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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 04:36 am (UTC)
ID = Poll Tax
This might have already been covered, but requiring an ID for voting can be likened to a poll tax, as official IDs are seldom free. And for anyone who slept through their Civics or US History classes:

"The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964."

This is why it is wrong...

Edit: ...from a legal perspective

Edited at 2012-08-12 04:57 am (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:03 am (UTC)
Re: ID = Poll Tax
Getting ID and the documents to obtain government ID can be prohibitively expensive. Getting a birth certificate alone can be prohibitively expensive between travel and cost. Passports are crazy expensive.
Neil Fox
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)
Re: ID = Poll Tax
nonsense. if you can not afford these items, you can not buy bread and milk. Realistically, 100 percent of grownups can get an ID. Vote registration cards are free, and you can get a job is you want more money that zero. A poll tax is a direct fee. ID costs are indirect.
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:40 am (UTC)
Re: ID = Poll Tax
What about people without transportation to State offices? What about rural areas where offices are only open one day a week? There are more variables than the one or two that baggers like to toss up all of the time.
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC)
Re: ID = Poll Tax
To whomever sent me the message that "government ID can be prohibitively expensive" - I know! I was born abroad, but my parents are US citizens. To get a birth certificate I had to apply to the US Department of State! (Kind of cool to have your birth cert. signed by Colin Powell, though.)

And on the subject of US Drivers Licenses - every state has different requirements and WIDE range of fees (trust me, I've lived in 10 states and been licensed in 6 of them). Washington has been the easiest and least expensive; Connecticut the most expensive, and Rhode Island the most bloody annoying DMV experience ever.


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

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