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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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Comments

igrok2
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
// citizens must "show their papers" to vote //

How citizens can vote without some ID?
Or i am misunderstanding something?
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
In the US, for hundreds of years, citizens have voted without showing their papers.

Indeed, the US has no "national identity card," and has always resisted one. More and more, the driver's license is used for that purpose... but really, it just supposed to license you to DRIVE.
Mathieu Thielemans
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
I'm sure it has something to do with the American pursuit of absolute freedom, but why not have the national ID? Here in Belgium we have it and it's actually pretty handy. You scan it and it's used to transmit all the information about yourself (well, the basics atleast, nothing I care to hide from anyone) to what you're scanning it for. Say you're registering for University, they scan your card and register you through that one card.
Paranoïd people could say that it's the gouvernement trying to control and check on your every move, but I guess that's why I call them paranoid. This isn't A Game of Thrones, atleast it isn't anymore, not here. (I hope).
And if it is, I'll need someone to get me a golden armor, some red banners and a big, blue-eyed ugly wench.
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:22 am (UTC)
Sorry, but for me the national ID does indeed evoke too many memories of those WWII pictures where the Nazis were always stopping people and demanding their papers.

I don't WANT people to have "all the information" about myself.

I still value concepts like privacy and freedom, which I hope to be of more importance that the convenience of banks, corporations, and yes, the government.

So long as I going lawfully about my business, I don't think anyone has the right to ask me to prove who I am.
(no subject) - humbleminion - Aug. 12th, 2012 06:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - manderlyrules - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Can't Vote in 2 States - Jay W. Walker - Aug. 13th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - apostle_of_eris - Aug. 13th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rdmaughan - Aug. 12th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - papamishka - Aug. 12th, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
jufin
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:48 am (UTC)
But how you prevent someone coming in to poll station and saying - "Hello, I am X, I want to vote", while actually the person is someone else ?
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
amit pivonia
Aug. 12th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC)
i do not understand something.
let me say first that i am not a US citizen and my beliefs are very left wing and thus if i was a US citizen i would probably be a democrat

but, since i am an israely citizen and since we are required to have some kind of ID on us at any given time and since we are required to show an ID card when we vote, can you please tell me what is wrong with this demand? i only see it as a way to prevent manipulating the election.
igrok2
Aug. 12th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)
How can you prove you have reached a voting age then?
Or it is a serious crime for children to vote in USA? :)
Neil Fox
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
and get on an airplane
we require ID to get on an airplane.
an800lbgorilla
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and the SSN isn't a national identity number...
Neil Anderson
Aug. 14th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
Show Your Papers
Isn't it funny how the tax paying citizens of the United States are required to "show their papers" in order to protect foreign influence in voting (among other sorry excuses), but Congress-men/women can and often do take donations to their campaign coffers from foreign doners under the guise of "free speech"?

We can all thank 'Citizens United v. FEC' and the oligarchic Supreme Court for that!
tj1962
Aug. 13th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
ID requirements
I have to show some proof of ID whenever I vote, ususally a voter registration card, although they do accept other proofs, like a driver's lisence. This new wave of regulations wipes away existing proofs and requires specific forms. It's estimated that up to 13% of Kansas voters lack the necessary proof and will have to spend money to obtain it, this can be fairly cheap 10 to 20 bucks, (if you're on food stamps, you're in foreclosure, how cheap is cheap?) but it can also run into the 100s of dollars. It cost millions of dollars to implement and the state has recently closed license offices for budgetary reasons, etc. creating more hardship in obtaining. It disproportionately impacts poor people who often vote Democratic (you do have to wonder if that's true in Kansas). All of this in spite of the fact there has not been any significant findings of fraudulent voting. There's a great book about the history of stolen elections called Steal this Vote that explains how Both sides have monkeyed with elections. Its pretty obvious that any elections being stolen at this point are mainly done by Voter Suppression, check out FL 2000; it's the model going forward.
Felix Sandgren
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
I don't get it... Don't you people have passports like the rest of the world? Issued by the local police office? That's what swedes do anyway.
grrm
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
A lot of Americans never travel beyond our borders. Not sure what percentage have passports, but they are far from universal.
(no subject) - coaldustcanary - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mitzi J. Bartlett
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
Passports are not issued to us, we have to request them, and pay a fee - a check Google check shows $135-160. For some of us, that's out of our range.
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