“If we need an I.D. to drive a car doesn’t it make sense to have to have one to vote!?” That’s an interesting question, especially as it is most often voiced by conservatives who say Big Government is ruining ‘Murica as they bemoan the erosion of freedom and liberty in the US of A.
How is it that Tea Party, isolationists, America First, Trumpians bemoan red-tape paperwork for driving, hunting, fishing, gun ownership, running businesses and keeping hog waste or coal ash out of our drinking water but feel that a demand for voter ID is peachy and as American as apple pie? What’s up with that? There’s nothing like consistency and that is nothing like it.
Trump has a penchant for pointing out problems, whether they be voter fraud or illegal immigration, for which he advocates “interesting” solutions. Trump touts his Border Wall as a wondrous, necessary, modern piece of engineering in his battle to secure our borders. He markets his seventy-billion dollar boondoggle as an effective solution to halting illegal immigration into the USA. Trump’s Wall is his version of an “Infrastructure” project.
Trump’s Wall would likely slow the influx of our darker skinned, Caucasian Latinx neighbors from the south entering as freely as they do but what impact will the seventy times billion dollar Great Wall of China have on the influx of people staying in the USA illegally? Our southern border may be our largest entry point for people who enter illegally but the portal is used by a small fraction of people who stay here illegally. Surely a $70,000,000,000 solution should address the problem thoroughly? Nope; nuh-uh.
The United States is a Mecca for the down trodden, the disenfranchised and those seeking a better life. We’re also a huge tourist destination. Most of us want foreigners to enter our country; at least long enough to spend their money! (And they daggum better learn English first!) We make it easy to come here because it benefits us and up to 50% of those who stay in the US illegally entered legally and simply stayed. Hmmm. Twenty-first Century problem that isn’t solved by an isolationist, ostrich’s head-in-the-sand monolith to Trump’s ego? Chocante!
Trump’s Wall does play nicely into Trump’s selling of fear and hate. Want to know how Trump views Latinx? Listen to his speeches.
And so it goes with his push for Voter Identification. Voting is a Right. US citizens, whether natural or naturalized, have a right to exercise our franchise. We get to vote! The Fifteenth Amendment states:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
-and yet this is exactly what Voter Identification laws will do.
Of the 327,000,000 people living in the USA over fifty-million live below the poverty line. Driver’s Licenses, bank accounts and ID cards are not ubiquitous and those without tend to be poor and as a percentage of population the poor tend to be -wait for it- more predominantly non-white than white. Say what? No way!
And guess what? Non-white, economically disadvantaged voters are more likely to identify as Democrats.
Donald Trump’s claim that five-million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election -all against him!?- is hogwash. and yet this bile is what he feeds his minions on. It is perplexing that Trump’s solution for voter fraud disenfranchises communities that tend to vote “D” more than “R.” Can I get a, “Chocante!”
The United States needs both immigration and voter reform, as we have neither a cohesive, comprehensive immigration policy nor voting standards.
The need for immigration reform was true under Barrack Obama and it became more glaringly obvious under Trump’s demand for an ineffective, outrageously expensive Border Wall, his call to halt immigration to the USA based on religion (That’s what his “Muslim Ban” is folks, a blatant disregard of the First Amendment.) and his transparent praise for people immigrating here from northern European countries. (I thought “R” was for Republican, not racist?) We need an immigration policy, we need secure borders and we need to honor the words on our 1886 gift from France, our Lady Liberty, that state:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Trump’s Border Wall is an expensive optic, a symbol that shows us Trump’s true colors: White.
So is the push for Voter Identification Laws. As ID’s become mandatory for voting we will have fewer lower socio-economic citizens voting and in the United States a disproportionate percentage of people below the poverty line are people of color, many of them descendants of slaves for whom the Fifteenth Amendment was written.
Some might call this disenfranchisement collateral damage, others ironic, I just call it blatantly un-American and contrary to the values my country should represent.