Stealing Democracy

If you can’t win elections fairly, why not just steal them. This seems to be Republicans new strategy to try winning the White House and any other seat they can pick up for Congress and state houses across the nation. With Voter ID laws and even Republican controlled states trying to kick President Obama off of the ballot in November, Republicans are on the attack. They’re not just attacking women, gays, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims or any other minority that doesn’t fit into what they consider American, but they’re also attacking democracy.

Arizona is just the latest state to threaten to take Barack Obama off of the ballot. Republican Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett who says he’s not a “birther” but because of questions about Obama’s birth certificate, has threatened to remove him from the ballot. He says it’s because of a constituent’s request that he has asked Hawaii state officials to verify Obama’s birth certificate in lieu of a certified birth certificate.  Does this mean that if some other constituent questions Mitt Romney’s legitimacy as a human being and wants Mr. Bennett to ask for certified proof of his human DNA, we can count on the state secretary to jump right on it?

I thought the birther issue had been settled when President Obama produced an original copy of his birth certificate after being hounded by conservative media, right-wing extremist and political hacks for the first two years of Obama’s term. I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter how much certification Obama or anyone else gives that this president is an American citizens, there will always be someone standing in the wings wanting more proof.

What I do believe is that officials like Secretary Bennett are using the birther issue in hopes to actually block Barack Obama from being on the November 2012 ballot.  For one thing, Arizona is one state that Republicans only have a small lead in the polls and there’s a chance the incumbent, President Obama could carry that state.  So of course, it’s only natural that Republicans would want to do what they can to stop Obama from any chance of winning that state, even if it means taking him off of the ballot and thereby stealing Arizona’s right to vote for the president they want – they’d be stuck with Mitt Romney though they like it or not. You can call that “Stealing Democracy”.

There have also been challenges to Obama’s birth certificate in other states such as Georgia and Iowa to name a few.  It would seem that there are conservatives that would do anything to keep Obama from having a second term and it also looks like some state Republican officials in these states are using this birther issue as a possible method to win state elections by default.

Then there is the more real threat of Voter ID laws that have been passed across the nation after the 2010 election in which Republicans won big time on the platform that they would create jobs, which by the way; they have done everything but create jobs.

These Voter ID laws would effectively block many voters from being able to vote, mostly Democrat voters because it overwhelmingly affect poor people and seniors. It would seem Republicans see this as a way to possibly win certain states, thereby increasing their chances of winning the White House. Their claim is that the laws are meant to stop fraud but the truth is there just isn’t enough fraud out there to overturn elections.

Maybe the Republican agenda has moved so far to the right and has become so unpopular with so many people that they now need another way to win elections besides democracy. Their stand on issues such as the tax cuts for millionaires while cutting social programs that feed seniors and children and provides health care for millions of poor people, such as the Paul Ryan budget plan has put them to the right field of ordinary Americans who understand the importance of these programs to the needy.

They’ve pushed legislation to block abortions  and passed constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage in several states. This is what Republicans have been working on since taking control of state legislators and governor seats across the country, along with the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 election.

What I would suggest for Democrats is to find ways to overcome these Voter ID laws by seeing that millions, who don’t have ID, obtains IDs. Legally, it’s difficult to argue that IDs aren’t a good idea. The problem here is not the laws themselves but the effort that has been put behind these laws to affect the upcoming election this November.  It’s highly suspect that these efforts are to change the result of the election in Republicans favor.

If the only concern for these Republican legislators is to stop fraud, a phased in plan would be the best answer so that citizens without IDs would have a fair chance to obtain them. Passing the laws and then setting a future implementation date so that they would not affect this upcoming election would show at true desire to be fair with voters. Otherwise it has become quite obvious to anyone paying attention, Republicans don’t think they can win on their own record or agenda and so instead they’ve decided to cheat some Americans out of their right to vote.

Our right as Americans to vote is the most basic right and without it, our country goes to the highest bidder. We’ve already seen the result of having money poured into our campaign system to throw favor toward one candidate or the other, are we also to sit back and watch our democracy disappear before our eyes?

Our freedom to decide who represents us within our government must always be uplifted and protected for all Americans. Our peril will be the loss of democracy for all of us if we allow some of our citizens to be blocked from voting now. There is so much riding on this upcoming election in November and each American’s right to vote will be depended upon for the very freedom of us all.

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