Do You Have An Identity?

Blaugust 8th 

Do you? Are you sure?

Well in the US you don’t unless someone gives you an identity. Does that offend your sense of being? You don’t exist unless someone Official tells you that you do. Your appearance won’t change anyone’s mind about this. Simply occupying space isn’t enough to prove that you’re really there. You could claim to be anything, including human, if you don’t have an identity card. But if you have this card, we’ll know for sure that you have a right to breathe and walk around and do things like vote.

This is the stuff of sci-fi novels, denying humans rights on the basis of some arbitrary legal requirement that politicians know will disenfranchise the citizenry. I know there are those who would say that requiring ID to walk around a country makes sense because we have to be able to identify citizens from non-citizens. To that I say: and why is it important to distinguish the two? And they’ll answer with more legal justifications:

And probably more excuses that I can’t fathom the importance of when it comes to human rights. Here’s a question: if a poor family showed up on my doorstep, starved, sick from exposure, destitute and speaking only a foreign language, I have a right to turn them away and even call the cops. That’s the law. But don’t I also have a moral duty to feed them and assist them with their healthcare in any way that I’m able? Is turning them away simply because it’s legal somehow justification for not doing what is right?

Voter ID laws seek to undo what was done when Obama was elected president of the USA. For those on the outside, this reference to Obama has to do with how it was possible to elect a black man, the first time my country has ever had a President that wasn’t white and male. The minority vote was crucial and decades of voter data show that conservatives struggle to win the approval of certain minority groups, usually all of them. When more people vote, the Republican party tends to lose. This hasn’t been a problem for them in the past, as minorities were a minority and all these politicians needed to focus on was the white male vote. That’s changed dramatically since Obama. They know now that they can no longer win elections on this demographic. So their approach is to change who gets to vote. They’ll cry illegals, and criminals and all other things to mask the fact that they want to disenfranchise the voters who don’t vote for them. That’s the bottom line: if you’re not voting for me, you can’t vote at all. All of their policies seek to decrease the number of eligible voters, instead of increasing them which is what every politician elected to offices ought to do.

These charlattans use voter scams all the time and they find them unobjectionable when it’s in their favor. One cannot deny that Florida has been rigging presidential elections for over a decade, but since those machines tend to favor conservative candidates, blindeye is the policy. The bottom-line is that the more people that vote, the less likely the Republican party is to win that election. So they have a political interest in disenfranchising voters and their policies aim to prevent voting, not help get more voters to the polls.

A note about this rant: I don’t actually believe that there are two political groups in my country, conservatives and liberals, but I believe people use these labels anyway because they’re easy to understand. When I say conservative, I’m referring only to those who label themselves as such, the self-proclaimed conservatives. And these are the politicians bothering themselves over voter ID laws.

Second to note is that voter ID laws share a lot in common with poll-taxes and literacy tests, in that they conveniently are inapplicable to those who want to implement them because the criteria is based on things they have. The assumption is that only legitimate citizens can afford to vote, and others who are indeed citizens but who are non-the-less illegitimate in the eyes of the majority, can be prevented from voting by requiring things of them that they find it difficult to acquire.

Identification is one of those things.

Law mandates that anything the government requires us to have must be given to us. The law can’t say that we must have ID’s and then charge us money to get them. This is why voter ID law has been stricken down at the federal level. If conservatives want ID to be mandatory, then they have to distribute those ID’s for free. And we all know how they feel about government giving out anything. It’s about principles people. Stand on them!

I wish people had the fortitude to be honest in our modern times. It’s annoying to see so many cowardly politicians and citizens hide behind clever wording, and manipulative legislation instead of coming right out and telling us what they really believe. But these people know that they’d be rejected out of hand were they to be honest. People find people repulsive who slander others, citing the law, while refusing to help those others because they have dire need. Just like the poor family on my doorstep above. These self-proclaimed conservatives believe in principles, they say. And I’d have to agree. It’s just that these principles don’t include compassion for human beings. It’s all about sticking it to’em and rigid laws and following rules without ever addressing real people’s needs.

3 thoughts on “Do You Have An Identity?

  1. I am with you on Voter ID laws within the context of our society as it stands, but man I wish people were more worked up over who gets elected, how they get elected, and what they do when they are elected. Not saying you aren’t all of those things, but Voter ID laws aren’t nearly as awful as our complete lack of public campaign finance reform or our archaic voting systems or a myriad of other problems.

    I’m ready to hit the restart button, frankly.

    • Get your decks ready man, I’m telling you. We’ll all be looking at Renraku very shortly 😉

      But seriously, I agree with where you’re coming from and you’re right about our entire political process being owned by those who are elected. I do think, however, that voter ID legislation is equally important though. Because it’s emblematic of how those officials govern us and view us. In other words, a change in voter enfranchisement will reflect a change in attitudes of public officials toward those they’re supposed to serve. Right now they all seem to take the position that they’re above us, that we work for them and thus that disenfranchise us because we don’t “deserve” to vote, as it were. So in a way, asking for voter legislation that views us as human beings first is asking for our politics to change entirely. I’m not saying it’s the entire problem, but I think it’s one of those small things that topple larger things.

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