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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. 13th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Sigh. I can't tell if you're completely missing my point and failed to comprehend what I wrote or are being deliberately obtuse.

I'm not assuming that all the disenfranchised voters are liberal or vote Democratic - I *know* that the vast majority of them do, because we have mountains of data to support that. The million plus of voters disenfranchised by this law are mostly urban, elderly, and minority voters, who overwhelming vote Democrat. This is not an assumption or opinion; this is a fact. I don't understand how you can say that there's no way of knowing who they would vote for. That's like saying that since 4% of black voters didn't vote for Obama, there's no way to tell how the average black voter will vote for this time around. Are you honestly arguing that a given demographic is likely to shift its voting habits so far as to make their choices completely unpredictable after decades of data?

Going off of what I wrote, I did not say that 10% of the disenfranchised voters voted Democrat. I said that the 1 in 10 voters that were disenfranchised tend to vote Democrat. Do you not understand the difference?

Majority of the 10% of voters disenfranchised vote Democrat =/= 10% of the disenfranchised voters vote Democrat.

Also, I'd like to point out that there's more than one race on the ballot. It's not about Obama or Not Obama, it's about state and local representation as well. It's about ballot initiatives.


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

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