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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. 13th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
1) I know someone who had their vote "stolen" from them by someone committing voter fraud. How is requiring a picture ID racist/sexist/ageist/etc? I have yet to hear an explanation to this that bears even a token resemblance to reality. In Virginia all you need to do is show a bill. Any Fraudster could swing by my mailbox on election day, swipe the power bill, go vote my vote, and I would not know until I showed up to vote. Every "show your papers" proposal I've heard involves showing a driver's license, a government issued ID (which in the Commonwealth of Virginia runs like 10 bucks and you get it same-day), or the voter's card that the election commission mails to you free when you register to vote.

2) Stop the racism rants, all of you on the left. Take a second and look up the word "dissent" in the dictionary. I am a republican-leaning libertarian. I disagreed with policies under Carter and Clinton. I disagree with those same ideas/policies under Obama. I did not get called a racist for dissent until Obama was elected/inaugurated. There is a big difference. Unless I say something like "I don't like ___ policy because Obama is nothing but a stupid [racial slur I won't say]" you cannot call me a racist. Can you not counter my arguments of small government, low taxes, and personal responsibility that you need to try to throw me onto one of the third rails of politics (race)? I had hoped someone who WRITES for a living would be a little more... IMAGINATIVE in formulating an argument to convince me that I'm in the wrong.

In my neighborhood growing up, we all knew each other, the world has changed. I doubt you would recognize me walking down the street, even if I lived on your block.

It's easy to pick nits in the peanut gallery. How do you propose to 1) keep voter fraud from happening, and 2) not falling afoul of your police state argument?


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

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