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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.



Galactic Overlord
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
The Gay Marriage Wedge Issue
Mr. Martin,

I grew up reading comic books, watching STAR TREK/WARS and other iterations of Big Space Opera, finished THE HOBBIT by the end of 4th grade, and proceeded to take the next decade trudging through LOTR. I, therefore, would say those are adequate Nerd Credentials.

We all know the Nerd Existentialist Crisis of high school, being a pimply kid who needs to retreat to Mordor or the Death Star to get over the fact he can't get laid. Augment that with being gay and figuring that out in a male-only Catholic school and you know me to a T. Nothing dramatic, just typical gay nerd credentials.

Basically, with the exception of bits of STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND and the corpus of Samuel R Delaney, LGBT themes and issues in sci-fi/fantasy have never had a huge voice, and there certainly is yet to be a queer epic akin to the hetero-normative writings of Tolkien, Frank Herbert, or Harlan Ellison, though your works certainly shatters taboo.

Can we perhaps hope for future posts dealing with the issues regarding how the issue of gay marriage will be made into a wedge issue like Jim Crow laws were by Wallace et al a generation back?

Your podium would enable you to tell so many kids they will be okay and being gay is not wrong, that it gets better, and suicide is not an option for winners like them. The feeling of seeing your sexual orientation and discrimination against it being used as a reason to vote in favor of an American candidate really just hurts me as an American citizen, and I am really tired of the horse shit.

With respects

Andrew Stewart

You are now perhaps the first or second most popular living fantasy author as of this writing, as you have both a foot in the publishing and television worlds. Your pen reaches millions more than any other author.

You also, obviously, are a sane Democrat. I don't think I need to


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

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