I hope everyone is doing well. Alright, let’s get to it. It’s been a while since I put anything out, and that’s simply because I have been working on another project. It is something that I hope to share with one and all very soon. It is both personal and enlightening, and I look forward to finalizing it and allocating it. But more on that another time. Again, let’s get to it.
Democracy. Freedom. Rights. These are buzz words that we hear constantly, especially given the current political season, and they cannot be overstated or lightly brushed off. Anyone with a working knowledge of this great country’s history knows what these words stand for. But what happens when these words become a challenge to crush, a target to trounce, an inalienable to obliterate? This was, and is, the strategic tactic behind the Republican Party’s goal to oust the current sitting President of the United States. This was their plan. This was their short road to victory in the upcoming 2012 election. This was their brilliant design. There were other tactics that they employed, but none were so universally organized or brazenly bold as this. Not the birther issue, or the quota issue, or the foreign issue. While those issues were sliced and diced around like yesterday’s lunch meat to the family pup, nothing was more prevalent than the main issue. Nothing.
The plan was easy. Suppress the vote in Democratic leaning districts across the country, and the sitting president would lose the election. Easy.
The grand scheme was fiendishly simple; and the results would be overwhelmingly successful. It was not done at a national level, but masked at a state and local level. This gave it a more grass roots feel, and was harder to pinpoint overall. The steps were also easy. First of all, in Republican controlled state and local houses of congress, new legislation would be introduced to confront voter fraud. Of all things, voter fraud! They actually used this as a guise to further their aim. As voting is a right that the overwhelming population takes seriously, the potential for fraud would certainly be something that people would not stand for. Too much has happened regarding this right to let it slip into degradation and mire. The plan was looking good. Then the next steps would be to tighten up voter integrity. This could most effectively be done by hiking the requirements to vote. The prevailing measure involved voter identification (ID). Items that used to be more than enough to satisfy the required ID criteria, were now not good enough. People who had been voting completely legally (again, legally) for years now had to essentially begin the registration process again. People who did not have photo ID’s had to begin the registration process again. People who did not have easy access to birth records had to begin the registration process again. People who paid taxes, who obeyed the laws, who were decent hard working citizens, were being asked to jump thru amazing hurdles. One did not need a photo ID to pay taxes; whatever ID you had for that (ANY ID you had for that) would be more than good enough. But to vote, after you had done so for years, or decades?
Another tactic involved purging or challenging voter rolls. Select districts were targeted, and voter rolls were combed thru. The intent was clear, go to heavy or leaning Democratic districts and get rid of as many registered voters as possible. Even if the rolls were not purged, if enough doubt was introduced, then the potential voters could be delayed from voting while an investigation was conducted or an appeal was pending.
Still another ploy used was the shorting or complete disposal of early voting. More Democrats use early voting than Republicans. It was argued and claimed that early voting caused such overt hardship on the local election precincts and undue burdens on the Supervisors of Elections offices that it had to be controlled via curtailment or cancellation.
All told, these seemed like potentially successful plans that had great possibilities. They were simple and straightforward. And most importantly, they had the power of the local legislative majority. In city after city, county after county, and state after state, enough of a majority in those congressional houses existed that they could pass this legislation. They also gambled on a few additional factors. These included that not enough time would be left to challenge the rulings in these locales, thru their own local opposition means. In addition, they believed that the movement would be so deft as to defy national attention. Finally, they bet that the American people would site idly by while they did their deeds.
The question easily shifts as to whether all Republicans can be held accountable for this. Should they all be blamed? After all, not every single Republican mayor, governor, representative, or senator was out there signing legislation to essentially block the vote, correct? But they knew what was going on. Either by direct involvement, or just by normal news, they knew. And while they had a chance to do the right thing, to declare how perverted the attempt to suppress anyone’s vote was, they either went along with it, or worse, sat idly by. What a disgrace; an utter shame.
For the Republican Party, this was a mistake. This was a very big mistake. This is a substantial factor in why they will lose the presidential election of 2012.
Things did not go unnoticed. Not at all. Democratic legislators in those state and local houses spoke up. Legal activists and community leaders spoke up. The American people spoke up. These new laws were challenged in court again and again. The feel was akin to the darker days of this country’s history when people were being robbed of their rights, not because they had broken any laws, or lived depraved lives, or did anything wrong. No, it was simply that existed – differently, and proudly, and strongly from the status quo at the time. And for some reason, that was not good enough back then. The ones in power feared that their power would slip or wane, or worse, that power might eventually end up in the hands of someone (or some ones) that were not like them – either gender, or race or religion, or anything else. The thought of that terrified them, and so they fought for their status quo. But back then a change was happening in this great country. Change that this wonderful, amazing, and incredible country was used to, and was made for. Since its inception, America was the land of change in all ways to all people. It did, and does, and will always be a catalyst for change – a bright city on the hill. However sometimes change comes with a price, and back then the price was steep and serious. It cost blood, and sweat, and tears, and lives, and souls. Back then, the price of civil rights was paid on the backs and spirits of men and women braver than can be measured. They stood up and braved exceptional storms. They did this with their eyes open wide and their hearts beating strong. They were beaten, and bloodied, but never broken. They forged a path to a newer America. They forged a path for prosperity. They forged a path for change. Their sacrifices can be seen and touched and felt and everywhere. From the public school, to the voting booth, it is an equality born of fire and pain and death, and triumph and joy and light. These heroes to generations unborn shall never be forgotten.
And just like then, the struggle continued now. When long believed settled issues crept back into this great nation’s being, the time to fight renewed. This time though, the legal system became the knight, the champion, the advocate. An air of enlightenment existed. There had been evolution among us as a people. We as a nation had done great things, even to a degree divided, and we could again. Injunctions were filed. Arguments were made. Proof of the alleged voter fraud was demanded. And the results were historic. An infinitesimal amount of actual evidence was submitted, and the sham was exposed. While in some places, the rules of additional identification were upheld, and early voting had also been reduced, overall, major components of their master plan were struck down or were outright dismissed. A major event had been initiated, a harkening to our darker days, but and the people had prevailed, the light shone.
However though, this was only the beginning.
People remembered. The struggles of those that came before were remembered. The times of violence and overt hatred were remembered. The heroes who fought back for those yet to come were remembered. And that led to an internal offense by what was done today. It led to an individual affront by what was done today. It led to a personal outrage by what was done today. How dare you?! Who do you think you are?! What makes you think that you are better than me?! You will NOT do that to me!! You will not suppress my voice!! You will not shut me up or out!!!
And the turnout will follow. It’s personal now; not removed, or ten thousand feet away, or something that they are trying to do to the president. They made it personal.
They made it personal.
Whether super rich, or abjectly poor, each vote is the same. Whether woman or man, young or old, Democrat or Republican, each vote is the same. Whether Jewish, or Christian, or Muslim, or Hindu, each vote is the same. The right to vote is unique. It is the great equalizer. While we do it silently, it speaks volumes. Do not let your voices go unheard. That would be the greatest waste. Taxation without representation. Civil Rights and the movements. The Dream and keeping hope alive. We must always honor those who sacrificed for us. It is our turn now. Stand up. Be counted. Make change. It is our turn now. Get mad. Get moving. Get Engaged. Vote! It is our turn now.