Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Republicans for Disenfranchisement

Tea Party Republicans lead a movement to restrict, prevent, and dissuade people from voting.
  • Require Literacy Tests to Vote - In February, Tom Tancredo told a Tea Party conference that the reason a black man was elected president was the absence of Jim Crow literacy tests.
  • Urging Minorities to Just Not Vote - In Nevada, supporters of Tea Party Republican Sharron Angle are broadcasting an ad in Spanish urging Hispanics to not vote. 
  • Voter Caging - Challenging the right of citizens to vote. Minorities go the the polls only to find that Republicans have placed them on a list as suspected illegal voters. The citizens then have to jump through hoops to prove they are legal voters. The goal is to dissuade people from voting by making the process impossibly difficult. See also.
  • Lose Your Home, Lose Your Vote - A unique form of voter caging is happening in Michigan where Republicans are challenging the right to vote of anybody who lost a home to foreclosure.
  • Show Your Papers - I have been voting in a middle-class white neighborhood for decades. I've never had to "show my papers" to vote. Minorities are not so lucky. The goal, again, is to frustrate, anger, and intimidate voters into walking away without casting a ballot.
  • Thuggery - Unsubtle, straight up physical intimidation is also happening.
  • Disenfranchise Public Employees - Pat Sajak and National Review recently advocated removing the right to vote from people with "conflicts of interest."
Tea Party Republicans believe that only an elite few (them and their friends) should have the right to vote. As I wrote several years ago, history may well record this era in American history as the Great Disenfranchisement

Art is Thomas Nast from Harper's Weekly, 1874.

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