Women’s Voting   Leave a comment

We know I’m skipping the 18th Amendment because it was already repealed by the 21st, right? The only thing I have to say about it is that Prohibition was another Progressive-era lunacy that led to the rise of organized crime and its unholy alliance with the big-city Democratic machines and labor unions.

So, we’ve reached the 19th Amendment and I’m a woman, so we don’t need to discuss this, right?

Actually, we do. First – all humans are created equal and all American citizens should have had the vote from the beginning and … hey, there were localities and some states that allowed women to vote before the 19th Amendment. Did you know that? Plenty of towns and counties allowed women to run for and hold public office. New Jersey constitutionally permitted women to vote from 1776 to 1807. The Liberty Party of 1848 nominated Lucretia Mott as Vice-President. Portions of the Republic Party advocated unsuccessfully for the inclusion of women’s suffrage in the 15th Amendment. Many western states granted women suffrage upon statehood. Wyoming acknowledged women’s right to vote in 1869. Many Eastern states followed the example of the Western states. In fact, most states had already acknowledged some degree of suffrage by 1920 when the 19th Amendment passed. Women’s suffrage would have come as a natural result of states’ rights, which makes you wonder why an amendment was considered necessary. A case might be made the slaves (or former slaves) could be denied the vote based on the Constitution, but the US Constitution did not specifically deny women the vote prior to the 19th amendment. It was state laws that denied them suffrage and those laws were changing to a point where more than half the states allowed women to vote by the time the 19th passed. When I see something like that, I have to wonder … what else was going on that has been lost to revisionist history? 

Personally, I’m down with the 19th Amendment. My only issue with it is that far too many of my gender vote with their feelings rather than their heads. Barack Obama won both of his elections on the strength of the women’s vote. What is up with that? Are we as a gender really that stupid?

I doubt a convention of the states to propose amendments would end women’s suffrage, just as it would not end black suffrage, suffrage for 18 years olds or the DC vote. Some ideas just make so much sense under the “all men are created equal” banner that you wonder why folks didn’t “get it” from the very beginning. I still think the “voting” amendments might be combined into a single amendment that would make it much clearer than the current ones do.

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