“Punish first, even if there is no crime,” said the King. “But I am innocent,” said the accused. “I committed no crime.” “All the more reason for the punishment,” said the King.
The above paraphrases Lewis Carroll’s account of the absurd trial of the Knave of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland.” The King’s words could have been spoken by our state representative, John Kavanagh, who has railed against allowing the “wrong” kind of voters to vote. “Wrong” voters, according to Kavanagh, are those of lesser “quality.”
Kavanagh’s statements got him noticed, and an interview on CNN. Sounding like the King in the Lewis Carroll farce, Kavanagh justified voter suppression efforts “regardless of whether there was actual fraud or nonexistence fraud.” We must suppress voting to address “nonexistent fraud,” based on Kavanagh’s statement.
The real purpose is to suppress votes that are not of the “quality” that Kavanagh wants.
Fountain Hills is part of Arizona Legislative District 23, which Kavanagh represents. For many, the town’s beauty and other assets make it a true Wonderland in which to live. Must our Wonderland be represented by our own Mad Hatter, John Kavanagh? Are we being represented by a modern-day version of the King in “Alice in Wonderland,” who punishes when there is no crime?
Alice’s Wonderland adventures continued in the sequel, “Through the Looking Glass.” It is time for Fountain Hills voters to peer into our own looking glass. It is time to ask if the offensive statements and embarrassing behavior by John Kavanagh are representative of our Wonderland.