Thursday, November 13, 2014

Re: Ryan Cooper's article on Voter ID, aka "Why the GOP is racist and what us Dems should do about it."

Today I write in response to Ryan Cooper’s article in “The Week,” dated 11/13, entitled, "If Democrats want to fight voter suppression, they should pay for people to get IDs,"
which, for the following reasons, I submit should rather have been entitled, "Why the GOP is racist and what us Dems should do about it."

To be fair, Mr. Cooper alludes to his clear political bias in the subtitle in which he states, "Republicans are creating Jim Crow Lite..."and I don't believe this article is being held out as "news," (though this may be unclear to the majority of unsophisticated, and unsuspecting, readers). However, as it contains arguments which are routinely repeated by the political left ad nauseum as well as certain chieftans and kingmakers of the Democrat party in spite of being highly damaging to the social and political fabric of our nation I feel compelled to rebut it.

To be clear, the problem with his piece is not merely its rank divisive partisanship or that it states blatant mistruths about how "hard" it is to get a photo id to vote, (like black people are too dumb to figure out how to get proper identification, which, as many have pointed out, you need for almost every other government service and can in most cases be had for less than 10.00).

Nor is it the unsupported assertion that such laws are "unconstitutional," as the Supreme Court has already upheld them in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, see here for the New York Times, here for more detailed reporting, or here for a full pdf of the Supreme Court decision), but that voter id's are somehow inherently racist. Worse yet is the clear implication asserted by Mr. Cooper that voter ID laws are specifically intended by Republicans to "suppress" the minority vote.

Such race-baiting, while a popular tool to assuage white guilt while simultaneously filling the coffers of the DNC and left leaning "social welfare" groups like the misnamed Center for American Progress and validating race-baiters like Al Sharpton and sadly, even our President who regularly invokes such themes, is inherently damaging to the body politic as it creates distrust and pits certain groups in society against one another rather than uniting ALL citizens of our Republic as Americans against our common national problems.

Even worse, it keeps poor young blacks locked in a "victim mentality" sure to keep them on the Democratic plantation of entitlement as the most reliable Democratic voting block in America, instead of believing they can make something of their lives if they stay in school, reject gangsterism and work hard, (as many blacks have done in spite of crushing poverty, see "Gifted Hands," the story of African-American doctor Ben Carson's rise from poverty to becoming one of the most gifted pediatric neurosurgeons in the world).

For that matter, if one really cared about blacks not being "disenfranchised" instead of taking cheap political shots at the GOP, why not include links to all fifty states Departments of Elections or Motor Vehicles where poor people of whatever race can get info on how to register to vote and attain free or reduced-fee photo identification? (Which many states offer, see here or here).

As such, this piece is little more than pure propaganda meant to further the highly partisan practice of "identity politics" rather than the "news" most readers assume it is, (whether or not intended as such).

Of course, the end result of the assertions in Mr. Cooper's editorial, if believed by the supposedly "disenfranchised," is potentially catastrophic in more ways than may meet the eye.

Not only is it divisive, arguably feeding attitudes that could have long-term repercussions to the black community, (via discouraging African Americans from successfully entering into the middle class, for why would they even try to succeed in our national economy if they believe society is so stacked against them with such "racist" laws in such a basic institution as the franchise?), but it more ominously could easily breed a seething resentment and anger smoldering beneath the surface of minority neighborhoods in times of tension or distrust.

A seething resentment and anger which it doesn't take a social scientist to fathom could, in turn and given the right circumstances, quickly ignite and turn deadly, (e.g., see Ferguson, MO., race riots of the 60's, etc.)  Now obviously, I am not saying that this is inevitably the case, nor am I expressing an opinion on the events in Ferguson, (there will be plenty of time to analyze that tragedy another day). It's more like, in philosophical terms, a necessary but not sufficient condition; but make no mistake, the distrust and societal divisions that those like Cooper, Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, et al routinely stoke for temporary political gain do and will have an effect in times of tension that inevitable will arise at times in a pluralistic society such as ours, (and the effects will not be pretty!).  

So when the race riots that ensue cost dozens or hundreds of lives, both black and white, many of whom will know nothing of voter id laws or care for the facts and intricacies of the law which you so conveniently now ignore, go ahead and give yourself a great big pat on the back for being "citizen of the year" Mr. Cooper!

Indeed, rest easy in the knowledge that you were the catalyst that "awakened" those who will die and for whom their parents will wail with grief by railing against the allegedly "racist" "Jim Crow Lite" laws we live under. Only don't blame us for saying "told you so." jp