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"Show Us Your Papers"

I am way too busy these days for long political rants.

But I would be remiss if I do not at least make passing mention of how depressed, disgusted, and, yes, angry I've become as I watch the ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power.

It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds... that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.

It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom "win the election" does not "win the election at any cost." There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton... yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears.

The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.

And don't tell me they are libertarians either. No true libertarians would ever support a culture where citizens must "show their papers" to vote or travel. That's a hallmark of a police state, not a free country.


TUESDAY ADDENDUM: Okay, this has been running several days now, has been featured on HUFFINGTON POST and ABC news, referenced on Stephanie Miller, and no doubt countless other people. We have had four hundred messages, and I think everyone has had their say, and everything that needs to be said has been said. Generally eight or ten times. There are plenty of links and references in the comment threads for those who would like to know more about these voter suppression efforts. If you don't want to dig through the links, start with the Brennan Center for Justice and get the facts.

There's no sense in letting this spin on in circles forever. I am locking comments. Back to Westeros and worldcon and similar subjects, boys and girls.

Thanks for listening.

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( 437 comments )
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blachubear
Aug. 13th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thumbs up Mr. Martin for your post. You rock.
vox_libertas
Aug. 13th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you, George.
It needs to be said. Over and over, until we can turn it around.

Vox Libertas
aka Brons
aka JimB.
aka Jim Burrows, ancient letter hack.
Nic Mercy
Aug. 13th, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
Couldn't have said it better myself!
I wish more people of influence would talk as honestly and frankly as you have here.
princejvstin
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
Voter ID--a solution in search of a phantom problem.

John Nairn
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
One Simple Response
A simple response is for voter turnout among young, elderly, and minorities to set record highs in every state with a new voter ID law. Perhaps that would change the thinking of those promoting such laws. If you live is such a state, please make it so.

Edited at 2012-08-14 12:17 am (UTC)
Rodney Kelley
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
Disagree
I must disagree with you, GRRM. A person needs ID to get a job, apply for college, buy prescriptions, cash checks, open accounts, buy alcohol, etc., etc. Why not for voting. To be honest, ever since I started voting in '88, I always presented my driver's license with my voter registration card. It just seems like the right thing to do.

PS-Just finished all five books. FANTASTIC!!! Keep up the good work!
MZDLO75
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Disagree
All of the things that you mentioned are privileges, not rights guaranteed by The Constitution.
Douglas Wunderlich
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:13 am (UTC)
Thank you
This false front about voter fraud needs this honest rebuttal. It is all about voter suppression of the vulnerable by the powerful.
apostle_of_eris
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
*sigh*
Thanks for getting me out of my personal social bubble for a little while.
I know, intellectually, that a substantial fraction of the country has brains contaminated by Fox "News", but I don't ordinarily deal with them. Thanks for the exposure.
I know, intellectually, that less and less people "get it" about a free country, but I don't ordinarily deal with them. Thanks for the exposure.
Lavhiram
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
Show us your papers.
In democracy, citizens should not be denied their inalienable rights; in which, is being done by rolling back early voting and requiring a card that is equivalent to a poll tax. I think of a variation of Martin Niemöller words

First they disfranchised the felons,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a felon.

Then they disfranchised the non-English speakers,
and I didn't speak out because English is my native language.

Then they came for the poor and elderly,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't poor or elderly.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

jsdwd
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
Voter Suppression
I couldn't agree more with your well-state protest.

Those trying to trample the most fundamental right of any free citizen have no love for this country, no matter how much flag-waving they engage in.
Mike Ling
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
Proof there is little or no voter fraud.
What is proof there is little or no voter fraud? If there were any major case(s) of voter fraud, the Republicans would be crowing about it 24/7/365 for years on end. The would name names and what court such a verdict was made. You would not hear the end of it. Not rumors, not conspiracy theories, they'd name names, places, and make a tv movie out of it.
agoldenpoppy
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Agree wholeheartedly, but just wanted to point out that the poor and especially the homeless already have difficulty voting even without these additional proposed ID requirements, for reasons such as:

- Lack of knowledge of how or where to register
- Being removed from the voter registration list due to inactivity(a problem if individuals are unaware of this, as registration deadlines precede election day).
- Depending on the state, the requirement to designate a regular mailing address in order to register (a local church, shelter, etc. can suffice, but this is not as convenient as it is for those of us with a mailbox steps from our house).
- Residency requirements in some states that require individuals live in the same state/county/city/precinct etc. etc. for a given number of days in order to vote in that region.
- Not receiving voting materials due to lack of regular access to a mailing address, making it difficult to know where and when to vote.
- Costly or difficult access to transportation to polling locations

So it's not just a matter of obtaining a current photo ID - this would be in addition to factors that currently discourage the poor from voting.
Rick Hegdahl
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
Sandkings was my favorite story long ago...
when I had a subscription to Omni magazine.
Have never been an avid reader for some reason.
Thoroughly agree with your analysis of the Party o Tea.
Best wishes to you and please keep up the rants!
ibcingu
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
I totally agree with what you said. The extemists have hijacked the Republican Party and those who want to preserve it's name need to stand up against these morons.


(P.S. LOVE Game of Thrones. Great writing)
Gina Gambony
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
old song and dance
In 2008 while working on the Obama campaign, I was shocked at the more subtle attempts at voter suppression-naturally targeting people of color and the poor. False information regarding how to register to vote, who is qualified to vote, and where to vote was distributed through paper and even quite brazenly through robocalls. This year, the democratic party in my area has broadened the scope of efforts put toward combating the spread of disenfranchising misinformation. Why should this even be an issue in this great nation? And now trying to write disenfranchisement into law.
I miss the good old days when political misinformation was comfortably confined to the advertisements and on the floor of congress.

Yes, I know those days never existed.
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( 437 comments )

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George R.R. Martin
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