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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 06:55 pm (UTC)
You're better than that George
Hey George, please stop. You're better than that.

This here is one of those topics that reasonable people can disagree about without throwing around words like "reprehensible" and "despicable."

I personally believe that asking people to be capable of attaining some basic form of identification is not overly burdensome. However, I recognize that such a requirement in the voting arena may unfairly disenfranchise segments of the population if it is not done responsibly.

There is potential voter fraud to consider on the one hand (which has occurred and is debilitating to a democracy/republic) and potential disenfranchisement to consider on the other hand (which is equally debilitating).

The answer is for people like you and I who disagree on this topic to come up with a responsible solution that works for both of us and the country. The answer in NOT to demand that our position be accepted in totality, and suggest that anyone who disagrees is "reprehensible," "despicable," and "racist."

It's this sort of zero sum demonizing of the other side that is crippling our government.

I am open to your thoughts on my post, and welcome any debate that may follow therefrom.

Edited at 2012-08-14 06:57 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Explain the nose bone poster of our President the teabaggers so love to hold up then. Explain why in 2009 a city official in Orange County sent out an email flyer to her friends through the city government email using racist remarks about Obama eating watermelon and fried chicken. Explain the Birthers. It's racism. Old, Southern, pre-civil rights racism. There's no other way to look at it. So if you disagree with it, do something about it instead of denouncing logical individuals when they call it like it is.


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

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