- Your Town
To the editor,
Of all the scummy, reprehensible things the Republican Party has done to win elections in the past few decades – and that’s quite a list - the worst by far is the effort at voter suppression effort that is going on now. The right to vote is the one thing that is basic to this experiment that we call democracy. It is the signal American achievement that has served as an example for the rest of the world.
Granting the right to vote has always been a function of the states, but it has continually been expanded and defended through the federal constitution. Over the years the trend has been to expand the pool of voters – blacks, women, 18 year-olds. That is, until now.
It’s tough being on the wrong side of demographics. As the national electorate becomes younger, more diverse, and larger, the Republican Party is becoming older, whiter, and smaller. Clearly something has to be done. They could narrow the gap with ideas, but then they’d have to have some. Forget that. If they had policies that actually helped senior citizens, young people and minorities, that would work. But then they wouldn’t be Republicans. So it’s probably easier to simply prevent people from voting.
Using voter fraud as the straw man (it’s so rare as to be essentially nonexistent), states with Republican governors and legislatures are passing laws designed to force registered voters to have additional forms of ID. Those that are not likely to have the ID - the elderly, minorities, students – are most often Democratic voters. In closely contested swing-state urban areas this could be significant. In fact, that’s what the GOP is counting on.
Of course, it’s not going to work. Obama will win anyway. Any good businessman knows that you can’t sell a lousy product, which essentially describes Romney. But by deliberately disenfranchising legitimate American voters, the Republicans are showing just how much desperation is driving their strategy.
Ah, for the good old days when only rich white guys made all the decisions.