Recently we've had a few articles from our local right-wingers expressing a desire to strip citizens of their right to vote. We also had a multitude of comments supporting such a thing. In addition I had some comments indicating a desire to "regulate" the media.
I find all of this rather disconcerting. Why would anyone want such a thing? We fought a war with the British to gain our independence so that some monarch couldn't determine our fate. We fought wars in the meantime to continue our independence and even fought a civil war that helped free the African slaves. We amended our Constitution to strengthen some of our basic rights, passed laws to do even more and set up laws to help those in need. So, again, why?
I think some of it has to do with fear, fear that the world is changing in ways they don't like. The best way to stop or slow this change is to make sure those that want change can't vote. It's the one great leveler in the United States, this ability to vote in politicians and vote others out. The House and Senate, unlike the presidency, is at the mercy of the popular vote. It can be gerrymandered but there are limits even to this, the same with voter suppression and onerous voter ID laws.
It's very telling to me that as Republicans took supermajorities in various states they passed voter ID laws and gerrymandered districts to their liking. Are Democrats innocent in this? Of course not. They've done the same but Republicans are simply the latest in all of this. If it was up to me I'd pass laws forbidding such practices and hold both parties accountable when they do it.
I want citizens to vote, as many as possible, black, white, poor, rich, middle-class, Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever. It's the only way to make sure that our government represents all of us. Stripping that ability from some because they receive services or because of their gender or religion only ensures the opposite. This is wrong.
One of the great things that came from the Midterms was a level of diversity now added to the House. It now represents the diversity that makes us great. It acknowledges that gender doesn't matter, nor does religion or color. We are all capable of great things regardless of our differences.
I know that what I write isn't going to change a certain authoritarian mindset I see among some of our posters. That's not important. I find it sad but what I would tell them is to get used to it. You don't have the power you desire and that's a good thing. I dread the time where someone like you does the gain the power to make this come to fruition. This would turn us into something completely contrary to what we claim to be.