You must understand one thing about the current crop of voter restriction laws.
One thing is vital.
One thing is central.
One thing is crucial to understand and it is not often mentioned in the press or on social media.
Voter suppression is not only about making it harder for people in the Armed Services to vote.
Voter suppression is not only about making it harder for people of color to vote.
These restrictions are not only about making it harder for the elderly or disabled to vote.
These restrictions are not only aimed at making it harder for Native Americans to vote or people who *must* go to work every day to vote.
These voter suppression tactics may look right now as though they are basically aimed at Democrats so that Republicans can win more easily despite being the minority party. If you’re a Democrat, you think that’s unfair. If you’re a Republican, you might think it doesn’t matter if it’s unfair so long as Republicans get voted in.
There is something else more fundamental even than being fair or reinforcing the big lie.
Voting restriction laws are aimed at allowing crooks to hold public office.
Voting restriction laws are aimed at allowing incompetent people to hold public office.
Voting restriction laws are aimed at allowing unpopular a$$holes to hold public office.
Let’s say you live in a city with a crooked mayor who takes your tax dollars and uses it to line his or her own pockets. What is your recourse? Vote him or her out of office?
All the crooked politician has to do, to stay in power under the new laws in Georgia, say, is to use some of their graft money to pay off key state legislators. Even if 90% of the people voted to get this person out of office, the crooked state legislators can set aside those election results and keep the crooked politician in power. Such as that will continue to stay in power and continue to steal your tax dollars and continue to pay off state legislators to keep themselves in power.
What peaceful recourse do you have to get rid of crooked or completely incompetent public officials if you cannot vote them out?
There is another crucial reason that is a bit more subtle than the way voting restrictions encourage bad government. They also encourage unpopular government programs. That, in and of itself, causes strife and ineptitude.
Let’s say for instance, that you live in a small town with a beautiful public park on the river. Ninety per cent of the people love the public park. But the mayor of your small town is paid a bribe to replace the public park with a condo development project. Ninety per cent of the people in your small town are against the project. They would rather keep the public park. The mayor, however, doesn’t get a big kickback from the public park. The major doesn’t give a damn how unpopular the new proposal is. They know they can’t be voted out so they will go ahead with the project.
As a result, ninety per cent of the people in the town are pissed off. Because of the draconian voter suppression laws, they feel they have no recourse at the ballot box. All the energy that went into healthy outdoor recreational activity can no longer be released in the public park and instead is redirected to other pursuits, some of it petty crime. Some of it is vandalism aimed at the offending condos or the residents. Sure, the mayor may react by putting more cops on the job or raising the penalties for petty crimes. It won’t help. The town has been put on a downward spiral. Having 90% of the population being pissed off will put everyone on edge. Bad moods and nastiness begets nastiness and more bad moods. Having people arrested won’t help that. It will simply make people even more negative. Over time, more people will leave town. Property values will decline. Even the condos may eventually be a money sink.
Voter suppression is not about simply disenfranchising a group of voters you don’t happen to agree with.
Voter suppression is about enabling and encouraging inept government, crooked government, and unpopular government. It’s an express train straight to destruction, decay, and decadence.
Eventually, voter suppression may lead to even more outrageous outcomes. Dictators know they can’t win free and fair elections so they are always paranoid about being ousted by force. As a result, they wage wars, divide their citizenry, lie about their actions, and focus on preventing violence against their crooked, inept, and unpopular decisions by using more force. Citizens end up being taxed more for police and the military and the surveillance of citizens.
In a nutshell, it’s horrible to live under a dictatorship. That is why people risk their lives every single day to leave dictatorships for the opportunity to live in a democracy. People who leave dictatorships are not deluded into thinking that everything will be easy in a democracy or that they will always get their own way. No-one always gets their own way. But in a democracy, they will have a chance to make their ideas heard. They will have a chance to convince others that they have a good idea. There is a chance to succeed wildly. And there’s a very good chance to succeed a little.
In a dictatorship, everything is stacked against you. Is it worth it? What is the record for dictatorships?
Mao is responsible for the deaths of 40-80 million of his own countrymen.
Stalin killed 6 to 9 million of his own countrymen.
Hitler killed 6 million Jews as well as many additional of his own non-Jewish countrymen. His absurd ambitions caused the death of many American, Russian, allied and German soldiers as well. All told, about 40 million soldiers were killed in World War Two and 75 million people total.
Massive death and destruction are the predictable results of having a government with no accountability for their actions at the ballot box.
How could it be otherwise?
Dictatorships are sought by cruel, paranoid, inept people who care only about themselves. And, it isn’t only the person with the most power in the country who becomes inept and crooked. Every governor, mayor, city official, dog catcher is free to do be crooked and capricious so long as they pay off the people in power. You won’t be able to hire a competent plumber, teacher, or doctor based on their price and effectiveness. All these people will be appointed for you by those in power.
Voter suppression is the suppression of competence.
Voter suppression is the suppression of honesty.
Voter suppression is the suppression of life itself.
The dictator wants you to behave like a machine, not like a living being with free choice. How can a dictator have the desired complete control if people are free to choose? They can’t.
If you support voter suppression, please understand what exactly you are encouraging: incompetence, dishonesty, cruelty, and the destruction of your own freedom — along with, quite possibly, your own life.
That’s what history shows has happened. That’s what logic shows must happen.
But if you’re not convinced, try it out! Move to Cuba, North Korea, Russia, and see how you like it. Perhaps you’ll thrive once your freedom is throttled. Come back in a few years and tell us all how it went!
Oh, there is one teeny little sticking point. They may not let you come back to America. Dictators don’t want people to leave their country and report on how bad life actually is there.
Winning by cheating is not winning
Freedom of speech is not a license to kill
Cancer always loses in the end
Brian Balke said:
There is another way of looking at this: the current attempt to curtail the authority of democratic practices is to assert that the only valid forum for the distribution of power is the free market. This was initially attractive to the upper middle class, particularly in suburban enclaves of educated elites. Many of my own family members are subscribers, and support Trump even to this day, resting their devotion on this single principle.
What they did not anticipate is how political decay would be manipulated by global corporations to tilt the playing field ever more heavily against the middle class. When accumulation of money is the goal, no benefit is gained from the poor. You have to continue to mine out the wealth stored in the middle class, hollowing it out from below. The endpoint, fortunately, is for the elite to set about taking each other apart. This liberates the lower classes to reorganize around value generation, with subsequent restoration of political rights.
A historical illustration is the War of the Roses in England that allowed merchants to establish free markets, where priorly every worthy money-making opportunity was re-allocated to the nobility under royal writ of monopoly.
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