New hurdles creating a suspiciously timed gauntlet just before the Federal elections in November are clearly being intentionally directed by the 2010 Teapublican wave that has created misrepresentation at all levels of government. During a period of national economic crisis, not to mention war, the only laws that appear to have been drawn up and passed are primarily regarding abortion and voter suppression to help win back the presidency and consolidate their power nationwide.
"The right to vote is under attack all across our country. Conservative legislators are introducing and passing legislation that creates new barriers for those registering to vote, shortens the early voting period, imposes new requirements for already-registered voters, and rigs the Electoral College in select states. Conservatives fabricate reasons to enact these laws—voter fraud is exceedingly rare—in their efforts to disenfranchise as many potential voters among certain groups, such as college students, low-income voters, and minorities, as possible. Rather than modernizing our democracy to ensure that all citizens have access to the ballot box, these laws hinder voting rights in a manner not seen since the era of Jim Crow laws enacted in the South to disenfranchise blacks after Reconstruction in the late 1800s. (Keyes, Millhiser, Van Ostern, White, "Voter Supression 101" April 2012)
"Now, back when our great-grandparents were riding that Underground Railroad, back when John Lewis was marching across that bridge in Selma, and Jim Clyburn was sitting in an Orangeburg jail, the injustices we faced were written in big, bold letters on the face of our laws. And while we may have had our differences over strategy, the battles we needed to fight were very clear." (Michelle Obama, Sept 23, 2012)
(Michelle Obama, Sept 23, 2012) "We knew that to end slavery, we needed a proclamation from our President, an amendment to our Constitution. To end segregation, we needed the Supreme Court to overturn the lie of "separate but equal." To reach the ballot box, we needed Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act."
(Michelle Obama, Sept 23, 2012) "See, these are the types of decisions that are made by the folks in our city halls and our state legislatures, by folks in our statehouses, in our Congress, and, yes, in our White House. And who's responsible for selecting those public servants? Who is ultimately responsible for the decisions they make -- or don't make? We are. That’s our job. As citizens of this great country, that is our most fundamental right, our most solemn obligation -- to cast our ballots and have our say in the laws that shape our lives."
(Michelle Obama, Sept 23, 2012) "You see, today, the connection between our laws and our lives isn’t always as obvious as it was 50 or 150 years ago. And as a result, it’s sometimes easy to assume that the battles in our courts and our legislatures have all been won. It’s tempting to turn our focus solely to what’s going on in our own lives and our own families, and just leave it at that."
Other studies indicate that there already exist various pressures of daily life that prevent some people from registering and following through to vote: "The survey found that 28 percent of infrequent voters and 23 percent of those unregistered said they do not vote or do not register to vote because they are too busy....Still, 93 percent of infrequent voters agreed that voting is an important part of being a good citizen and 81 percent of nonvoters agreed it is an important way to voice their opinions on issues that affect their families and communities." (Longley 2012)
(Longley 2012) "Who are the non-voters? The survey found that nonvoters are disproportionately young, single, less educated and more likely to be of an ethnic minority than infrequent and frequent voters. 40 percent of nonvoters are under 30 years old, compared to 29 percent of infrequent voters and 14 percent of frequent voters. Infrequent voters are much more likely to be married than nonvoters, with 50 percent of infrequent voters married compared to only 34 percent of nonvoters. 76% of nonvoters have less than a college degree, compared to 61 percent of infrequent voters and 50 percent of frequent voters. Among nonvoters, 54 percent are white or Caucasian compared to 60 percent of infrequent voters and 70 percent of frequent voters."
Young people may be included in the apathetic group, and now disheartened as well, lacking in the idealism that was displayed so prominently in 2008, with disaffection even beginning to resemble nihilism (Saulny 2012)
I believe in taking collective responsibility and speaking out against the new Red state voting suppression moves. First, some appear clearly aimed against black folk, in the early voting periods that allow church groups to assist in taking "souls to the polls" after they assemble in their respective churches. The problems with Ohio's system of 88 Election Boards were well documented in 2004, with long lines of mostly African Americans at the polls waiting to cast their ballots. (Dao, Fessenden, Zeller 2004)
(Michelle Obama, Sept 23, 2012) "Congressman Lewis understood the importance of that right. That's why he faced down that row of billy clubs on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, risking his life so we could one day cast our ballots. As he put it, "…your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union."
Rep John Lewis (D-GA), an early and highly respected participant in the Civil Right Movement himself, took his protest right to the floor of the House of Representatives: "Each and every voter ID law is a real threat to voting rights in America. Make no mistake, these voter ID laws are a poll tax. I know what I saw during the 60s. I saw poll tax. And you cannot deny that these ID laws are another form of a poll tax. In an economy where people are already struggling to pay for the most basic necessities, there are too many citizens that would be unable to afford the fees and transportation costs involved in getting government issued photo Ids. Despite all the voter ID laws across the country, there’s no convincing evidence — no evidence at all — that voter fraud is a problem in our election problem." (Somanader,2011)
Rep. Lewis further states: "It is so important for people to understand, to know that people suffered, struggled," Lewis says. "Some people bled, and some died, for the right to participate. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool that we have in a democratic society. It’s precious. It’s almost sacred. We have to use it. If not, we will lose it." (Goodman 2012) (Matthews, "Hardball" interview with Rep. Lewis 2012)
The US House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, long associated with the Civil Rights Movement, outlined the prejudicial photo ID bill recently enacted in his state, comparing it with the Jim Crow laws: “It was effective then, and if we aren’t vigilant, it will be effective today,” Clyburn said. “We must make sure that people are aware of the danger to our democracy.” (Rosen 2012)
"[I]f you go back to the year 2000, when we had an obvious disaster and - and saw that our voting process needed refinement, and we did that in the America Votes Act and made sure that we could iron out those kinks, now you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally - and very transparently - block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. And it's nothing short of that blatant." (Smith, 2011)
"Whenever one speaks of crows, its wisest not to be too definite. The behavior of crows can vary widely from place to place. However, we can say that in many places, crows will gather in fall and winter to spend the night in large communal roosts containing several hundred to many thousand birds." (Westerfield 2010)
Besides not having the correct identification required under new onerous procedures ("poll taxes"), many elderly people of all backgrounds are unable to get around on the poor public transportation systems both in the urban centers and the rural areas, where they may be non existent. Remember that such buses and the like may not even be available on Election Day, or run on greatly reduced "holiday" schedules. We all need now to plan accordingly to encourage people to get out and vote.
Hispanics are already intimidated by law enforcement and language barriers in some states or have become apathetic enough by false promises on immigration reform so that their increasing power as a voting bloc is already diminished instead of growing. In Florida recently the state sent out voter "purge" lists to the county Election commissioners. "That list included so many people of color that some voting rights advocates insisted the purge is a database-driven example of old-fashioned voter intimidation, discrimination and suppression. Nearly 60 percent of the voters on the list are Latino, yet Hispanic voters make up only 16 percent of the state's electorate. 'If that's not disparate impact, I really don't know what is,' said Baylor Johnson, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida." (Ross 2012)
"After all, Romney’s deficit in the polls is not a momentary blip. He hasn’t led in the polls since 2011. And as Robert Erikson and Christopher Wlezien point out in ‘The Timeline of Presidential Elections,’ in the last 15 elections, which are all the elections we have accurate polling for, every candidate who has led in the polls at this point in the cycle has gone on to win in November. It would be literally unprecedented for Romney to mount a comeback at this stage." (Klein, Washington Post, Sept 24, 2012)
(Klein 2012) "Which isn’t to say it can’t happen. But time is running short. Romney’s probably got at least until the first debate to show he can make up some ground. But if he’s not able to make some big gains soon, his last remaining advantage could collapse."
(Klein 2012) "At some point, if Romney looks likely to lose, the RNC and the super PACs are going to move to a strategy of damage control, flooding House and Senate races with cash in order to assure that most anything Obama attempts to do in a second term will have to make it through a Republican Congress."
"Knowledge of our system of government is not handed down through the gene pool. … The habits of citizenship must be
learned … But we have neglected civic education for the past several decades, and the results are predictably dismal."
— Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
"Ignorance is the father of fear, and knowledge is the mother of trust." (Coley and Sum 2012)
“The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are pressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.”
― George Orwell, 1984
All of these measures are not simply tactics, they're really being legislated into American law and therefore lay claim to the lame defense of "states' rights". But that's precisely what the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and it's subsequent extensions of Section 5 is designed to protect us from.
It now appears that we need the protection more than ever before, and in more states than originally intended, which is so sad, with the Republican party trying to drag us back to pre-Civil Rights Movement times, and even to earlier centuries in terms of women's reproductive rights. You can also intuitively feel that this is the real reason why the Republicans were clumsily going after our Attorney General Holder in a transparently false witch hunt, resulting in the congressional equivalent of a legal lynching holding him in contempt. It's no accident that he was picked to be made an example of the showing of Teapublican legislative power in an attempt to intimidate all those who oppose them.
Still, the hurdles thrown up against the American public's right to vote do not justify inaction, especially now when the stakes are so high for the correction of congressional misrepresentation by incumbents who may be either such ineffective or recalcitrant political hacks that the gears of lawmaking have ground to a virtual halt. These "non-lawmakers" seem to have be born in the wrong republic, since they only wish to act as if they were members of parliment in a foreign land as adroitly as Mittwitt keeps his investment counselor retirement nest egg taxed at 15% buried in treasure chests around the Carribean and in "the old countries"strongboxes. "When it comes to civil rights, and voting rights, the party of Lincoln -- the party of Everett Dirksen -- sure has come a long way." (Cohen 2012)
And the presidential choice is now so obvious that it might seem to be an easy selection to a simpleton, but unfortunately as we have seen misinformed simpletons predominate in red states and overpopulate even some swing states. The dumbing down of the electorate to the point that 20% of "low information" voters who get all their so-called "information" from Fox Noise adds more peril to the integrity of our democracy.
Get out the vote as if you life depended on it, because this November it actually does. This is especially important for those in the 47% as defined by the Mittwitt Tailspin Tommies, who at their core have the moral compass of a weathervane in a Great Plains tornado. But it's not just about Kansas anymore. The Great Tax Wizard has a plan for the middle class that will doom us all into second class citizenry.