Much has been said about Republican / Tea Party – led efforts to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters this 2012 election cycle. Though vehemently denied by Republicans, the empirical evidence points strongly against them. From their strong and successful efforts to shut down ACORN beginning in 2009 for its successful minority voter registration efforts the year before, to their latest attempts to limit early weekend voting, to the adoption by so many Republican-led legislatures all across the country of measures to install nearly identical restrictive voter ID irequirements in each state, it has been pretty obvious to this blogger and many others what they are really up to. There is simply no other explanation for the massive amount of students or minorities being singled out for disenfranchisement, as the overwhelming majority of them typically vote Democratic. There is likewise no suitable explanation for the curtailment of early weekend voting, or the severe cutback of voter registration hours outside of normal working hours, as it is obvious that most of those registering at those times will also be voting Democratic. There is no suitable explanation for a Tea Party Pennsylvania legislator gleefully calling out on video tape, “Voter ID - which will enable Mitt Romney to carry this state – done deal!” There is also no suitable explanation for Robert Simpson, a highly partisan, activist Republican Pennsylvania judge, having heard strong evidence to the contrary, from then refusing to rule against the recently passed and highly restrictive voter ID bill on grounds that it was discriminatory and would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who were minority, elderly, poor, or otherwise couldn’t afford new state-issued IDs. Pennsylvanians should impeach and retire this judge for his blatantly discriminatory decision.
The now Tea Party-infested, highly reactionary Republican Party has embarked on this near-resurrection of discriminatory Jim Crow laws with only one purpose in mind: to defeat as many Democrats as possible and thereby regain total control of all branches of the government. Once this aim has been achieved, they will succeed in what they have been attempting to do in various ways ever since 1935: privatizing Social Security and the U.S. Postal Service, and end or severely curtail nearly all other social safety-net programs such as welfare and unemployment compensation. All regulatory reforms enacted since the Great Depression will be ended, and the result will be a resunption of racial and economic discrimination on a large scale. They will repeal the Affordable Care Act, end Medicare and Medicaid, and replace them with a woefully inadequate voucher system which will do nothing to control rising medical costs and will only result in a huge and rapid increase of people being unable to afford health insurance and others being denied coverage for a variety of ridiculous reasons. They will also gut OSHA and completely do away will with labor unions. The country will slide into massive poverty as millions of middle class jobs will disappear, only to be replaced by much lower-paying ones. Taxes will be slashed and the net result will be an unbelievably massive shift in wealth from the bottom to only the uppermost peak of those at the very top of the income scale. THIS disaster will occur in the Republicans succeed in this latest voter suppression drive they are spearheading.
The conservatives insist that they are only trying to prevent voter fraud from occurring. They have been convinced by a very small segment of dishonest paranoids in their ranks that President Obama, the nation’s first African-American President, was elected fraudulently by massive amounts of unqualified minority votes supplied by ACORN in 2008, and they are bound determined to prevent a recurrence in 2012. That, of course, is a LIE because study after study has proven repeatedly that voter fraud has occurred only in an insignificantly small number of isolated cases over a great many years; massive amounts of non-citizens have NOT been casting ballots; and very few deceased people’s names have been added to the ranks of eligible voters in an effort to steal elections!
While I am NOT your typical Glenn Beck-style conspiracy theorist who continually sees ominous nonexistent threats lurking everywhere, I DO see this vote-suppression activity as a cynical conspiracy deliberately aimed to deny progressives/liberals/Democrats/minorities their Constitution-given right to vote. After capturing a large number of governorships and statehouses in the fateful 2010 election, the Republican Governors Association hurriedly convened a meeting in which these disenfranchisement efforts were discussed and adopted. Over the next few months, a large number of states passed them and put them into effect. They are in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
It is shameful that the Republican Party, which once stood for fairness and universal suffrage, should have disintegrated in to the pathetic, anti-democracy / exclusionary MESS it has now become. Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt are surely spinning in their graves to see the awful damage this misguided Tea Party infusion has wrought! The Tea Party loves to think of itself as true interpreters – indeed, DEFENDERS – of what our Founding Fathers originally intended for our country. But they completely overlook the fact that our Founding Fathers themselves recognized that our country must, over time, change to meet the challenges of future, unforseen needs. That is why they created the Bill of Rights in the first place! This also enabled our country to enact kegislation which freed the slaves, allowed ex-slaves, and then women, the right to vote, and later on provided economic rights to workers (minimum wage, labor unions, unemployment benefits, workmen’s compensation), and non-workers (welfare, dusability benefits, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid). As a result of their severely myopic overlooking of this very important piece of Americana, today’s very misguided Tea Party champions (like Michele Bachmann and VP-designate Paul RUIN) now wish to dismantle and destroy these relatively recent and vital changes to our system. One of the methods they have chosen for this task has been to deny their opponents access to the polls.
The method by which these drastic new restrictive measures were so hurriedly adopted and implemented smacks of conspiracy. As such, this particular blogger believes that all those who sponsored or passed these restrictive measures, from the very highest elected official down to the lowest representative who voted for them, along with all the political policy wonks who advised in favor of or helped draft them, should be tried and sentenced for their roles in violating that precious Voting Rights law. What are YOUR thoughts on this, readers?