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Dirty Little Red State Secret: ALEC is Behind the GOP’s Voter Purge
The political philosophy that exalts nation and race above individual freedoms, and stands for a powerful autocratic government with severe social and economic regimentation and suppression of the opposition is fascism. It is, in every sense, the opposite of democracy and most Americans would rail against a fascist coup to take control of the country if they were intelligent enough to identify it before it was too late to act. Although it is not too late to act, if Americans continue ceding power to corporations, the wealthy, and religious institutions, America will be controlled by fascists and representative democracy will be a distant memory within a very short period of time. It should be apparent at this point in time that Republicans are driving America toward a fascist corporatocracy with their persistent entitlements for the wealthy, privatization schemes, and economic subjugation of the poor and middle class, and to fulfill their mission, they are silencing the opposition through voter disenfranchisement with help from recalcitrant Democratic voters.
The recent voter purge in Florida and Texas are the result of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) fascist voter ID laws, and even though ALEC announced they abandoned their "Public Safety and Elections Task Force," the damage is done because the ALEC-inspired laws are on the books and being implemented ahead of the November elections. However, even in states without harsh voter suppression laws, Republicans have used subversive tactics to make it difficult if not impossible for all Americans to exercise their right to vote. The recall election in Wisconsin on Tuesday highlighted Republican’s dirty tricks to convince voters that if they signed recall petitions or voted to recall Scott Walker, they were not required to vote again on Tuesday. Another group contacted voters by phone and informed them the recall election was on Wednesday, and both tactics violated Wisconsin law. The incidents, although despicable, are being repeated across the country and the goal is suppressing the Democratic-voting opposition.
Before California enacted a new voter law that allows Democrats to vote for Republicans and vice versa in primary elections, it was not uncommon for a registered Democratic voter to show up to their polling place and be handed a Republican ballot because the party affiliation was changed at some juncture without the voter’s approval. If a California voter registered as “decline to state,” they could request either a Democratic or Republican ballot, but poll workers consistently handed out Republican ballots as a matter-of-course and attempted to convince the voter that because the governor was a Republican, that was the only option available to “decline to state” voters. This author experienced that scenario for the past 12 primary elections and on two occasions it took election officials’ reprimands to finally get the right ballot. At another polling place, election workers cheered when a Republican voter signed in to vote with the comment “oh good, another patriot voting for a real American.” When the workers were reported to the registrar of voters, the person in charge dismissed the complaints and cited the First Amendment’s freedom of speech clause.
On Monday after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced their personnel would monitor polling places in Fresno County, Cibola County, and the city of Milwaukee, conservative maniac Dana Loesch claimed, “the DOJ has, in the past, sanctioned "election monitoring" (after the fact) by New Black Panther Party members standing outside of the polls with nightsticks. What kind of "monitoring" will these federal employees engage in on Tuesday, an election where Republican Scott Walker is the likely victor?” Republicans and their conservative henchmen are not satisfied attempting to trick voters into voting on the wrong day, demand a voter ID, or purge them from the list of eligible voters, so they employ race-baiting and fear-mongering to keep stir up suspicion among voters.
There is an epidemic of voter apathy in America that allows Republicans to pursue their anti-American agenda with impunity, and between disenfranchising voters and obstructionist tactics in Congress, it is easy to see why so many Americans believe voting is a waste of time. Voter ID laws, intimidation, and purging eligible voters is meant to suppress opposition to Republican’s corporatist agenda where a few wealthy white men controlled the country, and it is just a matter of time before two-hundred years of democracy are lost to a fascist corporate takeover. It is easy to place all the blame on Republicans, but they would not wield their considerable power if Democrats would turn up at the polls. Regardless of the Republican tactics to suppress the vote, it is not uncommon for Democrats to sit out elections to show their displeasure at their party’s representatives and it is the height of stupidity to think they are punishing anyone but themselves and their fellow citizens.
Voting is a privilege that is abused with great frequency, but it is from non-participation as much as Republican voter suppression tactics, and democracy is paying the price. There is one thing to say about Republican voters and it is that they vote. They vote in large numbers and although they vote against their own best interests, Republicans can count on every registered Republican voter showing up on Election Day, and coupled with Democratic voter apathy, harsh voter ID laws, and intimidation tactics, it is a wonder Republicans fail to control the House, Senate, and the White House permanently. However, despite Republicans’ dirty tricks and harsh voter ID laws, Democrats are still competitive and if they would just show up at the polls, Republicans would not be driving America toward a corporate fascist state. The upcoming general election will decide the makeup of the Supreme Court for a generation, and if Republicans win the White House and control both houses of Congress, decisions like Citizens United, eliminating Social Security and Medicare, bans on contraception and homosexuality, and the end of freedom of religion will occur within one election cycle as the country is controlled by Dominionists and men like the Koch brothers.
Americans cannot say they failed to see the warning signs of corporate fascism because Republicans have made no secret that their mission is giving America over to a few wealthy industrialists. They may use phrases like job creators, premium care for Medicare vouchers, parental choice for privatizing public education, and free work zones, but their goal is clear; establish a fascist corporatocracy and use dirty tricks, voter suppression tactics, and lazy ideological Democratic voters to see their goal reach fruition.