Whether you are conservative or liberal, the actions of many states to keep people from voting should send a chill down your spine.
In a country where voter participation is abysmal, we should all be working to get more people involved in the political process – not less. In a move that should remind everyone on the left how important elections are, the Obama Justice department has rejected South Carolina’s new law requiring a photo ID at the polls.
We don’t have to look back very far to see what a Republican Justice department would do.
This is also, by the way, another one of those “parties matter” moments, of which there have been many lately. Remember, in 2005, career staffers in the Justice Department’s Voting Section found that Georgia’s voter-ID law was discriminatory and should be rejected — only to see Bush/Cheney officials override their own experts’ judgment and approve the proposal.
There has been a lot of progress in voting rights since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but in recent years, the Republican Party, which is now dominated by the Tea Party wing, is trying to roll back that progress and disenfranchise voters who just happen to be in predominantly minority populations. And we all know it is because minorities understand clearly that the Democratic Party represents all people, regardless of skin color or ethnic background and these people tend to vote in their own self interests – for Democrats.
For Republicans, it’s a game of percentages. If they can lower the turnout of minorities and make it harder for groups who support Democratic candidates to have their votes counted, they can continue their quest to….well, it seems like their only goal is to put more money in the pockets of the rich. They really haven’t tried to hide that fact in the last few years. It’s all about protecting the rich and consequently, hurting the poor. And I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic.
Elections matter, vote Democratic.
While most people spent election night watching the outcome of SB5 Ohio, I watched the election happenings in Maine. 1980 was a big year for me personally. It was the first time I’d lived in the United States since I was a small child. I went to boarding school for my senior year of high school; my parents really thought I should know what it is like to be in America, to go to school in America and to learn to be an American. Boarding school… well that is a whole other story, but yes I ended up in Maine in boarding school and it was my first taste of living in the US for many years, I’d always been an expatriate, I was about to be something else.
I turned 18 in near the end of September in 1980. I’d wanted to exercise my vote since my dad handed me All the Presidents Men, in September of 1974, when we were flying back to the PI from the US at the end of our summer vacation. Reading that book on the plane trip over, back then it took much longer, with a layover in Guam. One time, and it could have been this particular trip our layover was on Wake Island because a large typhoon developed in the flight path and the pilots weren’t going to be in the air, so I remember I read the book in one flight, we had to layover on Wake Island for 8 hours in the tiny little airport and I finished the book before we landed in Manila.
I was taking the required class, American Government, which was not a required class in my school, but I was quite interested to take it, I’d taken World Governments as our required class. I was interested in learning about how the American form of government differed from where I had come, where I’d lived through Martial Law, a military dictatorship, curfews, suspended elections, and other things that seemed the opposite of everything I’d ever read about the United States, where the will of the people was decided through mostly fair elections.