Throughout world history, every instance of oligarchy involved a tyrannical power structure in which supremacy rested with a small number of people distinguished by royalty, wealth, or military control. Such states were often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next, and for the past 30 years in America, it has been the wealthy and corporations slowly seizing the reins of power. Oligarchy’s nemesis is American-style representative democracy founded on the principle that supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents, and it is in jeopardy of being replaced by oligarchy. America’s Constitution provides that every citizen has a say in selecting their representatives, and it has been a hard-fought battle to ensure every voice is heard, but not all Americans support the Constitution or democracy, and in 2012 it is Republicans waging all-out war on America’s democratic form of government.
To promote the war on terror, George W. Bush told Americans they “hate us for our freedoms, they hate democracy” and it is still true today. However, it is not al Qaeda, or extremist Muslims attacking Americans, it is the same group that has been waging war on the American people for the past three-and-a-half years, the Republican Party. As domestic terrorists, Republicans have sought to undo the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights, subvert the economy, and now, revoke voting privileges from an ever-growing segment of the population. The Republicans have a powerful ally in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and they have been successful in Republican-controlled states denying students, seniors, and especially minorities the right to vote with unconstitutional voter ID laws.
Republicans began their voter purge when they shut down ACORN based on fabricated evidence, and if they had been crushed then, the rash of ALEC-inspired voter suppression laws may not be dooming democracy today. Republicans claim the harsh voter suppression laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud, but in what is becoming a common occurrence, Republicans are projecting again and the rash of reports of Republican voter fraud are making that very clear. Pundits on the left are fond of saying Republicans will try to steal the election in November, but at the rate they are going, there will not be an election to steal if the only votes are sanctioned by Republicans.
The GOP has been in the business of voter fraud long before President Obama won in November 2008, and it happened at the local level as a matter-of-course. In California, before there were open primaries, a typical tactic was handing out only Republican ballots regardless the voters’ registration or request for a Democratic ballot. At a Republican training session to register new voters in 2010, there were specific rules for registering voters that are patently illegal in California. For example, the prospective voter was not allowed to touch the voter registration form except to sign their name, and they saw pamphlets decrying the socialist threat of eliminating the right to vote, possess guns, and freedom to worship if Democrats were elected. If a prospective voter was able to register as a Democrat, they were surprised to find they were Republicans when they arrived at their polling place.
The reports of GOP voter registration fraud going on around the country are shocking to many Americans, but it has been standard procedure for a long time and it will get much worse before it gets better as Republicans alienate more Americans with their agenda to transfer power from the people to the wealthy and their corporations. When Willard Romney revealed that he thinks 47% of Americans are parasites, he was referring to seniors, working poor Americans, veterans, and students, and they are most affected by ALEC’s harsh voter ID laws. However, with women overwhelmingly supporting President Obama and Democrats, there are murmurs among Republicans that women voters may not be good for America.
Director of Issue Analysis at the American Family Institute, Bryan Fischer said, “Women’s suffrage is the only thing keeping Obama in the game,” and Republican congressman Darrel Issa said, “If only men voted, Republicans would win every election,” and that is the sole reason Republicans are suppressing the vote; to guarantee Republicans win every election to transform governance from a representative democracy to an oligarchy. If women think they are immune from Republican voter disenfranchisement tactics, they need to think back over the past year-and-a-half and recollect there was a time when they thought their reproductive rights were safe. No American is safe from the GOP domestic terrorists.
Republicans are aware that their policies are not popular with the American people, and that they are not having any success convincing voters that giving everything to the wealthy is the path to prosperity. Instead of following the will of the people, their intransigence is driving them to impose their will on the people by suppressing the vote and employing fraudulent voter registration tactics in states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and California that have made the news. Willard Romney, who says he likes the ALEC-sponsored voter ID laws said, “I like voter ID laws, we need more of them.” In Pennsylvania, a Republican admitted that the voter ID law struck down Monday “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the presidency…done!” In Florida, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ohio, a firm tied to Romney has been linked to illegally registering only Republicans supporting Mitt Romney.
It is time to call these harsh voter ID laws and fraudulent voter registration efforts more than disenfranchising voters or voter suppression; they are domestic terrorist attacks on democracy and they are uniquely Republican. The American people are not buying Republican attempts to hand control of the government to corporations and the wealthy, so Republicans are silencing their voices the only way they have left; eliminating the right to vote. It is a bloodless coup d’état and the Republicans are not even attempting to conceal their efforts evident in ALEC sponsored voter ID laws that have been declared unconstitutional, and if any American thinks the upcoming election will be clean, they are naïve beyond belief.
In 2008, convicted war criminal Dick Cheney said he “didn’t care what the American people think,” and it was an omen of what Americans are seeing in 2012. The entire Republican Party does not care what the people think, or want, and they will do anything to impose their harsh austerity measures on the people to complete their drive toward oligarchy, and the quickest way to silence dissent is restricting voting to Republican supporters. It is an attack on democracy, the Constitution, and the American people, and without a harsh voter intervention in November, this may be the last time millions of Americans have an opportunity to have their voices heard.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.