If you have to stop people from voting to win, your ideas suck.
Two startling admissions by Republican officials in the past few months have been noted and then allowed to fade into the torrent of information fed at us each and every day. We cannot let this undeniable proof that our democracy is being subverted be allowed to slip into our browsing history like a nipslip or hilarious Bill Murray sighting. This is one instance when the power of the Internet to share and reshare information must be utilized to spread what the media won’t or can’t.
I’ll risk injecting all the gravity I have to say a simple fact: your right to vote is at stake in the 2012 election.
The GOP plot to disenfranchise voters has been exposed for what it is: an attempt to subvert our democratic republic and install those who will serve those who fund the Republican Party. The sacred right to vote, the most crucial civil right, must be defended.
Look at the evidence. It comes directly from the mouths of Republicans.
Republicans have admitted they’re after your fight to vote. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) was listing the state GOP’s accomplishments. The kicker:
“Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Following this, the Party admitted there wasn’t one case of voter fraud they could name, the alleged impetus for the Voter ID law. This week the Republican governor admitted he didn’t even know which IDs are acceptable under the law.
The only purpose for this law is to stop Democrats from voting. We have to thank the GOP in Pennsylvania for making that clear.
This isn’t a new tactic. Greg Palast’s book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy documents how Florida’s GOP purged voter roles and prevented black voters from casting voters in 2000. But it wasn’t until this last week that a former Republican official admitted what Palast found.
Florida’s former Republican Party Chair said in a sworn deposition:
“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting.”
You’ve heard that voter IDs are a poll tax, new Jim Crow laws. The profound injustice of targeting African-Americans’ right to vote less than fifty years after it was finally enshrined into law should make all patriotic Americans ill.
What we all suspected is true. The GOP is seeking to prevent the most vulnerable from voting in hopes of getting into power in implementing an agenda that serves the most powerful.
We have to stop pretending that this tradition of excluding the powerless from elections wasn’t built into this republic from its inception. Women, blacks and white males who didn’t own property were excluded from voting for generations.
The right of citizens of all genders and races to vote and determine their own fate was an innovation of the last one hundred years. It’s part of a progressive tradition that made America great, that made it possible for us to build a middle class, that made it possible for us to defeat the fascist and communist menaces.
Just as good progressives should stand up and say “We should boycott Chick-fil-A but never prevent them from doing business,” good conservatives need to say “If any American’s right to vote is denied, my right can be denied.”
Freedom requires the right to vote. Republicans oppose that right and Americans need to know why.
[CC image by hjl]