San Francisco’s Wong Turn

 

The City of San Francisco now has a non-citizen on its Election Commission —

The San Francisco Elections Commission has, for what is believed to be the first time in history, appointed someone who isn’t a U.S. citizen—who isn’t legally allowed to vote—to serve as an official.

The officer, Kelly Wong, was sworn in on Feb. 14, local news outlet KQED reported. It said that Ms. Wong, an immigrant rights advocate, is a native of Hong Kong who arrived in the United States in 2019 for graduate studies.

She was sworn in by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin during a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall after winning unanimous support from the board.

Is this a big deal? Well, yes and no. San Francisco voters passed an ordinance, initially struck down by a court but later upheld on appeal, to permit non-citizens to vote in local school board elections. Here are the requirements

Non-citizens who meet these qualifications are eligible to register and vote in local School Board elections.

  • Resident of San Francisco and do not plan to move before the date of the School Board election.
  • At least 18 years old on the day of the School Board election.
  • Parent, legal guardian, or caregiver* of a child under 19 living in San Francisco.
  • Not in state or federal prison for the conviction of a felony.
  • Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

*A caregiver is someone who signs the affidavit to enroll a minor in school and consents to school-related medical care on behalf of the minor. This is determined by state law, in CA Family Code §6550-6552.

The theory, of course, is that the people most affected by an act of government should be able to determine the leadership of that government. That’s representative democracy. The eligible voters (presumably) have given a specific right to non-citizens in a matter of only local impact. In effect, citizen-voters have agreed to share power with non-citizens for a specific purpose.

The problem is that the logic for power-sharing is that the group with whom power is shared has some unique interests that cannot be reflected in the preferences of those granting the power. If true, then the grantees predictably move the policies of the governing body in a direction that the grantors would not prefer. This seems so blatantly obvious that it can only be justified if there was an insurmountable barrier to citizenship. But, then again, having an insurmountable barrier would be justified precisely to avoid the potential for changing voter preference in government.

And the great irony is that an action reflecting a globalist attitude is to be sold to others on the basis that “it is only a local matter that should be decided by locals.” Residence replaces citizenship as the basis for who can determine who leads our governments and what that leadership does.  You can have open borders or citizen-run government, but not both.

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  1. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Another problem is the lack of any indication that the immediately enfranchised non-citizen voter has any understanding of the system of governance on which that voter is voting. 

    Yes, I know that plenty of naturally-born citizens of the U.S.A. have an astonishingly poor understanding of the United States system of governance, but we at least hope they pick up on some of it as they grow up. 

    But a recent arrival from who-knows-where? 

    I used to read a business publication headquartered in western Europe. It was interesting for its take on international business that was not America-centric. But then the publication started delving farther into American politics, and the publication’s lack of familiarity and understanding of American history and governance became so grating, and caused its observations to be so off-point, that it was a pain to read.

    And that was from people in western Europe (part of “Western Civilization”).

    How are people from places farther afield (China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, etc.) going to treat the power to vote? What do they think the power to vote means? Affirmation of a ruler who will punish you if you don’t vote for that ruler? Power to provide for yourself by taking from someone else? Power to punish those you hate or with whom you disagree? Power to oppress a minority group?

    • #1
  2. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    I know how to say “this is stupid” in Mexican, but how does one say it in Chinese?  Oh, never mind – but this IS stupid!

    • #2
  3. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Rodin: You can have open borders or citizen-run government, but not both.

    Sure you can have both.  Why not?

    Now, if the powers that be were to attempt to fundamentally transform America (hypothetically, of course), then they may seek to institute open borders, and they may seek to decrease the power of American citizens over their government.

    But that’s just a hypothetical.  Of course.

    • #3
  4. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    Chuck (View Comment):

    I know how to say “this is stupid” in Mexican, but how does one say it in Chinese? Oh, never mind – but this IS stupid!

    The woman appointed said how excited she was to speak for people whose voices aren’t being heard. I’ll submit that they are being heard but they still may not vote. And those who vote get to disregard those (mostly) illegally entered in the US voices. That’s the part she may not like. 

    • #4
  5. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Giving the riht of the vote to men without property was a mistake. We should make it harder for non citizens and for those with a low I.Q. to vote.

    We should also genetically engineer people to have 105 I.Q. so they can become freer as well as better voters.

    • #5
  6. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Giving the riht of the vote to men without property was a mistake. We should make it harder for non citizens and for those with a low I.Q. to vote.

    (Which means Dimocrats.)

    • #6
  7. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Giving the riht of the vote to men without property was a mistake. We should make it harder for non citizens and for those with a low I.Q. to vote.

    (Which means Dimocrats.)

    Low I.Q. is more of a leftwing thing because (I theorize) that you need an I.Q. of 105 to understand capitalism.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’m disgusted by the whole thing. Citizenship is a valuable and important attribute, and people should want to aspire to being citizens if they are not. This “easy way out” stuff makes me angry.

    • #8
  9. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Giving the riht of the vote to men without property was a mistake. We should make it harder for non citizens and for those with a low I.Q. to vote.

    We should also genetically engineer people to have 105 I.Q. so they can become freer as well as better voters.

    There is certainly a moral hazard in democracy. Representative democracy helps retard that hazard (although not prevent it). Limiting the franchise to propertied males has its own form of moral hazard. Allowing people to (or looking the other way when people) sell their votes is another hazard. The genius of crowds is real but it requires (a) broad electoral participation, (b) secure identity protections, and (c) tabulations with unquestioned integrity. Distortions in any of the three rob governance of the free marketplace of ideas.

    • #9
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Giving the riht of the vote to men without property was a mistake. We should make it harder for non citizens and for those with a low I.Q. to vote.

    (Which means Dimocrats.)

    Low I.Q. is more of a leftwing thing because (I theorize) that you need an I.Q. of 105 to understand capitalism.

    Understanding capitalism does not require an IQ of 105, but it does require education and observation. The higher the IQ the more observation can substitute for education, but it does seem that some people with high IQ fail to understand.

    • #10
  11. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Giving the riht of the vote to men without property was a mistake. We should make it harder for non citizens and for those with a low I.Q. to vote.

    (Which means Dimocrats.)

    Low I.Q. is more of a leftwing thing because (I theorize) that you need an I.Q. of 105 to understand capitalism.

    Understanding capitalism does not require an IQ of 105, but it does require education and observation. The higher the IQ the more observation can substitute for education, but it does seem that some people with high IQ fail to understand.

    High I.Q. tends to make one more capitalist.

    https://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/pdfs/intelligencethinklike.pdf

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Giving the riht of the vote to men without property was a mistake. We should make it harder for non citizens and for those with a low I.Q. to vote.

    (Which means Dimocrats.)

    Low I.Q. is more of a leftwing thing because (I theorize) that you need an I.Q. of 105 to understand capitalism.

    Understanding capitalism does not require an IQ of 105, but it does require education and observation. The higher the IQ the more observation can substitute for education, but it does seem that some people with high IQ fail to understand.

    High I.Q. tends to make one more capitalist.

    https://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/pdfs/intelligencethinklike.pdf

    But those who aren’t conservative may be more likely to use their wealth in support of leftism.  The conservative capitalists more likely want to be left alone.

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    kedavis (View Comment):
    But those who aren’t conservative may be more likely to use their wealth in support of leftism.  The conservative capitalists more likely want to be left alone.

    The alternative is to be right alone. 

    • #13
  14. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Typical San Francisco. At least they haven’t ordered us to take in illegals as “tenants.” Maybe next week. On the other hand the least worrisome group of illegals are those from Hong and the deserting middle class from Chinese cities after their real estate depression.  They understand value and hard work. Not so sure about the ones from Venezuala. 

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Typical San Francisco. At least they haven’t ordered us to take in illegals as “tenants.” Maybe next week. On the other hand the least worrisome group of illegals are those from Hong and the deserting middle class from Chinese cities after their real estate depression. They understand value and hard work. Not so sure about the ones from Venezuala.

    Meanwhile, some places like NYC and Chicago seem intent on turning illegals into spoiled brats.

    • #15
  16. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    kedavis (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Typical San Francisco. At least they haven’t ordered us to take in illegals as “tenants.” Maybe next week. On the other hand the least worrisome group of illegals are those from Hong and the deserting middle class from Chinese cities after their real estate depression. They understand value and hard work. Not so sure about the ones from Venezuala.

    Meanwhile, some places like NYC and Chicago seem intent on turning illegals into spoiled brats.

    Gov. French Laundry doing it here too.  Free medical care; free ID cards to get a driver’s license. And you know what is next.  Wonder if they will get free hotel rooms like in New York.  The Mark Hopkins made out great with the homeless guests. 

    • #16
  17. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Rodin: You can have open borders or citizen-run government, but not both.

    You can have open borders, or you can have a country, but not both.

    Our “leaders” have rendered the concept of citizenship meaningless. Citizenship in the United States accords you no unique rights. Except the right to be moved to the back of the line while non-citizens are moved to the front.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):
    Our “leaders” have rendered the concept of citizenship meaningless. Citizenship in the United States accords you no unique rights. Except the right to be moved to the back of the line while non-citizens are moved to the front.

    I know our leaders continue to show extreme disregard for their citizens, but I still am not clear on why?

    • #18
  19. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):
    Our “leaders” have rendered the concept of citizenship meaningless. Citizenship in the United States accords you no unique rights. Except the right to be moved to the back of the line while non-citizens are moved to the front.

    I know our leaders continue to show extreme disregard for their citizens, but I still am not clear on why?

    It’s pretty normal for elites to hold the little guy in contempt.

    • #19
  20. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):
    Our “leaders” have rendered the concept of citizenship meaningless. Citizenship in the United States accords you no unique rights. Except the right to be moved to the back of the line while non-citizens are moved to the front.

    I know our leaders continue to show extreme disregard for their citizens, but I still am not clear on why?

    I don’t know either except I assume there’s money to be had somehow. The only incentive they have to serve the citizens is to get re-elected. And if they’ve manipulated elections to the point where they never have to worry about being tossed out of office, then who cares? Direct money to an NGO that brings in immigrants, and that NGO launders the money back to their personal coffers.

     

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    It’s pretty normal for elites to hold the little guy in contempt.

    Do you think so? So, I’d ask again, why? Oh, never mind…

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):
    Our “leaders” have rendered the concept of citizenship meaningless. Citizenship in the United States accords you no unique rights. Except the right to be moved to the back of the line while non-citizens are moved to the front.

    I know our leaders continue to show extreme disregard for their citizens, but I still am not clear on why?

    It’s pretty normal for elites to hold the little guy in contempt.

    But really, who could be little-er than illegal immigrants?

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    By the way, before I forget again, clever title!

    • #23
  24. DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    For example . . .

    • #24
  25. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    -Everyone should have a say in their government, that is the government they are a citizen of.  
    -If they are not US citizens, then they are guests. As guests, they should accept what we allow them to use. They are free to return home and have a say in their country’s government. They have no right to make demands on their hosts.

    -Any illegal who votes in a federal election should be charged with breaking the law against foreign election interference. They should be punished and deported. Any place that allows noncitizens to vote must provide proof they have safeguards in place to prevent noncitizens from voting in federal elections or their precinct votes won’t be allowed to determine federal election outcomes.

    • #25
  26. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    -Everyone should have a say in their government, that is the government they are a citizen of.
    -If they are not US citizens, then they are guests. As guests, they should accept what we allow them to use. They are free to return home and have a say in their country’s government. They have no right to make demands on their hosts.

    -Any illegal who votes in a federal election should be charged with breaking the law against foreign election interference. They should be punished and deported. Any place that allows noncitizens to vote must provide proof they have safeguards in place to prevent noncitizens from voting in federal elections or their precinct votes won’t be allowed to determine federal election outcomes.

    A FARA violation for each illegal alien voter?

    • #26
  27. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    -Everyone should have a say in their government, that is the government they are a citizen of.
    -If they are not US citizens, then they are guests. As guests, they should accept what we allow them to use. They are free to return home and have a say in their country’s government. They have no right to make demands on their hosts.

    -Any illegal who votes in a federal election should be charged with breaking the law against foreign election interference. They should be punished and deported. Any place that allows noncitizens to vote must provide proof they have safeguards in place to prevent noncitizens from voting in federal elections or their precinct votes won’t be allowed to determine federal election outcomes.

    A FARA violation for each illegal alien voter?

    We know it is a problem. All they have to do is check out everyone who is called to jury duty and is dismissed because they aren’t US citizens.

    • #27
  28. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):
    Our “leaders” have rendered the concept of citizenship meaningless. Citizenship in the United States accords you no unique rights. Except the right to be moved to the back of the line while non-citizens are moved to the front.

    I know our leaders continue to show extreme disregard for their citizens, but I still am not clear on why?

    I don’t see it as (necessarily) disregard or contempt for the citizens, but disdain for the concept of citizenship – the idea of belonging to a place.

    I think they have disdain for the concept of even belonging to any group of people with a common interest, as they have disdain for all types of belonging to groups – religious, civic service, families, etc. For the cynically minded, part of the issue is that people who belong to commonly-minded groups are harder to conscript into compliance with whatever activity the “leaders” want to impose. 

    The “leaders” claim this airy mantle of “citizens of the [entire] world” and “members of all humanity” to sound all warm and fuzzy while failing to recognize that they in fact identify very strongly with a group of elite, wealthy, mostly credentialed people who are otherwise disconnected from the society around them. The people who gather at Davos think they as “global citizens” are helping “all humanity,” but everyone else recognizes they are a bunch of buffoons who don’t have the slightest understanding of what goes on at ground level. 

    • #28
  29. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    It’s pretty normal for elites to hold the little guy in contempt.

    Do you think so? So, I’d ask again, why? Oh, never mind…

    Elites are often just mean.

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DrewInLowerOrderAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    For example . . .

    Let’s just treat illegal aliens from Mexico the same way Mexico treats illegal aliens from elsewhere.  And let’s just treat illegal aliens from Pakistan the same way Pakistan treats illegal aliens from elsewhere.  And so forth.  How could anyone argue THAT’S not fair?

    • #30
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