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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 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
That's just crap. The issue the left has with voter ID laws is that it prevents Mickey Mouse or your dead uncle Bob from voting for Dems. 75% of the country support voter ID laws. Google it. There has been plenty of prime examples of voter fraud to demonstrate the need for these kind of protections.

And lets be clear, it was Dems who pushed Jim Crow laws. It was Dems who started the KKK and it was Dems who constantly voted against civil rights legislation. These are all facts, look them up and educate yourself.
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
It was Lyndon Baines Johnson who PASSED the most significant civil rights legislation (with the help of Everett Dirksen and many Republicans of conscience). Including the Voting Rights Act.

Yes, much of what you say about Jim Crow and the KKK is true. Half a century ago. Thanks for the history lesson.

Here's the next chapter. The south used to be solidly Democratic. The white racists voted for the racist Dems, the blacks voted Republican. Then LBJ passed those civil rights laws, Nixon came up with his "southern strategy," and the parties switched roles. Now the south is solidly red, with the blacks voting blue, just the reverse of what it was in the 1920s, at the height of the KKK.

As you said -- these are all facts, look them up and educate yourself.


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

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