Thursday, September 21, 2006

I have to take a break from the more pleasant topic of mountain climbing today. The U.S. Congress—specifically, the House of Representatives—took a major step yesterday toward finishing the process of depriving me of my right to vote. They passed a bill to impose a requirement on the States to force voters to produce foe-toe-eye-dees to be allowed to vote. I have no reason to doubt that this bill will also soon sail through the Senate and be signed into “law.”
Numerous states are already imposing such requirements on some or all of their voters. But a federal bill would eliminate the last discretion being exercised by any states still being somewhat lenient. Colorado is one of those states, and the vast majority of voters here have already given up and “gotten used to” (to use one of the fascists’ favorite phrases) handing over their foe-toe-eye-dees at the polling places.
So far, however, yours truly has managed to slip through the cracks in this system. By voting always by “absentee’’ ballot—that is, mail-in-ballot—I have avoided this requirement and continued to vote. However, I know from reading the instructions which come with my mail-in ballots (instructions which continually swell as more rules and restrictions are added with each election) that even some mail-in voters are not as fortunate.
Thus, it looks like this fall, 2006, will likely be the last election in America in which I will be allowed to vote. This, after being a registered voter, and voting in every general election, for thirty-four years, voting in the same county for thirty-two years, and voting in the very same precinct for twenty years. Thanks for less than nothing, “Republicans”!
A couple of things are worth noting (for those who still care for logic) about the apologia offered for this outrage by its supporters. First, they are quick to point out that they’ve already imposed similar requirements for a long list of other activities, including (most prominently) getting on a plane. In other words, their success in committing similar acts of aggression against us in the past makes this particular act of aggression (more) acceptable. Bunk. I, and six or seven other still-sane patriotic people, opposed all those other eye-dee requirements when they were first proposed, and the fact that our opposition was steamrollered by the fascists does not mean that we, or anybody else for that matter, are obliged to give our consent to this one.
Second, they have the nerve to assert that this power grab is both necessary and desirable to stop what they call “vote fraud,” by which they mean people who aren’t registered, or aren’t even eligible to be registered, to vote somehow casting ballots. Talk about a solution in search of a problem! If your memory is better than the “Republicans” and the mass media think it is, you might just remember that all the political impetus for “reform” in elections started with the deplorable situation in Florida in 2000. The problem was emphatically not that scurrilous unregistered people were somehow voting. It was exactly the opposite: Police and other government officials were illegally using both force and fraud to stop perfectly legitimate registered voters from voting! So what’s the “Republicans’” so-called solution? Why, make it even harder to vote, of course!
The plain fact is that there isn’t, and never was, any significant problem with non-legitimate voters sneaking in illegal ballots. (At least not since the Daley machine in Chicago was shut down and dead people had to stop “voting.”) There is, however, still a little “problem” with people voting against “Republican” candidates and policies.
Even though they now can, and do, jerry-rig the vote counting process to ensure “Republican” victories, they still don’t want it to be too hard or too obvious. This little stratagem works very well, thank you, both to keep pesky malcontents away from the polls, and to keep the conservative faithful whipped up with rage at all the non-existent “illegal immigrants” supposedly flooding the polling places. Great political strategy. For a fascist police state.
Finally, there’s something worth noting about the so-called “opposition” offered by the Democrats in Congress. As usual, they’ve proved themselves just about worthless as real opposition. True to form, the only thing most of them could find to say, even when trying to criticize this bill in strong terms, was that it would discriminate against “minorities and the poor.” Well, ya know what? I’m not a “minority,” and, at least depending on how you look at it, I’m not “poor” either. But this bill is aimed squarely at me, and it will very definitely disenfranchise me when it is implemented.
Am I mad about it? You bet. Is there anything (short of armed revolution) I can do about it? Nope—except try to survive until this “thousand-year Reich” comes to the same grisly end as the last one.


Post a Comment

<< Home