Friday, March 23, 2012


"How long can this go on?"
Devo - "Whip It"

Student ID
Although as a nation the USA is more free and protective of rights than the bulk of the world's nations, there are still nagging tyrannies that plague this great country. These injustices stalk the fruited plains and cities of the United States like a cruel monster, destroying hopes and dreams of millions.

One such injustice is the oppression laid upon so many students, so many poor, and so many minorities, especially immigrants who are vulnerable and confused in a new land. Facing this evil, the land of opportunity becomes a land of sadness and barriers for the oppressed peoples. I'm speaking of the wicked policy of requiring photo identification to purchase many goods and services we often take for granted.

While in the comfort of our rich, two-car, air conditioned homes, we do not consider the challenges and perils of the elderly woman who wants to buy some cold medicine, banned from purchasing any Sudafed because she must have identification to prove who she is before she can stave off the symptoms of a potentially life-threatening illness. Surely as great a nation as we live in can extend the basic, human right of health care to such a person? Are the elderly less a person than the rest of us?

Or ponder this scenario: a minority who cannot afford the extravagant expense of a photo identifier, yet attempts to better himself through a game of chance. He wins a considerable sum, perhaps at slots or playing a game of blackjack. When he takes his winnings to the window, he is turned away because he cannot prove his identity sufficiently for the casino. This cruel injustice is played out nearly every day across the land from state to state in Native American casinos and in places like Reno and Atlantic City.

And the oppression does not end there. A handicapped woman, unable to afford photo ID cannot buy a gun - a guaranteed second amendment right - for self defense. A young mother living on government assistance, barely able to feed her children cannot afford the great expense of purchasing photo ID, as much as $33 in the state of Oregon - and because of this cannot drive or even rent a car in an emergency.

The list of these tyrannies goes on and on, crushing the most vulnerable in our society under an uncaring brutal boot of unjust and improper requirements for the most basic rights and necessities in our culture. The 14th amendment guarantees equal treatment under law, but can this be said to be true if some cannot enjoy basic, often necessary goods and services without carrying special papers? Are we a police state in the US or a free democracy?
  • If you want to board a plane or train, you must have photo ID.
  • If you want a library card, you must have photo ID.
  • If you want to cash a check, you need photo ID.
  • If you're an immigrant who wants a visa, you must show photo ID.
  • If you leave the US to Canada and want to get back in, you must show photo ID.
  • If you serve on a jury, you must show photo ID.
  • If you want to use a credit card, you must show photo ID.
  • To register to vote, you must show photo ID.
How long can this continue? How can we truly call ourselves a free nation if this situation goes on? Join with me to change this injustice and bring true liberty and equality under law to the United States!

What's that you say? Yes, you know what I'm really talking about - but don't be surprised if something like this starts making the rounds as well. These are all the same sorts of arguments used by the left when someone brings up the common sense, reasonable notion of requiring a picture ID to prove who you are when you vote.

And yet, the very mention of this raises all the same hysterical overstatements as I did above. To be sure, they rarely are delivered with such care to sound reasonable and winning, but the basic argument is the same. Consider Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who in 2011 on the Rowland Martin show said this:
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 for Democratic Candidates than Republican candidates.
Literally. Amusingly just a few days ago she insisted to Alicia Powe at Media Research Center that she had never said Republicans wanted to drag us back to Jim Crow laws. Well the internet remembers, Ms Schultz.

The fact is, all those same hysterical arguments thrown out to stop voter ID simply are not sufficient to counter the need for a honest, reliable vote and the ease by which this would help ensure more accurate elections and reduce fraud.

My favorite objection the left brings up? There's no way to check absentee ballots for accuracy and identity. Yes, exactly. Which is why the entire system of vote by mail is problematic at best and Oregon's vote only by mail is such a pernicious, awful system. Is it really a coincidence that since this was implemented, Republicans have never had the governor seat back and lost control of the legislature permanently?

Voter ID makes more sense than requiring ID to buy a gun. Buying a gun is a constitutionally protected right, its simply a purchase of a tool. Yet the left insists this is critically necessary but asking for ID to vote is not. We live in a culture where Identity Theft has become a very real, very valid problem in a unique way that was not possible in the past. Now more than ever this is an important change.

You'll notice I included the "student" category in my little diatribe above, which probably had a lot of you sayign "Huh? Even in high school I had photo ID as a student!" And you're right, you did; that's why I put the picture at the top. Few students today, certainly none of voting age, lack photo ID. Few people period do, and the ones who do not are highly unlikely to actually vote. But that's what Debbie Wasserman-Schultz insisted, that this "disenfranchises" students.

However, the Texas Voter ID law that the Obama administration blocked under the Voting Rights Act (if you want to talk about tyranny...) did not allow student for voting because its not very secure and very easy to obtain.

As I've written about before, even if there was any remotest validity in the idea that ID is some vast and unreasonable burden of cost - just under 10 cents a day for the Oregon ID is not exactly a cruel imposition, even if it is too expensive for what you get - states can easily get around that by offering a no-cost "voter ID" to people who can prove that the usual ID card is too great a financial burden for them.

I know its awfully cynical but it seems to me that there is no valid reason for the left to be so insistent and angry when this is brought up, and deep down they oppose it because it makes their victories more challenging to manufacture. After all, you can't vote 8 times or have your dead relatives vote if you have to prove ID. You can't have people fill out dozens of ballots each and have them vote if you have to prove your identity. And Republicans have done that too, in the past, so you'd think the Democrats would want to stop it.

But no. They insist we're better off with voters more easily able to cheat, defraud, and lie. Its possible the 'civil rights' objections they bring up are honest, but if so, they're also deeply ignorant.

1 comment:

Larry Sheldon said...

Let us just cut to the chase> Most of your example tragedies are a crock, and you know it.

Some of them, to be sure are stupid worthless nuisances. Need some Sudafed, go over to the grammar school, buy some crystal, take it home and make some Sudafed out it -- no biggie.

But what you are really worried about is the possibility that dead people, illegal aliens, and others unqualified folk might no get to vote even once.

So I have a solution for you that does not involve the "dreaded picture id" that most people have anyway, and have for years, that is freely available unless you live in Chicken, Alaska.

Somewhere back in the 1960's I think, certainly before the 1980's, my wife and I began serving as polling place officials.

In those early days the polling place board was made up of 4 to 6 people who lived in the precinct (or precincts) for which we were the polling place. It was a certainty that a person properly coming into the polling place would be personally known to at least one official.

If a person presented themselves and nobody knew them, they could be formally challenged, with sworn statements taken. If the challenge was upheld the person was not allowed to vote (they could appeal that day at the Registrar's Office in our early days, in the later days they could vote a "provisional ballot" which would not be counted until the Office had determined the truth).

Give that back to us and I'll shut up about the ID. (which, in the case of fraud, is probably fraudulent anyway.)