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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.



Jonathan M Osment
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:19 pm (UTC)
How sad...
It is a very sad day, at least for me, when one of my favorite authors... has shown such a lack of reason and foresight. I have lost quite a bit of respect for George due to this and I hope he can come around to realize what he is posting is nothing more than political wrangling, one that fits a confirmation bias... rather than any objective truth or reason.

Over 160 counties in the US are already raising red flags. They have more voter registrations than they should have, not just by a small margin either.

The objective fact, the reality is, VOTER FRAUD is a huge problem in the United States of America. You cannot over look it and expect liberty much less democracy to work. It is not rational to not fight to find a solution to such a critical problem.

You need ID to drive a car, purchase alcohol, get a visa... There is nothing suppressive about requiring some sign that says they are who they say they are. If I come out and vote, I am not voting as an unknown, but a person, a citizen with a name. That name should be known and verified. It is not irrational to ask this when my vote affects (or gives the illusion of affecting) the future of the USA.

I would be more than glad to hear alternative solutions to suppressing voter fraud... but can you name something better proving you are who you say you are, especially when your vote under your name, as a citizen, is put forth in an official manner? Should someone be allowed to steal your vote? Voter fraud has the same effect as stealing or diminishing the vote. Not requiring ID.

A proactive, intelligent response would be to find a solution. Why not call for IDs to be given out free to those who cant afford it?

I highly doubt that is the case, but that is the argument one side is making...that it "disenfranchises voters". But their evidence is not really based on reason or sound factual evidence, and if it were more than empty rhetoric, a means to trigger emotional reactions for the sake of political maneuvering, then why not call for a solution rather than preventing one.

I am asking for wisdom, I am asking for intelligence, a rational approach that recognizes the confirmation bias and squashes it in order to achieve the optimal result.

George, your comments towards what a republic are and are not clearly show to me you are not aware of what defines a republic. It is based on LAW, a law is a means of order and if it is Order intended for the people, then protecting the sanctity of the vote is in line with the republic.

Dont forget, John Adam's once said "Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."

I would hope you of all people would know the history of man well enough to see this.

I also do not see how one could be angry at the republican party and not the democrat party, and vice versa. Both are equally responsible for the degrading of liberty and the perversion of government. Corruption abounds in both parties and if any emotional response must be given, it should be done so because our whole political system is a corrupt mess.

We need solutions, not biases or political affiliations. Step out of the box and look in.


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

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