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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.



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.


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

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