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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.



Robert Fiorentino
Aug. 12th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: You gotta think
Not only is voter fraud completely insignificant, requiring IDs should only be on the table of discussion if the government is willing to make it easy to obtain an ID and FREE. Otherwise it's a poll tax as stated many times here.

And if this a "fairness" issue, why are all these (Republican controlled) states suddenly scrambling to pass these laws before the election? They will stop maybe a dozen cases of voter fraud at the expense of 10s or 100s of thousands of democratic votes. Sound suspicious?
Aug. 13th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
If your stance is to issue free ID's than I'm with you.
If you are serious that voter fraud is insignificant because it's small in scale, I wholeheartedly disagree.
If a single vote is stolen, it's an issue.
If voter fraud is possible, regardless of scale, the government has an obligation to fix it without disenfranchising anyone.
Now let's hear a "fair" way to go about it.
If one person gets mugged in a city, the cops show up. They don't write it off as insignificant and drive past.
If you can prove on November 11th that not a single vote was stolen, I will forfeit my stance, hail you all knowing and tattoo fool on my forehead.
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Correction, I meant November the 7th. I always mix up the Marine Corps birthday with election day. Election day is the 6th this year.
Robert Fiorentino
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
"If one person gets mugged in a city, the cops show up. They don't write it off as insignificant and drive past."

Are you kidding me? Go to any bad neighborhood in a large city, and people get stuff stolen all the time with no police intervention. They simply don't have the manpower. It becomes a triage thing. A lot of stuff that's definitely NOT insignificant gets deemed insignificant because they can't handle that kind of volume.

Now in this voter fraud "problem", the amount of fraud actually is insignificant, statistically speaking. I'm not saying it's insignificant from a principle standpoint, but it is insignificant in that the amount of voter fraud that takes place does not come near affecting the election. Not even close. HOWEVER, the amount of legal voters who will not be able to vote because they don't have drivers licenses is SIGNIFICANT. Hundreds of thousands or millions of voters who will not get to vote.

So while it would be nice if there was zero voter fraud, why can't this be addressed next year? Why are only Republicans pushing for it, in swing states, with the election 3 months away? I'll give you a hint - they're not doing it because of their principles or because it's right. They're doing it to gain any advantage they can to win the election. It's pure politics. They're doing what they can to suppress voters that will vote against them.

So if politicians want to do this - fine, but don't do it without giving out free IDs, making it easy to get, and doing it well in advance of any significant elections. Absent of all that, stop being shady slimeballs trying to cheat with elections.
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. You rightfully dismantled my analogy. We can wait till after the election before tackling the issue. We can issue free ID's as I've said. We can take it a step farther by having the government utilize the info they have on every citizen in regards to birth certificates, SSC, adoption records, immigration records, selective service records and whatever else they have. This way, no one is disenfranchised. I'm a strong advocate that every legal citizen of this country, votes. I'm even for allowing felons the right. There must be a way to ensure fairness so it protects us all. My biggest push is to incorporate technology that allows every legal citizen to vote on every issue that effects them. Maybe a secure app. Hire an army of hackers and pay them a million dollars a year to ensure security. Utilize the representatives on both sides to ensure the hired hackers stay legit. It's a big dream, I know but it is the future. Our system is an outdated one.
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
So better they disenfranchise large chunks of the population than risk ONE SINGLE person voting fraudulently?

If you don't see what's wrong with this line of reasoning then I suppose there's no point in trying to argue with you.


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

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