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Imaginary-Americans: An Increasingly Disenfranchised Minority
Photo ID is the new Jim Crow...

[by Mac Johnson] 8/30/05

There’s a Klansman in your pocket.

Now, before you panic, please know that I do not refer to the hooded secret member that many of you no doubt immediately feared, but I refer to an insidious intimidator nonetheless. Obviously, I’m talking about your photo ID -- the most intimidating thing any American will ever have to face on Election Day -- at least according to the ACLU.

After a recent Justice Department approval of Georgia’s new anti-fraud law, requiring voters to show one of six reliable forms of photo ID before voting in upcoming elections, the ACLU’s Daniel Levitas claimed that "The decision to clear the measure now gives Georgia the most draconian voter identification requirement in the nation."

Photo ID is draconian.

Mac Johnson

Mac Johnson is a freelance writer and biologist in Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Johnson holds a Doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. He is a frequent opinion contributor to Human Events Online. His website can be found at [go to Johnson index]

Representative John Lewis, Democrat, claimed that asking a voter to show photo ID “takes us back to the dark past of literacy tests and other insidious devices that were carefully devised to hamper the participation of all of our citizens in the political process."

Photo ID is insidious.

David Becker, formerly a trial lawyer for the Justice Department, wrote a recent commentary for the Washington Post, entitled Reviving Jim Crow?, in which he called the Photo ID law “one of the single most discriminatory pieces of voting legislation of recent years.”

Photo ID is discriminatory.

Photo ID is the new Jim Crow.

Photo ID is the Klansman in your pocket.

And you just thought it was a way to prove you are who you say you are -- before you cash a check, or buy a beer, or a drive a car, or board a plane, or get a fishing license, or rent a tuxedo, or do any of a thousand common things in which people are tempted to lie about who they are, where they live, or how eligible they are.

We verify who we are all the time, and we all know why this is necessary. People lie and cheat and steal. Sometimes they even steal elections. Which should be very disturbing to anyone who would like to believe that we actually choose our leaders in fair elections. Without fair, verifiable elections, there can be no democracy. Asking for ID before allowing someone access to a ballot box is simply common sense, and a key to demonstrating that any close election was fairly decided. Otherwise, you do not know if a person has voted once, or four times. You do not know if he is a felon prohibited from voting, or part of a group of political nuts bussed in from another state, or an illegal alien trying to vote himself an amnesty.

Without photo identification, you have no way of figuring out why some precincts have 113% voter turnout. Or if that extra bag of votes someone always finds in a close election is real. Or if our leaders are just con men with a group of smirking, dedicated supporters.

So the only people who could conceivably not want voters verified as being real are those that believe a fairer election will somehow make some of their “voters” disappear. Strangely, the Democratic Party is very concerned with Georgia’s new voter identification law -- and similar laws being considered in two dozen other states. And from Bill Clinton to Jesse Jackson, the Democrat Leadership has hit the campaign trail to discredit such laws as an insidious, discriminatory, draconian, Jim Crow-like plot to suppress minority voters.

The only problem with that argument is that minority voters can get, and usually already have, photo IDs just like everyone else. It’s an undeniable right, guaranteed by equal protection and equal access laws.

So who are these minorities that will be “disenfranchised” by voter ID reforms? Democrats have claimed, in Indiana, that such laws could adversely affect the Amish, who do not wish to be photographed for religious reasons. Democrats do well to worry about the Amish vote: ultra-religious agrarian luddites form the bedrock of the Democrat’s base, after all. But Republicans quickly offered a draconian exception for the Amish, thus negating this budding civil rights crisis.

Perhaps vampires could also be affected? I mean, when you appear invisible in mirrors and photographs, photo ID is hard to come by. But since Vampires are both hard-core Republicans and mostly Romanians, it may be a moot point for the Democrats.

Nope, the only group I can think of that could have their right to vote impacted by requiring the quick flash of a common photo ID are Imaginary-Americans. From the cemeteries of Chicago to the backwoods of Appalachia to the homeless voters of Seattle, Imaginary-Americans have long been a core Democrat constituency. Never asking for the benefit programs and pork-barrel bridges often demanded by the majority culture of “Real-Americans,” from which they were so often excluded, Imaginary-Americans have always been there with a bag of ballots and a smile just when a humble, honest Democrat candidate needed them most.

Why are Republicans trying to disenfranchise this persecuted minority? Didn’t they see that old Jimmy Stewart movie Harvey? Imaginary friends are the best kind to have, and the Democrats need their imaginary friends more and more now that many Real-Americans have abandoned their cause.

However principled the Democrats defense of disenfranchised Imaginary-Americans may be, I must point out, however, that Democrats of all people should support laws making election fraud more easily tracked and proven. It is, after all, the Republicans that have stolen the last two Presidential elections, according to Democrats.

Jesse Jackson, who spoke at a rally against the Georgia law, has spent quite a bit of time complaining that there was no paper trail on some voting machines in the 2004 election. Surely, then, he would want a paper trail to exist on the voters operating these machines as well. How does he know Republicans didn’t steal Ohio with a whole lot of fake voters on the rolls? Perhaps this is also how we stole Florida in 2000?

As a matter of fact, I can’t believe how stupid Republicans are being by even proposing election reform laws. Since Republicans depend on fraud to win elections and Democrats are honest “one-man, one-vote” types, we have made the greatest mistake of our sordid lives in trying to make voter eligibility clear and unarguable.

Photo ID laws could even stop the evil Republicans from using the insidious trick of challenging questionable voters’ eligibility and forcing them to fill out provisional ballots. Jackson claims that such “mass challenges” of minority voters in 2004 may have cost Kerry the election and harkened back to the “era of the night riders.”

It is undeniably true that an octogenarian Republican election worker asking terrifying questions like “Is your name on the list of registered voters, Sir?” is a terrifying act of voter intimidation. But there is a secret weapon you already have in your wallet that can stop the elderly country club night riders dead in their tracks: it’s called “Photo ID.” When you show it, no one can question who you are and make you fill out a provisional ballot. You get a real, live, throw-it-in-the-can-and-count-it-without-question ballot.

You guys can eliminate all our fraud if you just jump on the bandwagon. Call our bluff. You’re honest. You have nothing to fear from a cleaner system. Let’s make elections free, fair, and verifiable -- before Republicans steal the Presidency from Hillary in 2008.

It’s what the disappearing Imaginary-Americans would have wanted, after all. tOR

This piece first appeared at Human Events Online

copyright 2005 Mac Johnson



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