Newt Gingrich: Let’s Make Everyone Pass A Test Before They Can Vote
Via Matthew Yglesias, comes this excerpt from a recent Newt Gingrich speech that pretty clearly calls for a return of the kind of “poll tests” that were used in the South before the Voting Rights Act of 1965
“You know, folks often talk about immigration. I always say that to become an American citizen, immigrants ought to have to learn American history. [applause] But maybe we should also have a voting standard that says to vote, as a native born American, you should have to learn American history. [applause] You realize how many of our high school graduates because of the decay of the educational system, couldn’t pass a citizenship test.”
Even Tea Party favorite Cong. Allen West recognizes this as an absurd idea:
KEYES: Over the weekend, presidential contender Newt Gingrich came out and said he’d like to see some sort of poll test, throwing out the idea that maybe voters ought to have a certain standard knowledge of American history in order to be able to vote. What are your thoughts on that?
WEST: That’s going back to some times that my parents had to contend with. […] I think that we need to do a better job educating our young men and women in school, but we don’t need to have a litmus test, no.
The great thing about Newt Gingrich is you never know what he’s going to say when he opens his mouth. The horrible thing about Newt Gingrich is you never know what he’s going to say when he opens his mouth.