April 16th, 2012
By Frank Byronn Glenn -- While ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
and their shameful Republican lapdogs run around the country undermining democracy and corrupting the political system in the United States for personal financial and ideology gain by passing laws and making a many rules a possible to restrict voter turn-out and scare or discourage honest, hard-working Americans from voting.
Now we know why they do it, from a practical point of view
-- their ideas appeal predominantly to the top 1% of American citizens and very large, rich corporations -- the clientele they serve. From a moral point of view, one can only conclude that they are either totally valueless -- and heartless -- or, and this is even worse, they have sold out what ever idealistic values of youth they may once have had in the pursuit of the quick buck, the short-cut to power, and the right to hang with the corporate priests and priestesses and are flattered to serve as their alter boys.
States all over the country that saw Republicans take over
the majorities in their state houses could hardly wait to get the women hating anti-abortion, anti-planned parenthood, and anti-contraception bills passed so they could get down the "real" business of preventing enough potentially democratic voters from being able to vote to have a snow-balls chance in hell of winning some elections in 2012.
There is the concomitant right wing rejuvenation of the "welfare queen"
rallying cry, only Clinton already over-hauled Welfare for the Republicans, so now it is the "entitlement queens". The unemployed, the food-stamp recipients, the sick, the disabled, the mentally challenged, the students -- in short -- the non-wealthy. The "takers", who take money from the "makers", is one of their favorites these days -- now that " job creators" has been revealed as the hollow ideological debauchery it is. I guess voter ID laws are making the job creators seem a little "uncertain" these days.
Well, I have another bright idea. The United States has one of the lowest voter turn-out records of "civilized"
countries around the world. Australia, for example, has something like 93% of their people vote. The United States doesn't even have 93% of its people breathing on election day -- much less voting.
But I have an idea that may qualm the fears
of the Republicans have that some "fraudulent" voter is going to low crawl through the door at the local precinct and slip unseen into the booth and pull the lever and illegally elect democrat that somehow survived the "Citizens United" money-monster ticker-tape parade.
Let's just make it mandatory that every American Citizen who interfaces
with the government or a government agency in an official, is automatically registered to vote at the same time.
In Washington and some other states, you register to vote when
you get your drivers license for the first time, move here from another state and get a new license, or when you renew your license at any time in your life. Your are instantly registered to vote. When you apply for food stamps -- register to vote first, before you receive them. Medicaid - medicare -- disability - unemployment -- register to vote before you get benefits or services. Military, Social Security -- when you turn 18 in school or college -- register to vote. Applying for a Student Loan or a Pell Grant, the Peace Corp, Americorp -- and interaction between you and your government -- register to vote before
Pass a law making it mandatory across the nation.
And make it mandatory that you vote, or you loose your benefits or services effective immediately upon the event of a city, county, state, or national election in which you fail to vote. I bet it would be no time before we had one of the highest voter turn-out records in the world. The right wing could rest easy that each person interacting at some level with government had been checked out, authenticated, validated, registered, certified, ratified, and VOTE-IFIED! What a democracy that would be -- or soon would be!
Plus, we could give each voter a secret, unique, randomly generated voter id number when they voted and we could require those numbers be available on the internet such that a citizen voter could check to make sure their voting preference was recorded accurately and counted correctly. Hand voting and hand counting would be a little slow but I am an avid supporter of accuracy and fraud free elections -- over speedy results reporting -- which the cable news shows want, but shouldn't get.
Voting should be an inalienable human right, and a democratic responsibility -- like jury duty!
Vote Long and Vote Often - America!