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View Diary: Seriously, Florida. WTF? (283 comments)

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  •  I'm a (3+ / 0-)
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    kfunk937, Michigandrew, Papuska

    convicted felon, and there are a lot more of us than you may think. Eleven years ago, I was convicted of what the state deemed a "non-dangerous, non-repetitive" crime. I did 2 1/2 years in prison. A few years after I got out, I started checking into getting my right to vote back. At the time, I was naive enough to believe that it would be contingent upon my behavior since my release. I should have known better.

    When I was convicted, there was also a very large fine involved, on top of which, an 80% (yes 80%) county "surcharge" was levied. Given the job prospects for a convicted felon, Ive since resigned myself to the fact that the rest of my life will be spent working low paying, service jobs. That, I can handle. I've been poor my whole life, and beyond food and shelter, I never gave money much thought except as a means to those ends (a somewhat crude one, IMO). But in my state (AZ), the court won't even consider the request until those fines are paid in full. It's more money than I've seen in 11 years. My right to vote is, in essence, being held for ransom. The most basic of American rights is based solely on my economic status. There are those who are quite happy with that. In recent years, I've heard more than one person suggest that maybe only those who own their own homes should be allowed to vote, or that each vote should have a dollar amount attached to it. SCOTUS has now made money synonymous with free speech.

    It's all crime, you see. But most have neither the will, nor the resources to commit crimes on the scale of those at the top. Because they've learned that crime doesn't pay on a small scale. It pays on a big one, and, as Steve Mason once said, "When the crime becomes big enough, it begins to govern." They know that by the time people sympathize with someone like me, they will already be people like me.

    Our civilization will end the way that most do. With an ever-shrinking circle of affluent, hard-working, decent, "real" Americans, and the rest of us. The inherent danger is that the fewer people there are in that circle, the more palatable anything suggested to them becomes.

    When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers. -- African Proverb

    by LouisWu on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:34:52 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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