Friday, September 28, 2007

The war on voting rights continues

Glenn W. Smith with today's 'must read' on easy credit cards and difficult voter registration:

Posner is an outspoken advocate for "elite democracy." Issues are too complex for Americans to deal with, and so it is necessary that key decisions be made by a select few. Voting, Posner says, is good to have as a possible corrective on elites if they should get carried away with their power. But it is not important, Posner says, that many Americans participate in American political life.

These power-mad right-wingers, so different from the individualistic, Barry Goldwater conservatives of old, really do believe themselves to be our anointed strict fathers. No other authority approaches their own, at home or abroad. That is why attacks on voting rights are not so different from the Bush doctrine of pre-emption. No other world leader is Bush's equal; therefore in the eyes of these elites, we are not one of many sovereign nations, we are the only sovereign nation. With regard to voting rights, since we are supposed to do what we are told by our authoritarian leaders, how could it matter to us whether or not we have unobstructed access to the ballot box?

We are no longer sovereign individuals. That term is reserved for the conservative elite, just as the term sovereign nation is reserved for only one country, the country these elite believe they embody and rule.

I suppose it is easier to believe that attacks on voting rights are just partisan squabbling, that Bush is just another conservative, that an imagined ever-swinging pendulum will swing back one day. That democracy can thrive without an effort, like the moon circling the earth.

There is no pendulum. There is only us. And if we don't save democracy, no one will. God help us if the Supreme Court should agree with Posner that barriers to the ballot box are no big deal. They've already stolen one election from us. Now they have the opportunity to steal all future elections in a single ruling.

They for damn sure will if we let them.

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