Only Way Elections Can Be Stolen is by Low Voter Turnout

Paul Weyrich was a religious conservative activist. He cofounded The Heritage Foundation, The Free Congress Foundation, The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and is the one thought to have coined the term “Moral Majority” and formed that organization with Jerry Falwell in 1979. Though both he and Falwell are long since dead and probably had some difficult moments explaining themselves at the Pearly Gates, their legacy continues to this day and is the mainstay of extreme right wing agenda and tactics. The one he fostered the most that still has serious ramifications to this very day is voter suppression. From his own words below:

“Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

It is no wonder that nearly every legislative acts in every State to require voter ID, suppress the right to vote by Americans were written by Weyrich’s ALEC. It was never about voter fraud, it was about keeping voter turnout low. The lower the turnout in many cases, the closer the race. The closer the race results, the easier it is to sway or alter the results, tallies and steal an election. That has been and continues to be the primary tactic of the far right and Republican Party. Rather that stand for ideas and principles supported by majorities of Americans, they work for the few privileged at the top and do so by stealing elections. In 2013 they improved their ability to keep turnout down so they could steal elections when in a 5-4 conservative winning Supreme Court Decision, key elements of the Voting Rights Act were struck down. The Republicans jumped on it to impose new and more cumbersome requirements that keep those prone to support a more centrist of liberal position from being able to vote. Minorities, elderly, Women, must jump through new hoops to get valid ID in Red states, those who don’t and can’t drive must take long trips to a handful of Motor Vehicle offices in Texas to get ID and must pay for the ID, Women who take on their husbands name so that now their photo ID don’t match the voter registration name must jump through new hoops. Any impediment they can come up with to make getting a photo ID is being imposed to keep people from the polls.

This of course provides a difficult obstacle to overcome to have higher voter turnout in the midterms this year and fulfill the wish of turning an obstructionist House of Representatives progressive and willing to actually go to work and legislate for the people and acting upon what they truly want, not what Boehner says they want. Add to this congressional district gerrymandering and money flowing in from Citizen’s United ruling this will be a daunting task, but not impossible. If you know the requirements to vote in your state and start now, with help from others and time, you can get your ID, ensure you are registered and vote. The opposite of what Weyrich said is so very true, the higher the voter turnout, the more leverage the right loses in any election. The higher the turnout, the closer the race results mirror true American opinion and with larger margins of victory, little chance to steal the election.

Step 1: Make sure you are currently registered to vote. Make sure you haven’t been caged and taken off voter rolls by election officials. This is a common practice to reduce the number of Democrats and Independents from voting. Here is a site you can go to so you can verify your registration status:

Step 2: Know what the registration and voter ID laws are in your state. Here’s a site that breaks down the ever changing laws across the country:

Step 3: If getting proper ID presents you problems, know where to go for assistance. These sites can help:

As we move closer to the elections, more organizations will rise up to help, but you should start as early as possible. You also need to be aware that many states are curtailing if not eliminating early voting. So if you are employed, as early as you can arrange to have Election Day off so you can spend time in line to vote if necessary. If you are able to early vote, then make time to help those who have difficulty get to the polls and cast their ballots. Tell your family, friends and coworkers that they must vote. You need not tell them how to vote, only to vote. Voting is important, elections do have consequences and if we don’t turn the trend around about low voter turnout, the election results could ultimately result with our right to vote being curtailed even more if not eliminated. I’m not being hyperbolic. Rights not used are rights that soon go away.

If any of the following issues are important to you: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance, Job Bills, Fiscal Responsibility, National Debt, Social Safety, Compromise in Legislation, Income Disparity, Retirement, Healthcare, National Defense, Funding for First Responders, Funding for Clean Air, Water, Safe Food, Rights of Individuals over the rights of Corporations and wealthiest among us, then you must vote and have your voice heard.

More information on many of the above issues to be posted later.

Thank you for your time and let’s start now, November 4th is quickly approaching.

Why Does the Tea Party Slur Our Preamble?

When it became clear that our Articles of Confederation were too weak to ensure the survival of our new nation, representatives met to create a new Constitution to improve a new concept of government of the people that would only exist with the consent of the people and be strong enough to ensure the entire Union would prosper. Thirteen individual states could not survive on their own; a strong union was needed then as it is now. So they went to work.

“WE THE PEOPLE of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

As a high school student 40 years ago, we were all required to memorize and cite the preamble in our civics class and be able to explain it. Sadly most of our schools don’t teach civics anymore and the true meaning of the preamble has been lost.

Broken down, what do these words mean? I found this from The Beacon Learning Center:

Right and/or Responsibility Words of Preamble What the Words Mean
We the People of the United States All citizens of the US
In order to form a more perfect union To make everything in our country as perfect as   possible
Yes Establish Justice Begin fairness for all
Yes Insure domestic tranquility Promise that everything in our country will be   peaceful
Yes Provide for the common defense Give protection to everyone
Yes Promote the general welfare Care for those in need
Yes Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and   our posterity Make sure freedom and fairness continues for   ourselves and all our children and their children and their children and   every generation to come
Do ordain and establish this Constitution for the   United States of America Approve of and begin the Constitution of the US

As I was starting to write this rant, I posted some of my material I planned on using on Twitter and had received a response questioning the above as being factual. He says he’s a colonial historian from Texas and that our Constitution was nothing more than a power grab for centralized government and that the Articles of Confederation were a success as “proven” by Merrill Jenson’s “New Nation.” Essentially Jenson offers a conflicting opinion of what the majority of historians of the period have concluded over the intent of the minds of the framers. It’s interesting if not dry reading but boils down simply to his opinion, which he is entitled to. I however liken it to a majority of Climate Change scientist are convinced this is man-made compared to a minority looking at the same data concluding it isn’t. I go with majority views unless something can convince me otherwise.

So what does the Preamble represent that those in the Tea Party appear to miss? The Tea Party faithful claim to be constitutionalists but also feel that depending on who you are, you aren’t entitled to all the “blessings of liberty” spoken of in the Preamble. If you are LGBT, if you are Muslim, if you are a woman, if you are “other” then you are not entitled to those things. Further, the “Establish Justice” appears to only apply to those in the Tea Party, no one else. So we don’t have to be fair to anyone outside the Tea Party. Nor do we need to provide for “the common defense” if you are not part of the Tea Party. You get no special protections, or any in some cases.

Those who follow me and see my avi know I’m a Star Trek fan. Though somewhat corny, there was one scene in one episode of Star Trek that actually makes a compelling argument for what the Preamble says, what it means and who it applies to. Here’s the scene:

Perhaps the most patriotic reading of the Preamble by a Canadian actor playing a fictional Starship Captain to an alien people.

“They must apply to everybody or they mean nothing!” These words must apply to all who are citizens of this country regardless of race, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, political ideology, etc. That is, or at least should be the promise of a more perfect union of the people, by the people and for the people. If you want to eliminate some of the people for some obscure reason, you do not understand our Constitution.

In my opinion the Tea Party will slur the true meaning of the Preamble because quite simply they don’t know better. They do what they’re told to do, say what they are told to say by their leadership who represent the Corporate interests like the Koch brothers. An educated and hopeful people who know their true rights are an impediment to business and profit. If people starting claiming their rights, profits may suffer.

Time to bring back Civics as a requirement of our educational system. Further, it’s time to make sure that those who would deny the constitutional rights of ordinary people in order to make those rights the sole property of the rich and corporate entities of the nation no longer remain in government.

Call this rant hokey if you will, but if you really want to consider yourself a patriot, then pick up some beliefs worth being patriotic over. The word means nothing if it has nothing inspiring behind it. At least that’s my opinion Michael (inside joke)