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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.



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Kyle Wag
Aug. 12th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC)
Glad to see we agree on a political stand-point George!
Aug. 12th, 2012 09:36 am (UTC)
Well said. Thank you!

And you didn't even go into the efforts in Ohio to mess with polling station hours which would result in extend hours for voting in heavily Republican areas of the state, while limiting the hours in heavily Democratic areas, citing "budget constraints" for having to limit hours. This follows on from the last failed redistricting attemp (although I understand they will attempt it again).
Omer Belsky
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
Its not really a partisan thing...
Democrats have stolen elections in the past. Lyndon Johnson won in 1948 when he had hundreds of votes, in the same handwriting and in alphabetic order, "appear" long after the ballot was over, and great Liberal legal heroes helped him get away with it.

Aug. 12th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Its not really a partisan thing...
Democrats AND Republicans have stolen elections in the past.

Yes, Lyndon Johnson, Major Daley, yadda yadda yadda, sure. But there were Republican Machines as well, and they were just as corrupt as their Democractic counterparts.

And most recent stolen election in American was the 2000 presidential election, won by Al Gore, stolen by George W. Bush. The GOP went all the way to the Supreme Court TO SPEND THE COUNTING OF THE VOTES.

I mean, how basic, how obvious, how blatant can one get? They brought suit to STOP THEM COUNTING VOTES.
Re: Its not really a partisan thing... - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Its not really a partisan thing... - archpundit - Aug. 14th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Todd Hutson
Aug. 12th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Show Us Your Papers
Honestly, George? I'm disappointed. Painting this issue in Nazi "Papiere, bitte" colors isn't helping you. It's a simple matter, really. To vote in a country's elections, one must be a citizen of that country. The same can be said also when broken down into smaller regional districts. For instance as a gay, married man living in New York state, I certainly wouldn't want those conservative Texans sneaking up here to vote on the gay marriage issue.
As a friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day: "Wow! Your constant political posts on Facebook have finally brought me around to your way of thinking...Said no one...ever!"
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
You will allow democrats to register the dead and their dogs to vote, and that's cool? Chicago politics has been doing this for years, but apparently you are either ill-informed or don't care. Grow up George. You're old enough to not be a fire-breathing liberal.
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Re: So....
Oh, that's such crap.

Are you going to dig up Major Daley again? Dude has been dead for decades, and whatever might have happened in 1960... HAPPENED IN 1960.

There is no evidence that anyone is registering dogs and dead people, so please, spare us all the Rush Limbaugh dittohead rhetoric. Just repeating a lie over and over does not make it true.
Re: So.... - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: So.... - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with this post. But, then I always suspected we'd have similar politics after reading ASoIF.

I find most fantasy novels to be troubling in their adoration of authoritarianism (usually in the form of monarchy), militarism, worth being hereditary, disregard for poor people, and other questionable values (many of which the current crop of republicans are espousing). Your novels don't do those things. It is why I love them so, I why this post does not surprise me...rather I can just be delighted by it.

Bravo, sir!
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
FWIW... I am pretty upfront about my political views... but I also strive to keep contemporary politics out of my medieval fantasies.

Mind you, there are certain themes that are universal -- musings on power, justice, the purpose of government -- and those will inevitably be a part of any book that treats with kings and wars, etc.
Aug. 12th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Start Here for Documentation
For those who doubt this is occurring I direct you to the Brennan Center for Justice. They are taking steps to defend this precious and basic right.


And I do have the "qualifications" you demand. I was an attorney with a speciality in Constitutional law. Now I'm "just a writer" so you may choose to discount me, but I urge you to follow the links and analysis of the Brennan Center.
Aug. 12th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you
I think my thank you to you didn't go through, George, so I'm trying again.

Thank you for your eloquent post. This is a terrifying assault on a right that is fundamental to our Constitution and democracy, and frankly, it's scaring the hell out of me.

Aug. 12th, 2012 03:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this post, I think you are actually educating some of your readers (I hope so), I'm amazed at how many people are just oblivious to this issue. Of course I can tell you that the State of Iowa passed 'voter ID laws' but it wasn't covered in the newspaper or local network news! If citizens don't pursue knowledge then they will remain ignorant.

I understand that Nixon was totally convinced that Kennedy stole the 1960 election with voter fraud in Chicago (and I don't know that he was wrong), and many Republicans from his administration felt that ANYTHING was fair after that.

The purging of legal voters from the registered voter lists in Florida were the reason Bush won in 2000 (along with a corrupt Supreme Court). And there was real evidence of Bush's Republicans in Ohio stealing that state to insure his election 2004 with gerry-rigged electronic voting machines. This is just the next step in their (evident) sense that anything they can get away with, they should.
Denise Christensen
Aug. 12th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
You gotta think
The only purpose of showing an I'd for voting is to make sure you are who you say you are. Most of the time I show an ID to use my credit card, and in an age with identity theft, why is proving you are who you say you are such a bad thing? This suppresses no one
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Re: You gotta think
This is a solution without a problem.

Study after study has shown that voter fraud occurs at levels so small as to insignificant.
(no subject) - misterdaniel - Aug. 13th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 13th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 13th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pbagosy - Aug. 13th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - apostle_of_eris - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: You gotta think - Robert Fiorentino - Aug. 12th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 13th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 14th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Robert Fiorentino - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadur - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
What is the solution?
So what is the solution to ensure that only legal, honest citizens vote and our elections are not marred by law breakers? I'm open for ideas.

The answer is not to accept that illegal votes will count.
The answer is also not to suppress legal citizens from voting.

So what is a good solution to ensure that each voter is a legal citizen of the US and entitled to vote in the US, in their state, in their county?
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Re: What is the solution?
We don't need a "solution" since we do not have a problem.

Study after study has shown that voter fraud occurs at levels so small as to insignificant.

Should we disenfranchise millions to prevent the malfeasance of dozens?
Re: What is the solution? - presdlee - Aug. 12th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: What is the solution? - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: What is the solution? - Neville Ross - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: What is the solution? - presdlee - Aug. 12th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
here, go do some research for yourself - parrismcb - Aug. 13th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: What is the solution? - Danny Widdel - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: What is the solution? - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: What is the solution? - Danny Widdel - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Euler Ferrer Jr
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
As a true libertarian of over 20 years, I couldn't agree with you more.

This is the same group that hijacked the legit grass roots tea party movement whose only focus was to limit growth of government. But has turned into a platform of a bunch of extreme right wing xenophobes.

This is a pure power grab.
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
I guess this is where I should agree with my favorite author. Too bad I don't fall in line. I'm a libertarian through and through. My issue is anyone with an eighth grade education buying into the propaganda from either side.
As a Marine Corps vet of Iraq and Afgan, I will defend any citizens right to vote. However ,I'm sorry but I can't see anything wrong with asking to see a DL or SSC before voting.
The argument that people cannot afford it, is absurd. I'm for giving out free Id's or SC cards if by some chance someone cannot afford it. I was raised extremely poor and still found a way. If a person slams both sides, I'm with them but if a person fully backs one side, I began to question their intellect. Not being able to afford an ID is the weakest argument I've heard since Bush's argument for war with Iraq. If we cannot wake up from the brainwash perpetrated by News media than we deserve a huge, corrupt government. We have drones watching every move we make. We have a government monitoring our every word or action online. We have an illegal federal reserve inflating our money.
I say let whoever marry that wants to.
Let people do whatever drug fancies them as long as it does not harm anyone else.
Let people say anything they want.
Keep government hands off of the Internet.
Get rid of the FR and IRS. Eliminate all tax with the exception of a sales tax.
Incorporate technology into voting and let the people vote on everything that effects them.
Throw out lobbyist and force all representatives to live amongst their constituents. They can vote from home through a secure Internet connection.
Instead of one president, go with two, the way the early Roman republic did.
Oh, and figure out a way to verify the legal status of voters.
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)
Two consuls, like the Roman Republic? That might be fun.

And maybe ten tribunes too, every one of them with an absolute right to veto any law they did not like.

The libertarian's dream. Nothing would ever get done.

Of course, you seem a well-read guy, you DO know that the Roman Republic ultimately collapsed and gave way to the Principate and the Empire? And not because of the orgies, as the Christian Right whackos would have you believe. It was because the ossified Republican system with those two consuls and ten tribunes made it next to impossible for the government actually to address any of the social problems that were arising...

So instead of taxes and land reform, the horrors the conservative elements of the Republic wanted to prevent, we got bread, circuses, civil war, and five hundred years of imperial rule.
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 12th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
You sir, are awesome - rometag - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
lets invade canada - guessingo - Aug. 13th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 13th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
It's not just the cost - it's the red tape - parrismcb - Aug. 13th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 12th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
I'm a person with very definite democratic leanings and more moderate that lives in a very conservative state. We have been 'graced' with a hyper conservative governor that's openly doing all he can to oust any and all moderates so that he can fill our legislature with nothing but cronies that'll do his bidding. (and been quite open about it too, do what he wants you to do or he'll find a way too get rid of you)

I think the bigger issue isn't as much the voter ID as it is the corruption of our general system. Popular votes don't even count in the end. The President is chosen by the electoral college. I know that, as a moderate, my vote literally doesn't count because all our electoral votes go republican. always, without question. (to the point that the candidates don't even campaign here...mixed blessing, we're spared the crap of ads but also know that they don't give a damn about us cause we don't have enough votes to matter, and we're a sure bet anyway)

Wanna level the playing field? disband the electoral college, let us choose our Prez 100% on popular vote and maybe a lot of these hyper conservative bigots will find out just how small of a faction they really are.

Gonna be hard to do, they've spent decades and decades rigging the system (just like our corporations have to avoid paying the taxes they SHOULD be paying), but the electoral college needs to go away. Then maybe we can work on stuff like a flat tax and EVERYONE paying their fair share, instead of the Prince John syndrome we have going on now.
Aug. 13th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
A constitutional republic has some benefits over a direct democracy. The electoral college serves a purpose and has worked for over 200 years. I would tread lightly with any changes to the constitution.
Aug. 13th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Tea bagging
Please refrain from using this phrase. There are plenty of good, honest and loving people who are in the Tea Party. Not only that but the Tea Party is not just one collective group. There are nutcases in all movements and all political organizations. George, I am a huge fan of your books and respect your views on the issues. But please, do not use insulting terms like tea bagging or tea bagger. It's disrespectful and only serves to undermine your argument.

Name calling and false accusations in general do nothing but serve to stir up and further divide us. If we want true hope and change in this country, we need to work together and have honest discussions and debates about the issues. And we need to elect politicians who are not self serving. I agree with your point that some politicians want to win at all costs, but it's not just the Republican party. The Democrats are just as guilty. So let's stop squabbling about the Rs and the Ds and try to find some real solutions.
Aug. 13th, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
Re: Tea bagging
It is worth noting that it was Tea Party members -- along with Fox News -- who coined the word "teabagger" for themselves when their movement first started. Admittedly, they did so in ignorance of the sexual connotations of the word.

To be sure, they only used the word for a couple of days, until Keith Obermann and other talking heads on MSNBC began to make relentless fun of them for the coinage. Then they hurriedly retreated, and adopted a "no, no, don't call us that" stance.

Which I was willing to respect, as far as that goes... until they decided to gild the lily with a little denial, and started rewriting history, saying, "No, we NEVER called ourselves that, that was all made up by the media." That part was just a flat out lie. I saw and heard tea party guys proudly calling themselves "teabaggers" with my very own ears and eyes, so I don't like being told it never happened. One guy I remember especially vividly, since he was wearing a hat with a dozen tea bags dangling down from it.

I hate Newspeak.

Edited at 2012-08-13 04:09 am (UTC)
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 13th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: After further review - rometag - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: After further review - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 14th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 14th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: After further review - SNOzero - Aug. 14th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: After further review - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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George R.R. Martin
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