Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Binge and Purge

Throughout this entire election cycle, I've watched, horrified, at the same bizarre whirlwind of the Republican Party that has been witnessed by everyone -- from McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate, to the frenzy she stirred up by her racist, xenophobic, anti-woman, rhetoric, to the horrific reality that these people may be in office: A man who is such a doddering old fool and has been so clearly "handled" that he makes George Bush look like a maverick, and a woman who makes me look better qualified to be the leader of the free world.

I'll admit that I've enjoyed the endless array of humorous barbs aimed at the McPalin campaign, but the sad fact is, that they are funny because they are eerily true. However, in spite of the fact that even conservatives are speaking out against the McCain ticket, the Republicans remain contenders, nonetheless. Polls may put Obama in the lead, but there are some major election-related issues that could wreak havoc.

On this upcoming day, we have to put our rantings aside and worry about the one issue that could really derail this election: election fraud and voter roll purging. As I'm sure you well, remember, the 2000 election was decided, not by the people, but by the Supreme Court. This was not by issues having to do with the campaign but rather by issues having to do with the polls. The Republicans well know that if there is not a landslide in Obama's favor, they can stall the entire electoral process by claims that so-called irregularities in voter registration or voting processes caused their demise. We cannot allow this to happen.

Republicans have already started claiming registration problems in many states. All battlegrounds. The fact that they have started making charges means they are collecting evidence should they need to make some sort of widespread claim that ACORN (that "terrorist" social services community organization) and other groups conspired to fix this election by registering fake voters and other such ridiculousness. This is in spite of the fact that intelligent republicans are already claiming that the party has no proof of voter fraud.

The thing that makes me go "hmmm" about all of this, is the clear subterfuge -- voter fraud is code for the same kind of outright vote suppression laws that were used in many states to keep minorities and the poor from voting. Poll taxes, literacy tests, hidden polling places all were supposedly done away with when the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965.

But by then it was too late. Many felt unrepresented and disenfranchised already. Many still lived in places where they could not even find a polling place remotely close by. And, most importantly, most felt that their votes did not matter and that no one in government spoke for them. The challenges to voting rolls that the Republicans are proposing, ALL have to do with the people our society has marginalized. Even if they try to participate in the political process, they can't.

But, with this very election, voter registration among minorities and low-income Americans is as high as it has ever been. Surely this is in part because Obama is himself a minority. But I think the bigger issue is that his campaign was so organized that for the first time in perhaps their entire lives, the underrepresented found organizers at their doors, registering them to vote, offering to drive them to the polls, making them feel like their participation is valued.

Poll-watching is happening in droves for the first time (by both parties). Lawyers have been enlisted to carefully monitor polls everywhere to make sure our election is decided this evening, rather than months away after rolling around the court system.

So be mindful of this somber fact when you go vote today (and you WILL go vote today). Your vote MUST be banked because so many others may be purged. We cannot let another election be "stolen" by these kinds of shenanigans. Voting is one of the rights guaranteed to us. If this election fails due to voting issues, I will lose faith that voting even matters.

So go now...get off your computer and get your butt into that election booth.

And, to add a little bit of levity to an otherwise somber post, please enjoy THIS. (Then go vote; seriously. Go).

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Blogger Billychic said...

Oh, GOD, your post is so necessary. And so dead on.

That's why this is so important, today, to get out and vote and make sure that McCain and Palin can't get in. They are scary - McCain is not the man he was 8 years ago - and Palin couldn't find her own ass with two hands and a road map...and she's conniving and stands against everything a woman should stand for - or a decent human being for that matter. Her "I'm just a hockey mom" is a big lie.

That prank call at the end is HILARIOUS. I almost peed my pants.


8:22 AM  
Blogger Seriously? said...

The prank call REALLY happened. I about died when I heard it. Thanks for your positive feedback. I was nervous to start blogging again.


9:25 AM  

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