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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 09:31 pm (UTC)
Voting is a RIGHT
You need an ID to do just about anything else, but everything else is not a RIGHT. In our democracy every citizen of age has a right to vote regardless of their income status, education, or physical ability. These laws don't require just any photo ID, it requires a certain type of photo ID issued by a certain department that places a financial (cost of ID), physical (if you live in the many counties throughout the country without a DMV office or countless others where it is not close), and time burden (work hours lost waiting in line) to obtain. It's one thing if the state were to give free and accessible photo IDs to every citizen along with this law, but it is not so it is placing this undue burden on certain citizens in attempt to exercise their rights (which is why critics question its intentions). Think of it this way, do you have to show a photo ID anytime you exercise another right like free speech or religion? It wouldn't be much of a right then would it?

As far as integrity of the vote, let me give you some statistics about this manufactured problem that they call "voter fraud" from my home state of TX which is considering a Voter ID law. Between 2002-2010 over 20 million votes were cast in TX. About 300 voter impersonation cases (what photo ID is trying to prevent) were submitted but of those only 9 were deemed worthy of filing charges. However, the Department of Justice estimates over 600,000-700,000 registered voters in TX will not have this newly required ID to vote if this law goes through (many of which live in counties that do not have a DMV where they need obtain the necessary ID). So I ask you, what is a greater threat to our democracy? A handful of impersonators on rare occasions that likely have no effect on the outcome of any election or creating an obstacle that may prevent hundreds of thousands of CITIZENS from voting each year?
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
Re: Voting is a RIGHT
You only need to be three things to be eligible to vote: A citizen, 18 years or over, and registered within your precinct - where you live.
The 2000 election came down to 380 votes....just saying
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:23 am (UTC)
The 2000 election came down to 380 vote
You're wrong.

The 200 election came down to 5 votes.

The five conservative members of the Supreme Court ordered the state of Florida to STOP COUNTING THE VOTES and gave the election to GW Bush.

Yeah that was surely in the spirit and letter of letting the voters decide. A SC decision that even declared that their decision was to never be used again in legal arguments.

Edited at 2012-08-14 01:25 am (UTC)
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
Re: The 2000 election came down to 380 vote
Parrismch... using that arguement then the 33 states that have had reforendums against same sex marriage would be "Letting the voters decide" like you said?! right?! also the 2k elections is a perfect example of the Judges on the Supreme Court being human... the next example was their recent ruling on HR 3200... Nuff said.
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Voting is a RIGHT
Lep... Proving that you are entitled to those rights would not be stopping anyone from using them... your argument "do you have to show a photo ID anytime you exercise another right like free speech or religion? It wouldn't be much of a right then would it?" is missing a few key points... 1st: walking into some where and saying whatever you feel is not an official transaction nor is it being tracked (perhaps it is IDK) 2nd: Churches all over the world are considered in most cases public places. If you registered to vote, or cash SSI checks or purchase a vehicle or buy a cell phone, use your debit card, apply for a home health aide, or live in a nursing home (those 2 last ones should over the elderly and non mobile) your are supposed to have an ID card... Nuff said.


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

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