Sunday, July 15, 2012

Random Thoughts On Voting

Bev's article yesterday got me thinking about voting itself, the importance of it, and the degrading of it. I have to go back into fuddy-duddy mode to discuss my feelings about the current pathetic state of voter participation. And much of this is in light of the Holder Justice Department's twisting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

When I first got the vote (it was age 21 back then), a voter actually had to get off his dead behind and go to the polling place. Absentee ballots were difficult to obtain, and required sufficient affidavits of absence to satisfy election standards which were quite restrictive as to why the voter couldn't possibly get to his or her local polling place. The Founders risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to make it possible for all eligible citizens to vote. The Civil War was the final act in making all men equal in voting qualification. The Fourteenth Amendment established the universal right of all American men to vote. The final act toward universality of voting was the Nineteenth Amendment which very belatedly recognized that the Founders had left out half the population because of their sex.

Fighting the Revolution and the Civil War were deadly serious matters. Those who fought in either wanted the right to vote to be universal. They didn't say anything about it being easy. In fact, the lazy, mentally incompetent, and uncaring were discouraged from voting based on the moderate difficulty of taking time off to go to the polls and the further ability to read or comprehend sufficiently to be able to discern what was on the ballot. It wasn't a perfect system, but the Constitution guarantees fair elections, not perfect elections.

Fast forward to today's ridiculous ease of voting and voting fraud. We have high speed computers to count votes, but restrictions on using those same computers for maintaining current and honest voter rolls. I plead guilty to voting by mail, another stupid idea that has been in place for a couple of decades now. Not absentee (with legitimate reason for not being able to vote in person on election day at the local polling place), but “by mail.” The possibilities of voter fraud with mail-in votes are legion, but why have it in the first place? Oh, because it makes voting easier. I would add “and therefore less valuable.” The best things in political life are not free.

I first registered by mail because at election time I was still recovering from major surgery and couldn't make the walk to the polls. I didn't intend it to be permanent, but they just made it so damned easy. And I've been doing it ever since. Today, if I had to go to the “local” polling place, I would have to drive thirty-five minutes on dirt and mountain roads to get there. My mailbox is less than a mile away, so I continue to vote by mail. But what if vote-by-mail were eliminated? Then I'd bloody well make the drive. And if the car didn't work, I'd rig up a carriage and have Niko the Wonder Dog pull me to the polls. Under which of those scenarios does my vote seem most valuable—particularly to me?

Furthermore, if I had to go all that way to the polling place, I would probably spend a lot more time reviewing the most current facts and information. As it is, I have my prejudices like everyone else, so I tend to vote as soon as I receive the ballot in the mail to “get it out of the way so I won't forget it.” If my candidate was found to be an al Qaeda agent three days before the election, there's no provision for me to change my vote from four weeks earlier.

The left constantly emphasizes ease of voting over fairness or legitimacy of voting. Furthermore, they are now using it as an excuse to perpetuate voter fraud and party loyalty. Voter photo ID requirements are being savagely attacked as racist by the Holder Justice Department because it “suppresses” minority voting. Aw hooey! It does nothing of the kind. Fortunately, he can only wield this legal hatchet in Southern states affected by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a law as useful to today's realities as the Missouri Compromise.

The irony is that Holder is unintentionally proclaiming that the people he purports to be protecting are either too stupid or too lazy to get voter photo ID (or both). He gave a speech at the NAACP proclaiming how difficult the racists make it for minorities to get a photo ID. He did so at a meeting that required valid photo ID to get in. And like most Obamists and other race-baiters, he lied.

Just how difficult is it to get a valid photo ID to vote? Well, if you can't afford one, they'll give it to you for free. If you can't make it to the DMV or whatever department issues the ID, they will make provisions to transport you there or in some states they will come to you. If you're not smart enough to know that, you're not smart enough to be voting. In California, you can drive up to the DMV, get your driver's license (a valid photo ID), then drive around the building once and set up your voter registration (presumably, even if you're an illegal immigrant). How much easier could it be?

Well, it's too damned easy. Men and women fought, bled and died to assure the right to vote. Why is it necessary to make voting as easy as ordering a NetFlix movie online? Who in his right mind thinks that everyone should vote? All the ease of voting does is guarantee that the lazy, shiftless and government-dependent can make sure their freebies and lives of ease don't end. Sure, fraud is a big issue, and more of it keeps turning up as the Obamists deny there is any at all. But my gripe is with people who think that one of our most valuable rights should have no costs. If it's too easy and too facile, those exercising it will hold it in contempt.

Eric Holder and his race-baiting friends have now gone so far as to claim that valid photo ID is tantamount to the poll tax. Leave it to the “progressive” Democrats to haul out an issue which died almost five decades ago. As for my opinion, if you're too lazy, too stupid, or too ugly to get a photo ID and get up off the couch to go to the polling station, then stay home and wait for your government assistance check. We don't need you, and the Republic will fare far better without your ignorant vote.

Voters in Philadelphia can ignore this rant. They will have the poll protection of the New Black Panther Party and the ever-vigilant Holder Justice Department to assure ease of voting.

24 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Great, great post, Hawk. Too many on the left want it to be easy so they can go to some half dead drug addict, give him a hot shot and press his finger on a vote democratic key stroke (or worse.) There are legitimate reasons for absentee ballots, but in this day and age, not having a photo i.d. is absurd. I worry about the Democrats control of state election boards. Too easy to commit fraud in big cities. Hell, look at Kennedy in 1969. He probably really won, but you never know.

Tennessee Jed said...

I forgot to mention my concern about what goes on in states like Nevada where I heard the voting machines were either provided, maintained, or repaired by organized labor loyal to Harry Reid. It is horrific to think that this is such an issue in our country.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Thanks. I think your description pretty much sums up what the Dems really mean. Given that Holder and Obama are both Chicago sleazebags, I don't see that being an all-dead drug addict is any bar to voting.

Absentee ballots, within narrow guidelines, serve an obvious and necessary purpose. So why have the Democrats been so picky and legalistic about the votes of our military personnel overseas? That was a rhetorical question.

Patriot said...

I find it incredulous that this issue is still around and that Holder and his minions continue to fight it. Any sane American would be able to understand the simple logic of accurate voting. Of course the Dems know all this, but if only those eligible to vote actually voted, then as a party, they would be doomed. We know this...they know this....the press knows this.....yet these crooks are still given the legitimacy and soap box to blatantly shovel their horse crap down this country's throat.

Voting should be easy, but it should also be fair and accurate. Only those eligible to vote should have their votes counted. We are becoming just like all these other countries that profess to be democratic because they allow their people to vote, but what the he'll good is the franchise if crooks like Castro, Putin, Muslim Brotherhood clowns all get 99% of the " votes " cast?!

How come "the greatest ex-president evah" isn't speaking out against this abuse here in his own country?!

You know, I can really see how this country was torn apart leading to the War of Northern Agression!"

AndrewPrice said...

It's pretty amazing how open the Democrats are about trying to stop anyone from stopping voter fraud.

BevfromNYC said...

Interestingly, an editorial in the NYT today expels the myth that voter ID laws would disenfranchise voters.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/measuring-the-effects-of-voter-identification-laws/

BevfromNYC said...

BTW, great, great rant. And I agree with everything thing you say. I am one of those who insists on going to the polls, but then my polling place is only about 5 blocks away...at a church. (No one seems to see any Church/State separation problems with that, but that's another story.) A week before the 2008 election, I contracted pneumonia and could barely walk 20 feet, but I was ready to crawl to the polls if I still couldn't walk there. Fortunately I rallied.

When I see photos of people in other countries standing in line for days or walk miles to vote, while people here won't even stand in line for 10 minutes, it makes me mad.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: Republicans have many advantages in this election if they use them correctly. One of them is Obama (and Holder's) inability to pick the right fight at the right time. His VRA '65 attack is only going to piss off Southerners and will have no effect on those states which have passed similar statutes (which have already been upheld by the Supreme Court). If they think this is going to counter what they called Nixon's "Southern strategy," they are going to find out that it will actually play out as Obama's "Anti-Southern strategy." It's nothing more than political grandstanding and use of the law as a bludgeon. The DOJ has better things to do, but under Holder, it won't.

I think that voting should be made accessible, not easy. I want people to have to exercise a little gumption and self-sacrifice to vote. People who care will do it as a civic obligation. People who have only their pathetic self-interest in government dependence will not. And if ID, at a polling place on election day, is required and properly policed, many of the latter won't be able to vote at all.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: The Democrats are lousy at issues but great at labeling. Instead of referring to the statutes as "fraud prevention" they refer to them as "voter suppression." Too many stupid people out there see only the latter because they follow only the MSM and the liberal pundits.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I hope that's a sign that the big papers are at least willing on occasion to print a discouraging word for the Democrats. I don't expect to see much of it. But that article follows the Washington Post's pinocchios about the left's portrayal of Romney and Bain Capital. There might just be small cracks appearing in the monolith.

Link: NY Times on Voter Suppression.

BTW: Some of the same, but earlier, research showed up in the Supreme Court decisions on voter ID laws outside the VRA '65 South.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: That's the Spirit of '76! The trip to vote for me now would be a mess, but if I had to do it I would.

Here's the real reason I stopped voting at the local poll after I recovered from the surgery. At the next election, I went to the local polling place (a city-funded midnight basketball recreational building). The signs indicating it was a polling place were hard to find, but I knew where to go since I had been going there for ten years. When I got to the entrance, over it was hanging a dirty American flag attached to the wall with masking tape, and one end had come loose. Dirty water was dripping on it from a poorly-maintained rain gutter. I almost had apoplexy. I made such a stink about it that they threatened to call the police. I called the Registrar of Voters to report the disrespect for Old Glory, and got nothing more than the government employee "we'll look into it." Next election, same thing. So instead of driving my blood pressure up, I registered to vote by mail even though the mail pickup was farther from my apartment than the polling place.

I figured that story was a little too long to include in the article itself.

BevfromNYC said...

Law - I would be furious if I saw the flag treated that way too. I don't think I have a choice to vote absentee here. Our voting apparatus is so out of date, I'm surprised we don't vote by carving our choice on a rock...

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: California makes it far too easy to switch to vote-by-mail (as opposed to absentee). You get your sample ballot, and it has a place that allows you to check "I want to vote by mail." If you already have a voter record, they just send you the ballot in a week or so. On that ballot, it says "Would you like to vote by mail permanently?" Check, done. They want you to vote by mail, for good or ill.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: It wasn't the most enlightening article on voting I've ever read. It tried to be fair, but I drew some different conclusions. First, he mentioned Pennsylvania frequently. Well, there was indeed voter suppression there in '08. Just ask anyone who tried to get past the weapon-wielding Black Panthers in Philadelphia. Second, he grudgingly accepts that voter count would be down (that's not the same as "suppressed") with ID laws. And third, he won't reach the conclusion that I reach--Republicans are both more law-abiding and aware than Democrats.

LawHawkRFD said...

I can remember back when I was a budding radical even before I left for Berkeley. A friend with a sense of humor (a Republican) sent me a greeting card. On the front it said "the Democrats will surely win in November." Inside it said "if they let them all out of jail." Nothing much has changed in the intervening fifty years.

Individualist said...

Hawk

I recently had to renew my license her in Florida. As a response to demands that anyone can register to vote when they get their license the laws were made more draconian.

You have to have your birth certificate, two peices of recent mail with your address and your social security card. You have to ahve this not just to renew a lioense but to get a replacement.


All of this is a royal pain that takes more time than necessary and wastes time. It also is an unecessary burden on the poor. If someone does not have an address due to poverty and is living in shelters, with friends or in hotels when they can afford it it is nearly impossible to meet these requirements.

The net result is in order to make it difficult for people to get on the voter roles fraudualently it is difficult to get an ID needed to be able to work.

The whole thing is nonsense and it only exists because democrats cannot be honest.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: I see it as a royal pain as well, but sometimes it takes a little pain to effect a cure. I wish California had such tough requirements. I have no way of knowing, but I suspect that Florida has procedures for issuing an ID to the poor who don't have traditional proof of who they are. And they generally have plenty of time to "waste."

On the other hand, my companies required a valid photo ID, a valid Social Security number, and if foreign, a work visa in order to get a job with us. Probably a good idea to have those if they want to get work or vote. It would be nice if we didn't need these simple requirements, but what is the alternative? I understand what you are saying, but I also say that the vote is such a valuable and important thing that some inconvenience and "wasted time" is a rather low burden.

Why the requirements are necessary isn't as important as the fact that they are necessary. I'm not unsympathetic to the poor or disabled, but I don't think that changes my view that we make voting less valuable by making the requirements to vote too easy.

Joel Farnham said...

Republican requirements for valid voter -->Live citizen of the United States of America over 18 years of age.

Democrat requirements for valid voter -->Warm body. Can skip warm if not enough bodies are available.

Not much has changed since Kennedy v Nixon, eh LawHawk?

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. LOL

rlaWTX said...

The whole TX Voter ID thing just irritates the @#$%^$#@#% out of me!!!!!

I really, deeply, truly despise GA Holder.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I completely understand the irritation and frustration. VRA '65 should have been ended when we had a chance (actually, several chances). All attempts to strike voter ID in the North have been rejected by the courts. Only because Texas is one of the Southern states covered by VRA '65 can Holder do anything. If the Congress had just buried the dead horse of VRA '65 when it had the chance, you'd be getting the same rulings as the Northern states.

I despise Holder as well, and since I live in California, it has little to do with his voter ID activities. We let anyone vote. As soon as I can get Niko the Wonder Dog a driver's license, I'm going to register him for vote by mail. Come to think of it, he already has his dog license, and that might be enough. LOL

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

I know someone having problems with this. She can't get an ID. she will probably be homeless soon.

My problem is this. The restrictions for voting should be to vote. A voter ID card. It should not be added to the Drvier's Licence bureau where an ID is a must to be able to work. Right now for her it is impossible.

The dem's forcing the state to combine Driver's License with registering to vote is why this is happening.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: I'll concede that DMV (or its equivalent) shouldn't be the only agency authorized to issue photo IDs. Maybe it's time to start a movement to authorize another agency to do so as well. The Registrar of Voters comes to mind. I'm sorry your friend is having a problem, but we can't fix every problem by ignoring other problems. This sounds like a perfect case for citizen action. If she is facing homelessness and still thinking about her right to vote, she sounds like the kind of person who we definitely want voting. But I have to say she is a very notable exception to the rule of thumb that those who want to vote need to get their voting credentials set up in advance. I wish her well.

A rare case like hers still doesn't change my opinion that in the vast majority of cases, voting is made too easy. I simply can't accept that it should be easier to vote than it is to get a job, get public assistance, board an airplane or attend an "open" meeting of the NAACP.

LawHawkRFD said...

What a revoltin' development this is. The state of Washington has assisted in making voting easy by the most ridiculous of means. It now allows people to register to vote via Facebook. Facebook, for God's sake! Next comes the voting itself. "Like us on Facebook" "Here's a picture of my dog taking a crap. Isn't that cute? I shared it with 472 of my most intimate Facebook friends. As soon as I get my mom to clean up Fido's mess, I'm going to like Obama on my Facebook voting page. He's so cool and he has a dog too."

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