, it is no coincidence.
Vadum describes himself in his Twitter profile as “Glenn Beck’s tutor on the Left,” and the description accompanying a video uploaded by Vadum to YouTube this July states, “Glenn Beck learned about the ‘Cloward-Piven Strategy’ of orchestrated crisis for the first time ever when he interviewed Matthew Vadum, an expert on left-wing pressure groups, on Fox News on May 13, 2009.”
Two years ago, Raw Story reported on the agenda of the Capital Research Center, where Vadum is a senior editor, as being intended to “defund the left”:
“The idea of starving the Democratic Party of donations by defunding the progressive non-profits that form a central pillar of its support is not new. It goes back to at least 1981, when the Heritage Foundation published a set of over 2000 policy recommendations for the Reagan administration. … The Capital Research Center (CRC) was founded in 1984 by a former Heritage Foundation vice president to implement this agenda by uncovering the presumably questionable funding sources of progressive groups. …
“Currently, CRC senior editor Matthew Vadum — who describes himself as ‘America’s foremost expert on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN’ — seems to be carrying much of the weight of the anti-ACORN campaign through his blog, Twitter feed, and frequent appearances with Glenn Beck and other right-wing TV hosts.
“Last May, Vadum told Beck, ‘ACORN is an immense crime family … that has tentacles all though the United States, and now it’s trying to spread to India and Canada and other places. … They’re engaged in racketeering. … They break the law constantly.’
“‘Something that needs to be explored is the roots of ACORN in the 1960s,’ Vadum continued. ‘It grew out of the radical welfare rights movement. And the idea behind that was that not enough people were on welfare and that you needed to pack the welfare rolls with as many people as possible in order to overwhelm the governments — the various levels of government — and cause social chaos.’”
Vadum’s latest attack on the poor appears to be the natural extension of that same agenda. “Cloward and Piven’s long campaign to bring vast numbers of unproductive people into the political process culminated in the 1993 enactment of the Motor-Voter law,” he writes. “That law turned welfare offices into voter registration centers and encouraged nonprofit groups to conduct registration drives. It also opened the door to massive voter fraud. … As Benjamin Franklin supposedly said, ‘When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.’ With the help of Cloward, Piven, Alinsky, and Obama, we’re well on our way.”
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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