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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.



Aug. 12th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
In the America I was born in -- still a free country -- no one had to show their "papers."

Voting is precious. So why does the GOP want to deny the right to so many honest citizens, to the poor, the elderly, the young? That's who these laws will disenfranchise, no one even bothers denying it.
Dan Spicer
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:43 am (UTC)
Most poor receive government assistance, and had to show ID at some point to apply; the elderly receive social security, and had to show ID at some point to get it; the young have to show ID to buy beer, apply for a job, enlist in the military, and to drive a car. If any of them forgot to bring ID to the polls, then they cast a provisional ballot. I may be naive, but I just don't think the act of voting (not the actual vote cast) is one of the things that should be done anonymously. I have been voting for 20 years, and would never even consider showing up to the polls without ID. I will concede that indigent homeless vagrants may be disenfranchised with these laws, and that is a shame; but again, if they wanted to, they could cast a provisional ballot
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Why do I have to show "my papers" to buy a gun? It's a constitutional right and we didn't require "papers" for that for a long time either. Why do the democrats want to "deny my right as an honest citizen" to own a gun. Isn't that the American you were born in as well?

Look - the very government (GOP specifically) you trounce also provides free photo identification to anyone who wants it in states with voter id laws.

Everyone on food stamps, welfare, medicaid, etc....... must have photo id's to qualify for those programs. So is the entire government out to get the poor, the elderly, the young? Why single out the GOP?
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Why?
I didn't think we were talking about gun licensing.

Why do you feel the need to change the subject?

Let us stick to voter suppression, please. We can discuss guns some other time.
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Why?
"A well regulated militia..."


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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