The Great Equalizer: Your Vote

The billionaire Koch Bros.’ ALEC and the 2010 crop of Tea Party Republicans have been hard at work making it harder for you to vote.  Everything from summary disenrollment from voter rolls, reduced opportunities to exercise one’s Constitutional right to have a voice in government, to onerous identification rules have one objective in mind: to keep Ann Romney’s We the “You People” from voting as they did in the last Presidential election.

They had to have something to do when they weren’t providing “stimulus” to the makers and operators of transvaginal probes or looking for more profitable war-making opportunities for former Veep “Dick” Cheney’s buddies at Halliburton and General Dynamics. These are the folks who want to maintain a depressed economy for their own partisan interests.

With the conventions astern of us, the political ad blitz is in full force. The conservatives who enabled unbridled, undisclosed, and unlimited ad spending in Citizens United are flooding the airwaves with ads faster than free press fact checkers can keep up with.  The Libertarian billionaire Koch Bros. have reportedly pledged $400 million to defeat President Obama. Billionaire anti-union casino king Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas has bet at least $100 million on Republicans. They’re expecting a hefty payback if they win.

The problem with rolling back decades of sensible campaign finance rules lies in that the public will never know how much has been bet against them. All in the name of “freedom” (“theirs”, not “yours.”)

In the face of all this is one great equalizer. We each get a vote. In the voting booth, (if ALEC hasn’t excluded you), we are all equal. Yours and my vote carries the same weight as that shadowy Top 1% “businessman.”

I’m old enough to remember when we encouraged every eligible voter to make his or her voice heard. Everyone makes their choice, and the chips fall as they may. Conservatives have just made it a bit harder, in an attempt to exclude minorities, the poor, or anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their parochial worldview. Conservatives are trying to rig the game.

Never mind the polls before Election Day. President Obama leads in a number of swing state tallies, but not by much more than the statistical margin of error. Nearly forty years ago, in the wake of President “Tricky Dick” Nixon (R), I worked my first congressional campaign. Winning a campaign means a full court press right up to when the polling places close.

Make the point of checking that you are ready to vote. The non-partisan National Association of Secretaries of State have a convenient, online tool to check your registration status and what, if any, forms of identification must be presented when you vote:  http://www.canivote.org/.

Vote your mind and conscience, but make sure you vote. Some additional obstacles have been placed in your way, but remember that your vote carries as much weight as Charles or David Koch’s pick.

This is still America. Our country too.

 


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