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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.



Meghan Hubbell
Aug. 14th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
I have to agree with Kyle here. I live in Georgia, and there are so many illegal citizens that have been allowed to vote for someone the know nothing about and about politics they know nothing about. I've been having to show these documents upon getting my license for a while, and don't have a problem with it. There are way too many people that have been allowed to vote that know nothing about what they're doing. Is there any way to start testing people? hahaha Where I live, I see too many able bodied people counting on that government check instead of getting out there and trying to make a living. Is that fair for hard working citizens to keep paying our taxes to these lazy people? Also, Mr. Martin, I absolutely love your books and like Kyle here, I totally appreciate and respect your work, but I do have to ask; if you feel so strongly about papers, how do you feel about the Democratic solution to Medicare? This Obama-care they're calling it. I just wonder, since you're ranting about Republicans. I mean that in the most respectful way, please keep in mind sir. I'm a huge fan, and just interested in your opinion on this matter. Thank You
Aug. 14th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
That is really off topic, but I will answer, since you asked 'in the most respectful way.'

I am not a huge fan of what the right calls "Obamacare." I would have much preferred a single-payer system, like Canada or Australia.

However, 'Obamacare' is still about one thousand percent better than what we had before. Given our nation's wealth, the American health care system was a disgrace, in dire need of reform.

And come on with this "lazy people" stuff, Meghan. I grew up poor, I knew and know a lot of people on welfare, and none of them were lazy. Most would have loved to have a good, well-paying job. Especially one with some medical benefits, in case they got sick.


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

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