Could you pass a citizenship test?
This is a question that Fox and Friends co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck wants you to ponder whenever you step in the voting booth. This morning, she advocated for the idea that all Americans of a voting age should have to pass a citizenship test before they’re eligible to vote. She seems to think that when you’re able to identify at least one branch of government and how many senators we have instead of, you know, the major issues, voting becomes “more meaningful.”
Maybe if your definition of “meaningful” is “utterly devoid of contextual utility,” but she doesn’t stop to think about the harm to her own movement this would cause. After all, the fullest extent of Teabagger knowledge about the Constitution begins and ends with “I’m pretty sure it exists, and it was written by Jesus.”
Of course, we all know that White teabaggers would be given a waver or an “A” for effort.
If history is any sort of teacher, the idea of “literacy tests” at the polls was employed in the South from the 1880s to the 1960s in an effort to disenfranchise Black voters.
What makes this ironic is that Hasselbeck is one of a multitude of people who’ve railed against the Common Core and standardized testing in the past. Republicans like Hasselbeck have referred to the concept that every fourth grader should know the same basic facts before moving onto fifth grade as “tyranny,” suggesting a vocabulary test, not a citizenship test, is in order.