Voter ID has been a huge issue for the progressive left in America. Progressives, of course, want anyone to be able to vote at any time. The progressive standard is to make voting easy. Just walk in and tell the polling registrar your name and you have your ballot. Others know this method of citizenship as the Chicago-style: “vote early and vote often.” Voter fraud is rampant under these schemes, but progressives choose to err on the side of democracy, even if democracy isn’t really democratic due to voter fraud.
America’s progressive left also has this fixation on racial discrimination at the polls. It’s as if they’re still living in 1950 wondering if blacks will be disenfranchised. But, honestly, the last report I heard of poll blocking and intimidation was in 2008 when Black Panthers hovered around polling places to ensure Barack Obama was well represented. In other words, it’s not Mitt Romney Republicans trying to intimidate voters today; it’s the progressive left! And, just to set the record straight, voter intimidation always has been a hallmark of Democratic politics, whether post-Civil War southern Democrats or modern Chicago-style Obama Democrats. It hasn’t been Republicans historically blocking the entrances to polling booths.
So we should ask ourselves what is this controversy is all about. Why does the Obama left obsess over easy voting? The answer is pretty simple: The traditional Democratic base has been shrinking for decades and the new Democratic base is inexperienced in citizenship. That inexperience needs an “easy button” to push when it comes to voting. Accountability measures, such as ID, and restrictive voting hours mess with the undisciplined lives of youth. Young people are very spontaneous and do things at the last minute, so laws that allow people to register to vote at the polling place, the day of the election, are ideal for progressive candidates like Obama.
Of course, another progressive argument favoring easy voting is that a large bloc of Democratic voters tends to be lower on the socioeconomic scale, and these working folks need as much flexibility to vote as possible. And that seems reasonable to me, which is why polling hours have been extended from the very early morning into the early evening. But in a day and age of Obama’s America, there’s very little difference between the middle class and the poor, meaning those citizens who can’t always find the time to vote are a nice mixture of Republican and Democratic bases, so hours alone can’t explain why progressives are so adamant about easy voting.
I honestly believe that it all comes down to a very ugly reality: Obama’s growing base of support comes from his ideal nation of takers – the jobless, the homeless, those citizens living off of entitlements or special dispensations such as government employees and union workers. It’s ugly to hear and it’s ugly for me to say, but I believe that’s the ugly truth as to why progressives obsess over easy voting. I don’t think it has anything to do with the good merits of citizenship. I think it has everything to do with political power.
For Sutherland Institute, I’m Paul Mero. Thanks for listening.
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