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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. 14th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
What's the big deal?
I really don't see how you can be upset that a voter is required to show ID before voting...that's how we know who the person is. You need ID to buy a plane ticket, operate a car, and even rent a movie, what's the big deal?
If you really think people are disenfranchised by the onerous burden of showing one of the several forms of valid ID, then help make sure every potential Democratic voter has ID! Donate money to drive the "young, the old, the black, the brown" to the DMV or passport office to pick up ID.
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC)
Re: What's the big deal?
Here's the big deal: there are millions of people in this country, many of them elderly, or students (funny how the GOP made sure to disqualify student IDs from allowing students to vote where they go to school), or very poor people who don't have the resources to track down a $75 birth certificate in order to obtain the "free" state ID card...
These voter ID laws DO disenfranchise MANY citizens. They prevent NO "voter fraud." They are a despicable attempt to tilt the playing field, because studies show that low turnout favors conservative candidates.
If you want further proof of the GOP's motives in rushing through this obscene assault on our rights, look no further than Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai's comments: "Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done," he said to applause at a Republican State Committee in June. You can look it up on YouTube, there's a clip of him actually saying that.

Edited at 2012-08-14 05:46 am (UTC)


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

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