There seems to be a lot of controversy over who has a say in what these days concerning state issues.
Do only current residents have a say in state issues? Then this means that someone from another country could rent an apartment, or a motel room for that matter, and have just as much say in state issues as someone who was born in the state and lived there all their lives.
Do only property owners have a say in state issues? If so, then someone could purchase a small lot in the state and never even see the state and have more say than someone who has lived there all their life but owns no property.
What if someone was born in another country and moves to that state? Should they have just as much say as someone who was born and raised in that state and owns property?
What about someone who lives in a state in government housing, pays no rent, pays no taxes, whose only income is government subsidies, what say do they have?
What about the uneducated? What if a person does not even know what the issues are? Should they be allowed to have a say in what happens in the state? If this is the case, then a person could find enough people who had no idea what government was all about, chant a few words like "change" and "equality" over and over again and be elected to high office with no qualifications whatsoever.
Does a person have a say in state issues if they have loved ones living in the state? What about those who participated in elections within the state, knew the issues, followed the candidates, worked for some of them, attended state rallies, and actually knew the issues, do they have a say?
What if a person owns no property, has never visited the state, but has set up legal residence through the use of private mail boxes, do they have a say?
I think the people who really should have a say are those with vested interest in the state. Those who know AND understand the issues facing that state. Not just one issue. It is easy to speak out on one lone issue. But before you can speak out on that one lone issue, you should really know what the issue is and why it came to be. If you live in a state and know about one issue and are passionate about that issue, but you do not understand all the ramifications of that issue, do you have a right to speak out on that issue? What if later you learn that you were completely mistaken because you did not take the time to understand the issue, you just knew what you had been told?
A person with a vested interest is someone who will gain or lose by what happens in that issue. If you are a property owner living in a state, pay taxes, vote, were born there, but you nor anyone you know and/or love stands to gain or lose from the issue, do you have any right to make a statement regarding that issue?
Here in the United States, our forefathers fought and died for Freedom of Speech. After the War Between the States, many White Southerners were forced off their lands and forced to move out West. Yankee Carpetbaggers set up a new government and put uneducated Black men in offices like governor, etc. These former residents of the Southern States no longer had any say in the issues regarding their state even though they had fought for the state, had owned property in the state, and paid taxes in the state. The carpetbaggers had all the say because they were living in the state and had seized the power.
I agree that someone who has no ties to a state should have no say in state issues. But, what about those who do have ties to a state? What about a family who owns property in that state, has paid more taxes in that state over the years than most people still living there, should they have a say?
What if that same family still belongs to a church in that state and pays tithes regularly to that church, should they have a say? What if the same family has direct relatives who are being figuratively spit upon by the actions of that state, should they hold their tongues and watch it happen? The family mentioned above owns property in the state, are members of a church in the state and pay tithes to it, has many family members who fought for Southern Rights, has direct ancestors who were governors, congressmen, senators, and other elected officials in the state. One of their ancestors is coming under attack by a move to have his name removed from buildings at universities and other facilitates that he helped build. This same family participated in elections by actually working for the campaigns of several different people seeking public office. This same family has over three hundred years of history in the state and the immediate family (not ancestors, just the current family) has paid over one million dollars in state taxes. Should not they have a say?
It is a complicated issue. Approach this complicated issue with thought and knowledge, not knee jerk reactions or arrogance. One with vested interest has a say; one does not receive vested interest based solely on geographic location.
Your well thought out response to the statements above are appreciated. However, telling people who agree with your side of the issue that they have no say in the issue is short-sighted at best and not constructive to your side of the issue at all.
I do not visit Facebook, so if you wish to respond to this you will need to go to my blog where this was originally posted to comment.