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.