Despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent, despite all the threats of terrorism and economic disaster, despite the cries of socialism, fascism, and even communism, you still re-elected Barrack Hussein Obama. For this reason, the Republican party has decided that what is needed is to simply take away your voting rights.
Ho hum, you say? “Wake up, Tom! Republicans have been trying to disenfranchise African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and other groups for years, if not centuries!” Well, yes… there is that. Let’s not go into a long history, but just give a quick review before we talk about the Republican party’s inspired new ideas (don’t you wish we had a convention on sarcasm in text, like it always appears in some ugly color, like baby-shit yellow?).
Republicans have sponsored and in many cases put through bills in almost every state requiring state-issued, photo IDs to be presented by voters. This may sound simple, but many voters (many of the poorest voters) face considerable difficulties in getting those IDs. Besides, actual voter fraud hardly exists. They have sent out letters to legal immigrants – naturalized citizens – that they and/or their families will be deported if they attempt to vote. They sent out letters claiming that people can vote by phone… the day after the election. Several Republican Secretaries of State have adjusted voting hours and polling-place personnel levels in order to cause hours-long waits to vote in poor or just Democratic-leaning precincts. My hands are getting tired from typing – so I hope you get the picture.
But now, ladies and gentlemen, comes the main event. An idea, a proposition, more evil than Scarpia, more conniving than Iago, more heartless than Dick Cheney… Because you, my friends, are just too stupid… too stupid to vote for who you’ve been instructed (at great effort, I might add), the power to choose your president will be taken away. Not completely, mind you. But just enough to tip the balance, and to make sure that there are no more Romney-style humiliations.
Here’s the ingenious plan: Even while most Americans want to do away with the electoral college and elect the president directly by popular vote, the Republican leadership in several key. “swing” states want to take the electoral college much further. They want to use the gerrymandered congressional districts, within their borders, to determine the winner of the state’s electoral votes.
If these rules had been in place before the 2012 election, Romney would have won the presidency, despite having lost the popular vote, 47% to Obama’s 51%, a difference of about 5 million votes.
The inescapable conclusion from all this is that the Republican party (I’m not talking about ALL Republican voters, but the party’s leadership) hates democracy. And while it’s true that the Democratic party also works to change the balance of who votes in America, they work to get more people to vote, not less. That actually (and obviously) increases democracy.
This picture may have been faked, but I think it captures some real sentiment out there.
To my many, many Republican readers out there, I ask: Will you sacrifice democracy in order to get your way? I sincerely believe that the answer will, from most, actual Republican voters, be “No!” You can’t love America and hate democracy. That would be the ultimate hypocrisy.
Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.