Readers of my blogs will know better than most that there is a movement afoot in this country to disenfranchise those who might vote “the wrong way.” The “wrong way” is defined as voting in opposition to those who decide what criteria voters must meet in order to vote — for their candidates. It begins with photo IDs which are now required in a number of states, and now has spread, in Florida, to the movement to purge “illegals.” A Yahoo story recently gave us some of the details that highlight the governor’s push along with the disappointing number of people who seem eager to follow along.
By a margin of 60 percent to 35 percent, registered voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University’s Polling Institute say they back the state voter purge, which has been legally challenged by the Justice Department for appearing to violate the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act. The American Civil Liberties Union has also filed a lawsuit to stop the effort.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida is a Republican, of course. I say “of course” because I am not aware of any Democrats who are eager to purge the voting ranks of undesirables. But if there are they are subject to the same sort of contempt that Rick Scott has coming. The problem is, of course, to decide who the “illegals” are and who it is that determines who they are. I dare say Rick Scott has a plan.
I must admit I have a problem with people who speak derisively of “illegals” because it has always seemed to me that we are all on this continent illegally. There was no political code prohibiting the theft of this nation from the indigenous people; but there were in place at the time numerous moral codes which were ignored. If indeed we all believe we are fortunate to be able to share space on this continent, then we should welcome those who also want to be here — for many of the same reasons we and our ancestors wanted to be here. I always supposed that’s what the inscription on the Statue of Liberty is meant to say:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
The weak economy has truly brought some nasty creatures out from under the rocks and the mood of the times is one of hatred and suspicion — and deceit. The idea is to grab the White House and control the Congress at any cost, even if we lose our collective soul in the process. The movement to purge voters from the land, along with other “undesirables” is ugly and not worthy of us as a nation of free people. I deplore it even while I find myself helpless to do anything about it — except vent. It would help to think that Florida is an isolated case because we have come to expect these sorts of political games to be played out in that state. But I know better. We should be ashamed of ourselves!