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"Show Us Your Papers"

angry
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.

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Comments

tangycosmos
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Voter ID nonsense
But isn't this kind of a "things were better back in the day" sort of attitude? Yeah, flying sucks now, but that's because of extreme Islamist lunatics, not an American political agenda. 200 hundred years ago I could also go beat my neighbor over the head with a shovel, chuck him in the river and walk away with clean hands. Today we have forensic science which pretty much makes it damn near impossible to get away with anything! My bank teller also greets me by name, but only because I live in a relatively small town meaning she doesn't have 10,000 names and faces to remember. There's over 300,000,000 people in the USA now, the same amount that populated the entire world a few hundred years ago. A good percentage of those people are here illegally. I've had my identity stolen, and I'm only 22! I agree with you that things are lame and look to be only getting lamer; But I do think that we have to attempt to give everyone a fair chance. If people who are alive and well are being unregistered to vote for no apparent reason, then that's bad and needs attention. I don't think requiring an ID is anything close to evil because there are just too many people these days and we can't expect the people running the voting booths to be able to identify every single person. I think the bigger, underlying issue here is unsustainable population growth.
grrm
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Voter ID nonsense
Population growth is another issue, but we may actually in agreement on that one. However, it is off topic here.

If you think that "things are lame and getting lamer," don't you think it would be good if people spoke out and fought against this increasing "lameness?" As well as injustices, discrimnation, etc.

We all need to fight the good fight. Or lameness triumphs.
tangycosmos
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Voter ID nonsense
Absolutely. People speaking out and acting against unmitigated lameness is what created this country! I have a question though: Are you against technological progression as a whole? If you have to present your ID card to vote, it seems like a pretty innocuous action to safeguard the true spirit of the system; one person, one vote. Say we didn't use ID cards and the polling staff just whole- heartedly accepted whatever the voter said as truth. What if one person managed to vote twice, and the end tally came to candidate A beating candidate B by 1 vote. It's such a drastic and possibly world-changing outcome that such a simple measure aims to prevent. Yes it's a little affronting to present yourself as data to be ticked off, but it just doesn't seem reasonable to rely on the goodness of the human heart and the facial/name recognition skills of polling staff anymore. So is technology revealing the inner baddie within all of us?
grrm
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Voter ID nonsense
Technology should be used to make our lives better, not worse. In the service of freedom, not to decrease it.

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George R.R. Martin
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