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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 06:59 pm (UTC)
im ok if you give free IDs to poor people
Give a free state ID of some sort to poor people who don't drive. Let them get it at the local library, DMV, and a few other places that are likely to be in their neighborhoods.

As far as getting birth certificates to prove citizenship... this should be free for poor people. It would cost a next to nothing.
I think many of these laws provide free IDs. My understanding is that the Texas law does provide free IDs. I am not sure about the others.

It is a good idea to provide free IDs to poor people in general. Whenever I take a new job, I have to fill out a W-4 and the employer wants to photocopy my drivers license. So there is need for poor people to have IDs. I believe you have to show ID to buy Sudafed in a lot of states now. (this is because it can be used to make an illegal drug so they try to restrict it). I have also had to show IDs at doctors offices.

If I decide to move to Mexico or some other Central or South American country(might do that when I retire due to cost of living difference), I can't expect to walk into a local government building, announce my presence and expect to be allowed to vote. If I chose to take on Mexican citizenship for whatever reason, I would have to follow their immigration process.

I do find it rather disturbing that liberals don't come back and go 'why don't we just give poor people IDs, They have a need for them beyond voting anyway'. I doubt it would cost much of anything. It makes me wonder what the true motive is. Do you just want to complain and see discrimination in every corner? Or do you think that people who are not yet citizens should be allowed to vote?
Neil Fox
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)
Re: im ok if you give free IDs to poor people
This is one of the most constructive posts on this blog.


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

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