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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.



Jose Sarmento
Aug. 13th, 2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
Still don't get the anti-ID stance...
How different is it to have your name and address stored on a voter registry vs. having your name and a 12-digit code stored on a nationwide ID registry?

My national ID card has my name (no address), photo (which is not stored in a registry I believe, just for face-to-name matching when you present the card), fingerprint (ibid, except if you have a criminal record), and my taxpayer's / social security / national ID number and date of birth. We can use it in a bar to prove our age (not that I've been asked in quite a while...), we can use it to get a passport, to get health care, to vote, to pay taxes, to apply for a pension or to pick it up from the post office, to open a bank account...

Sure, my name and numbers information are stored somewhere, but neither myself nor - seriously - anyone I know feels in the least that their freedom is hamstrung by the card in any way.

IMHO the benefits far outweigh the downsides... and it feels a bit of an oversimplification to say "We don't need a "solution" since we do not have a problem." and then end up resorting to the DL for the myriad of very plausible daily life situations where a national ID card would come in handy.

Everything else you said - I'm with you. :)


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

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