If you spend a lot of time watching late night TV, you likely see a lot of info-mercials trying to sell anything from juicers to button makers. To effectively market an unnecessary product to a potential buyer, a seller must effectively create a need for their product in the mind of the potentisl buyer. Last night I saw one commercial trying to sell a device that would punch holes in belts—because we all know how often our waistline fluctuates! So, for example, I put on a pair up pants but because I’m so darn fat I can no longer tighten my belt—here comes the belt hole puncher to the rescue! No longer must I worry about having to buy bigger belts or get frustrated when I can’t tighten my current belts, I can just punch another hole. Heck, as a “pleased customer” says on the commercial, “it’s something we all need.” Riiiiiggggghhhttt.
Late night TV commercials trying to sell their random and unnecessary goods and wares got me thinking about the many Voter ID laws being passed in various states around the country, Wisconsin being a notable example. Wisconsin’s law was recently ruled unconstitutional and Governor Scott Walker thinks that’s a shame. Funny thing though, when he was asked on Fox News about proof regarding voter fraud, Walker simply dodged the question and suggested that the law will be worthwhile if it prevented even just one case of voter fraud. Walker and others like him are trying to sell unneeded crap to the American people, their trying to sell you a “punch and snap” or a “pocket chair” (because who doesn’t need a chair they can fit in their pocket?!). Basically, Walker and other folks endorsing these laws are just inventing problems (like any good marketer trying to sell you their random piece of crap that you don’t really need and will be a waste of your money).
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas and current Fox News TV host suggests, like many others, that since we need an ID to cash a check or fly on a plane, requiring an ID to be shown before voting makes perfect sense but here’s the problem—cashing a check or flying on a plane are not constitutionally protected rights! It’s disingenuous to on one hand cry the that constitution is being ignored and disrespected by liberals yet then on the other hand compare constitutionally protected rights to checking out a library book. It’s NOT the same thing!
Republicans are quick to say this isn’t a discriminatory practice, but I’m sure those who enacted “poll taxes” in the early years of America and those who constantly created ridiculous obstacles for African-Americans in the south didn’t consider their practices discriminatory either. Heck, Scott Walker gleefully relayed a story about a teenager who described anyone who was unable to get a state ID as “incompetent.” Really? That kid has no freakin’ idea, and Walker is showing his foolishness even restating those words.
Shortly after the interview with Scott Walker, Fox News, the bastion of fair and balanced reporting, brought on “historian” Mark Steyn to critique a recent Obama speech. Steyn was able to find several “historical inaccuracies” Obama had said yet was somehow unable to add to the voter ID topic any relevant historical information—such as poll taxes or discriminatory practices in the south (and why Fox News can only find a Canadian to be an “expert” on American history should tell you something).
Who is most likely to be effected by these laws? Minorities and lower-income Americans, people who coincidentally tend to vote Democratic. So, here’s the skinny, conservatives are weeding out competition while at the same time denigrating the opposition. Yet again, it’s the majority speaking for the minorities—hardly a new occurrence, yet one we should have caught on to by now. Just because I white person says it’s not discriminatory doesn’t mean it isn’t. It’s time to get rid of these ridiculous “As seen on TV” voter ID laws.