Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Right to Discriminate Against Voters in the US

It’s a wonderful world. A world where our perception is more likely than not to override reality. A person’s life is a mess but they don’t want to face it so they create a fiction that’s easier to live with. A dictator uses chemical weapons on citizens who oppose him but he sees himself as the country’s savior. A man has immense skills, intellect and creative capacity but his self esteem is so ravaged that he sees himself as worthless. A woman is absolutely beautiful but she’s addicted to plastic surgery and ends up looking like a blow-up doll and she thinks now I’m beautiful

A country has a world class Constitution that everybody reveres; that is looked to as the most progressive on the earth. And its Supreme Court makes a ruling that allows conservative states to implement rigorous voter ID laws that will effectively cut out a whole sector of the population’s access to voting. Of course the ruling allows progressive states to do it also, so it’s fair.

And the argument for striking down a law that prohibited this practice? Well, the law was to protect African Americans in the deep South racist states. And there’s no more racism there any more. Texas isn’t racist now? 48 years is plenty of time to change hatred, fear and a belief in the right to violent domination that’s been etched into a national psyche? This from the Supreme Court? The ignorance is shocking. Voter access standards should and must be at the lowest common denominator, so that the poorest person can vote. That’s what democracy is about. Otherwise, it’s not democracy.

This ruling notches up that standard so that the poorest can’t vote. Not if they can’t afford a photo ID. States can do whatever they want now. Their decision can be challenged – in Congress, that body notorious for employing dirty tricks to prevent reasonable laws being enacted that will empower the lower and middle classes.

Ross Douthat, a conservative Republican who writes a column for the New York Times, recently wrote that this ruling is actually a gift for Democrats, essentially because it will make them rally and voter turnout will increase. This writer has very curious logic and, in true Conservative Republican style, makes grandiose statements but doesn't back them up with facts - because the facts contradict his position. 

Sarcastically he writes that liberals are expecting Republican states to roll out laws that will “suppress” voters. Well, his sarcasm falls horribly flat. He omitted to mention that within 24 hours of the Supreme Court ruling, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said "With today's decision, the state's voter ID law will take effect immediately…Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government." (DallasMorning News 25 June 2013).

As of last Thursday photo ID was required of voters in Texas. That was fast. Not mentioning this was the writer’s his way of proving his point and the merit of his sarcasm?

But the argument that really floored me was his saying that taking away a person’s rights to vote is good for them. Well then we must congratulate husbands who beat their wives and rape their little girls, priests who rape little boys, men and women who traffic women and children, because look at all the support there is for those victims now. 

This Supreme Court ruling makes a mockery of everything America hopes to stand for, and exposes the truth. Which is that half of America stands for everything that is good and progressive regarding human rights. 

The other half is doing everything it can to drag the country down to a place of no integrity, no morals, no respect for human rights or dignity. In other words, strip it of everything that makes it a democracy. And Justices seriously need to educate themselves on psychology and broaden their perspective. They know perfectly well that the current Congress will not stand in the way of any state that wants to instigate repressive voter ID laws. The only states that will want to do it are Republican, because the poorer people in America vote Democrat. Which means that Section 4 should not have been struck down.

Is this how Republicans plan to win the next election? Only a year ago they were talking about how they knew they had to change if they wanted to hold onto any position at all, given the shifting demographics. Well, this is one way of changing. Get dirtier.