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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 09:34 am (UTC)
Turn back the clock
We have been here before. In the 1850's, the Free Soil Party tried to staunch the immigrant flow into USA. They created a party and managed to elect people and even had former President Mildred Fillmore run as their candidate. What Free Soil and now Tea Party lack is a pragmatic vision. Today as then, we have a need for immigrants. The Tea Party seems to lash out in very destructive ways. This whole thing with voter id is a classic example that flies in the face of precedent that allow an honor system of voting. In the past, when I talk about past I talk about over 50 years of questionable voting in which falls into vote early vote often. There is no indication that practice has happened recently. Sorry Fox News, you seem to make up these stories without a shred of evidence.

What we have is a broken immigrant policy that doesn't work. A political system so divided that it is impossible to do a simple humane thing by allowing minors the ability to gain citizenship. Somehow, that simple act we our rewarding people that broke the law? Come on, we invest in someones education and at the end; we say sorry but go somewhere else.

Believe or not, there are US citizens that don't have birth certificate because they were born under Jim Crow, so they have no drivers license and therefore no passport. They would be hard pressed to prove citizenship under some of these voter id laws since they don't recognize these situations. Like they have paid taxes for decades.

Slowly, these voter id laws are being shot down by the courts as bad and unconstitutional. I totally agree with Mr Martin's sentiments and it is a distraction from USA pressing problems that need to be addressed instead of focusing on these phantom problems.


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

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