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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 02:57 pm (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with this post. But, then I always suspected we'd have similar politics after reading ASoIF.

I find most fantasy novels to be troubling in their adoration of authoritarianism (usually in the form of monarchy), militarism, worth being hereditary, disregard for poor people, and other questionable values (many of which the current crop of republicans are espousing). Your novels don't do those things. It is why I love them so, I why this post does not surprise me...rather I can just be delighted by it.

Bravo, sir!
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
FWIW... I am pretty upfront about my political views... but I also strive to keep contemporary politics out of my medieval fantasies.

Mind you, there are certain themes that are universal -- musings on power, justice, the purpose of government -- and those will inevitably be a part of any book that treats with kings and wars, etc.
Aug. 13th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
i like that your books are not anachronistic
I very much like that you don't do that. It doesn't fit in the kind of world you created.

One thing that bugs me about fantasy and historical fiction is when authors make characters modern to make them likeable. They are likely guys with modern, western values surrounded by a bunch of messed up, evil, and crazy people. I think making a character modern is a cheap way to make them likeable.


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

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