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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.



Travis Bone
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:19 am (UTC)
The game of political thrones

Being a middle class moderate, I could care one way or another about this political issue. I'll have to take some action, or I won't.

What's interesting is that you've taken a harsh stance on something you feel passionate about, but in the end you're only going to be affected negatively by this stance. People choose to buy fictitious books based on the content of the book, not the political affiliation or stances of the author. However, some people will decide not to buy a book because of the political affiliation or stances of the author.

Like Ned Stark, you've firmly taken a stance on something that will in no way effect you positively and can only effect you negatively.

I'm not sure whether to applaud you or sigh. Here's to honor!
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: The game of political thrones
Even assuming you were right... (which you're not)... what good is us having free speech in this country if we are afraid to use it because it might cost us a few bucks?
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
Even though you still buy into a broken system, I will still be the first in line to buy your books or drive a few hundred miles for an autograph. If I turned away from everyone I disagreed with, I'd be very lonely.
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: The game of political thrones
I'd rather stand up and speak out about what is right, than be a coward for my own selfish interests.


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

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