Why Mount Vernon Needs to Dump Pat Sajak

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    Cross posted at Daily Kos

    A few years ago, I visited Mount Vernon with my Dad, including the new Ford Orientation Center.  I was surprised to see the opening video there narrated by Pat Sajak, of all people. A bland game show host introducing the Father of our Country? Whatever, I said — until the other day when I heard Sajak, now a right wing commentator, make the following unbelievable statement:

    In nearly all private and public endeavors, there are occasions in which it’s only fair and correct that a person or group be barred from participating because that party could directly and unevenly benefit from decisions made and policies adopted. So should state workers be able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly? The same question goes for federal workers in federal elections.

    While I don’t often use the word “unAmerican”, it’s hard to think of a more fitting term to apply here. Much of our progress as a democracy has consisted of extending the right to vote to groups beyond property-owning white males, to whom that right was originally limited. Sajak recommends reversing that trend by finding opportunities to take away the voting rights of over 7 million people.

    Of course, in true Glenn Beck fashion, as soon as he says this, he claims he’s not saying this.

    I’m not suggesting that public employees should be denied the right to vote, but that there are certain cases in which their stake in the matter may be too great. Of course we all have a stake in one way or another in most elections, and many of us tend to vote in favor of our own interests.

    Um, yeah, Pat, that’s kind of the point.  Every election truly affects everyone’s interest, thanks particularly to something called the “public interest”, which really does exist even if Republicans have never heard of it.

    And it’s remarkable that during an election in which corporate interests are spending well over $100 million to make sure that their interests are secured, your primary objective is in slashing the voting rights of people who don’t have the means to purchase their own Senators.

    Like all of us, Pat is entitled to his opinion. But is it really appropriate to use someone with such extreme ideological views to introduce millions of visitors from around the world to the Father of our Country?

    Look, I realize that this is not a matter with life or death consequences. But if we care about our nation’s history and culture, we ought to treat them with respect.

    For this reason, I encourage you to ask the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which operates the historic site, and Ford Motor Company Fund, which funds the Ford Orientation Center, to create a new introductory film with an uncontroversial narrator.  I encourage Virginia’s delegates and senators to sponsor a state resolution and/or write letters to Mt. Vernon calling for the same.  Ditto my US Rep and Senators — because George Washington and Mount Vernon belong to all of us, not to some narrow ideological fringe.