He's Not Racist, He's My Voter

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

As an Ohio resident, Jezebel’s headline makes me wince: “Ohio Republican Party: GOP Chairman Made Racist Remarks Because He Thought He Was Speaking Off the Record.”
Doug Priesse’s racist remark was this: “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban – read African-American – voter-turnout machine.” Which is the whole reason why they’re attempting to shut down early voting sites.
Now, let us be uncannily kind and assume that maybe, he’s not racist at all.  It is vaguely possible that he is not trying to shut down the “urban” voter-turnout machines because they’re black, but is merely noting that the early-voting policies disproportionately reward black voters.  And he’s not against the early voting policies because they are black, but because it’s not fair that voting procedures are twisted so much to accommodate any one single group – be they black, white, marbled, or pointillated.
Guess what?  That still makes him a fucking dick.
Because the whole point of voting, to any honest and objective person, should be to get as many legitimate voters as you can out to voteAny policy that makes it easier for anyone to vote in the single most important thing you can do for our democracy should be lauded, as long as it doesn’t lead to widespread vote fraud (like, say, online voting almost inevitably would).  As a liberal-leaning centrist, I support every Republican effort to get out their vote, because frankly the votes of my opposition should still be counted.
This isn’t just my fucking election.  It is the combined will of the people.  It is larger than just what I want – it’s a temperature taken of the population as a whole, and for this to be more than a dictatorship under my control, this needs to have as many people as we can get invested in the process.
So.  Early voting hours for blacks and fundamentalist Christians alike?  For it.  Mail-in ballots for the military and the civilians?  For it.  Better methods to make it easier to get involved, even if those methods disproportionately favor Tea Party members?
Fucking. For. It.
So what Priesse is saying here is that we should make voting a difficult thing.  Even in absentia of the concern that he’s purposely trying to punish black people for voting Democrat – which is almost certainly the case – it still makes him the kind of guy who wants to turn voting into an elitist machine where only the kinds of people who can jump through certain hoops can do it.
Fuck that.  The Republicans’ efforts to quash voter turnout via ludicrous measurements designed to shut down a voter fraud that even they have to admit doesn’t exist is shameful.  This is shameful.  And if you support them, you should be shamed that your support is, in part, covering this.

1 Comment

  1. Joel Spector
    Aug 23, 2012

    Out of curiousity, what other kinds of dick are there? Isn’t fucking sort of the *purpose* of dicks?
    Wordplay aside, there’s a central underlying point that I’ve been trying to pull out of both your and Jay Lake’s writing on politics. Which is that the fundamental ethos of modern Republicanism is barbarism — a direct opposition to the concept of civilization. As barbarians, the only purpose they see for civilization is to loot it, for the purpose of personal aggrandizement.
    There’s at least a good long book’s worth of material in that, and if you want to work with me on it I’d be glad for your company. Most recently I’ve been trying to correlate ‘The Art of Community’ by Jono Bacon with ‘Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010’, by Charles Murray. I see one of the questions that needs to be answered is “What is a nation, and why do we want one?”, which I do not see being addressed.
    best,
    Joel

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