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Blog of Mass Destruction

Voter ID Laws

By The Reverend Published: March 19, 2012

Why all the new voter ID laws?

The answer is simple....

“Every year,” Chait wrote, “the nonwhite proportion of the electorate grows by about half a percentage point—meaning that in every presidential election, the minority share of the vote increases by 2 percent, a huge amount in a closely divided country.” This explains, for example, why Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona are turning purple instead of staying red. “By 2020,” Chait writes, “nonwhite voters should rise from a quarter of the 2008 electorate to one third. In 30 years, “nonwhites will outnumber whites.”

Those numbers are extremely important in trying to understand why so many conservative-controlled states have been enacting stringent new voter ID laws in their respective states.

In 30 years...."nonwhites will outnumber whites."

Contrary to the childish rhetoric of so many would-be-deceivers who defend new voter ID laws, actual voter fraud....defined in this blog as a person purposely voting under another person's name.....is basically non-existent in the 50 states. Not even large enough to be a rounding error.

All one need consider to understand the dearth of voter fraud is the state of Indiana. When the Republican attorney general set forward in court a defense of Indiana's new voter ID law, not one Indiana voter fraud incident was presented as evidence that voter fraud was a problem needing fixing. Not one. Yes, the Roberts Supreme Court ruled that Indiana's ID law was constitutional....but then again, the Roberts Court has also bequeathed us with Citizens United. Some may consider that sentence a non-sequitor.....just not me.

From the inception of conservative-led voter ID laws.....this issue has been about a partisan political solution in search of a problem.

I see conservative-led voter ID laws as a byproduct of a desire by conservatives to stem the rising tide of minority voters in the U.S. Minority voters tend to vote more for Democrats than Republicans. If the votes of minorities can be suppressed by even the slightest of margins in close elections....conservatives see an advantage to be had over Democrats.

In this, Republicans are consistent. In Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan.....Republican governors conspired to gain a partisan edge over their Democratic opponents by attempting to gut public sector unions. As with voter ID laws, the goal of gutting public sector unions was to give Republican candidates a fighting chance, or even a small edge, in elections. Especially in close elections.

That's the conservative movement's short game plan. In light of the fact that in 30 years, whites will no longer be the majority in the U.S.....today's Republican efforts to suppress minority votes seems to me to be a kind of last ditch effort to....."take their country back." Yes, that's what that phrase has always meant. Palin's "real Americans"....and the Tea Party's often-heard battle cry about "taking their country back" are both code for....white conservatives are in danger of becoming a minority group in the U.S. and something needs to be done about it.

What I'm suggesting doesn't necessarily mean that conservatives or Republicans are racists or bigots. Not necessarily. Personally, I don't think that conservative state voter ID laws have been passed because conservatives or Republicans hate minorities, as such. But those laws do suggest that conservatives are becoming much more anxious and nervous about their coming minority political status inside a nation, they believe, was a gift from god to white Christian patriots.

If the short game by conservatives works to their advantage, and Republicans, by whatever means it takes, recapture the presidency and Congress, then, I suppose the long game plan is to enact draconian legislation which will delay, slow down, or stop the slow erosion of white electoral dominance before it's too late. Not because conservatives are racist....but because they want to continue to win national elections.

Instead of remodeling or reforming their conservative party by embracing a comprehensive immigration reform plan, instead of advancing new ideas, new programs, to help lift poor minorities out of poverty, instead of a conservative-policy makeover which embraces all Americans.....conservatives have been busying themselves trying to game the electoral process by passing state legislation which primarily deters minorities from voting.

In other words....Republicans have no long game plan. It's all a short game plan.....and if it doesn't work....the Republican Party of Lincoln will fade into irrelevancy. The gaping fissures opened up within the GOP this primary season are not an anomaly. In 2008, John McCain's candidacy was not enthusiastically embraced by the conservative movement. McCain understood the dangers of money in our political process, and realized that a comprehensive immigration plan was in everybody's interest. Recently, Johnny Mac has told his GOP brethren to drop their contraception-bashing for fear of turning off yet another demographic to his political party.

For conservatives, the problem with McCain....and now Romney....is that both men are seen as not being true conservatives. True conservatives would send 10 million undocumented Latinos back home, true conservatives would seek to gain political advantage with all legislation passed.... whether it's suppressing minority votes in South Carolina and Texas or attempting to gut public sector unions in Ohio and Wisconsin. Party over country. True conservatives would drown the federal government in a bathtub, giving states the sole power to fend off the coming surge of minority voters in whatever way they see fit.....and all in order to "take their country back."

None of this needs to be. Sadly, I don't see any turning back.

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