Jim Crow. Republican (PA)

I do not believe that the average republican voter is evil, or inherently unfair, or wants to destroy democracy. Unfortunately, elected republican politicians do not share the virtues of the rank-and-file — because they’re working very hard to deprive Americans of democracy.


I remember the assassination attempt on president Reagan. I was working for a defense contractor at the time, my somewhat liberal views weren’t shared by most of my co-workers, and I wasn’t shy about making my viewpoint known. In particular, I didn’t care for president Reagan. But I also made it known that I despised any attempt to take the presidency away from him by force — by any method other than legitimate election. He won the presidency fair and square, he got his 4 years in office (and another 4 to boot), and that was the only fair way to do it.

But republican officials today — especially in Pennsylvania — do not want to let the voters decide. They hate democracy so much that they’d rather set up laws designed for the specific purpose of making it harder for traditionally democratic-party voters (blacks, other minorities, the young) to vote in the upcoming election. One Pennsylvania legislator even admitted openly that the new voter-ID laws would “allow Mitt Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

If he wants Mitt Romney to win the election, that’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it. Let Romney campaign, let the voters decide — that’s democracy in action. If he wants Mitt Romney to win by restricting voting access to those he doesn’t agree with, that is not democracy. Only someone who hates democracy so much that he can’t tolerate letting the people decide, would favor such laws.

But that’s what the republican party has come to. Not just in Pennsylvania but in Ohio too, where the republican secretary of state tried to extend voting to more hours of the day in mostly-republican districts while restricting it to fewer hours of the day in mostly-democratic districts. How obvious can you be in an attempt to favor one party over the other, not by reason and appeal to voters, but by making it harder for those who disagree with you to vote.

Anyone — anyone — who agrees with such policies, hates democracy. Even worse, they fear democracy. Unfortunately, far too many republican politicians have not only agreed with, they have enacted such policies. It’s cheating. They are cheaters. They don’t love democracy, they don’t love freedom, they hate it and they want to take your freedom away. Unless, of course, you’ll vote for them and their friends.

I call upon all Americans, and especially on registered republicans, to reject this whole dirty rotten strategy. Write letters to the editor of the paper. Write to your elected officials. Start a referendum to reject these underhanded schemes. Do whatever it takes to make them afraid ever to suggest such cheating again. Do it now. Do it loud. And be proud when you do it, so that you can actually call yourself proud to be a republican. Because right now, calling yourself republican in those states where politicians are cheating to inhibit legitimate voters, is something to be ashamed of. You are better than that. You are better than your representatives. But they’re not going to change, unless you make them.

Don’t let freedom-hating democracy-fearing cheaters be the leadership of your political party! Tell them in no uncertain terms that you might agree with traditional republican policies, but you do not agree that cheating to win an election is a traditional republican policy. Insist that the republican party dedicate itself to the opposite. That every American gets a vote, and we will not tolerate attempts to make it harder for those who disagree with us. That’s not the American way — don’t let dirty rotten scum make it the republican way.

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42 responses to “Jim Crow. Republican (PA)

  1. I don’t think you even need to appeal to partisan motives. Simply look at the main effects of these laws:
    1. Fewer people will have their vote counted.
    2. It will cost lots of money to implement.
    3. It will annoy most voters and really piss off people told they can’t vote.

    And, of course, no effect on in-person voter fraud schemes that have been entirely impractical since the invention of computers made statewide registration databases possible.

    What’s sort of weird to me is that people mostly talk about the effect on minority and elderly voters. Certainly that’s a factor and talking about the former makes sense since its the disproportionate racial effect that makes this potentially illegal. Yet, it seems the biggest effect will be on college students. Out of state students are allowed to register and vote where they live even if they have out of state licenses to drive. In state students are allowed to register in the precinct in which they live instead of that of their parents. Huge college towns around Big 10 and Big 12 schools really screw up attempts to gerrymander district boundaries – getting students to vote elsewhere will be a huge help for a lot of dirty political tricks.

  2. Robert Murphy

    Requiring that the person voting is who they say they are is *defending* not attacking the democratic process. The fact that it is so easy and cheap to do so makes a lie of the claim it’s some kind of poll tax. It’s rather disgusting equating reducing vote fraud with Jim Crow. Stick to statistics and fighting climate denial; you’re good at it.

    [Response: OK let’s stick to statistics. The state of PA was only able to establish 10 cases of voter ID fraud since the year 2000. Yet it’s estimated that the new law will make it harder for 750,000 people to vote. You’ll cut three quarters of a million people out of the democratic process because 10 people cheated?

    Guess what? For the republican lawmakers who enacted this shite, it’s not because 10 people cheated. It’s because they know that the law will disproportionately affect those who disagree with them. That’s cheating on a scale which is many orders of magnitude larger than any voter ID fraud that can be demonstrated.

    The FACT is that voter ID fraud is NOT a problem — the people who run the elections (even the republicans) have consistently said so. Your claim — and that of the PA republican lawmakers’ — is complete unadulterated total bullshit.

    The PA law is a blatant, partisan attempt to undermine voters who disagree, because they disagree, not because of any voter fraud. You bet your ass it’s Jim Crow in action. What’s really disgusting is that you have the gall to defend their anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-democracy bullshit.]

    • If you don’t have a valid driving license, chances are very good that you are very young, very old, poor or a combination thereof. As you don’t have a car, you need to take off one of your working days (if you can), find transportation (public if it exists, a friend with a car, for tens of miles if you live anywhere rural) to go to the issuing office and provide a birth certificate (which costs money) and proof of residency. Some of these offices are open every fifth(!) Wednesday of a month (I kid you not), i.e. on four days of the year that you won’t know unless you consult a calendar. In one city the office is not in the city center, where most of the poor live, but 7 miles away. How convenient.

    • Current voter ID laws are not as bad as the entire body of Jim Crow laws plus the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, administrative officials and racist organizations such as White Citizens Councils and the KKK. No one is arguing that they are.

      Rather, people are arguing that voter ID laws are very, very similar to poll taxes. In fact, you can go and read newspaper editorials in support of poll taxes during the 50s when they were under attack by the NAACP and others and you’ll see exactly the same bogus arguments that you see today (against Chicago politics, for instance, or that anyone who’s serious enough to vote can spare a few bucks). Furthermore, the poll tax in Alabama enacted in its 1901 constitution was $1.50. This did not change throughout the life of the poll tax, so accounting for inflation it cost between $20 and $40 to vote per year in today’s dollars over the lifetime of that poll tax. Poll taxes in other states were similar. That just happens to be what you’d probably have to pay someone to stand in line at the DMV for you for a few hours, which is what it will take for hundreds of thousands of people to get IDs this year if they want to be allowed to vote as they have in previous years.

      How much money would you have to pay someone to commit felony voter impersonation? I’ve never given it a shot, but I’m guessing it’s a lot more than the tens of dollars it now takes to “buy” a vote in a swing state in a Presidential election with advertising and get-out-the-vote spending; all other elections are much cheaper.

    • Hey Murph, Any charge for voting is a viollation of voting rights in my book. And what ever you might think of them, the poorest 40% of Americans are worth – on average – $1000.00 – i.e. they are flat broke.

    • These laws are advocated by “fiscal conservatives” who want to “limit government” yet who also want to spend money to rely on government to solve a problem that doesn’t exist with a solution that wouldn’t work anyway (how difficult would it be to get a false ID for someone who is willing to risk significantly jail time to cast a vote).

      The outcome of this law is that it would likely disenfranchise voters of certain demographic groups, disproportionately. Anyone who doesn’t address that reality in a defense of the law is being disingenuous about their political aims.

  3. How about the 88 year old lady in PA who has been voting all her life, has been a poll worker, is undoubtedly a legitimate elector but now cannot vote, because Georgia can’t provide her w/a birth certificate?

    The idiots who think up these laws are never any good at imagining the myriad of exception and corner cases they’re going to unveil. But then, accuracy isn’t part of the plan, is it?

  4. You bet your ass it’s Jim Crow in action.

    Indeed, in rare good news on this front, last week a federal judge struck down Florida’s attempt to shorten the voting period because Florida, like much of the South, is still subject to federal laws which reduce their ability to change voter registration and polling laws. Federal laws passed to void the Jim Crow laws of the past. The federal judge who ruled last week recognized that 1) this was an attempt to partially resurrect Jim Crow on the part of the Republican state leadership and 2) forbidden by the previous agreements and subsequent laws that ended the previous incarnations of Jim Crow.

    Robert Murphy’s full of it. The Republican Party knows exactly what it’s doing, and as Tamino says, it has nothing to do with stopping voter fraud. Voter fraud is top-down and driven by political machines, and in the last century typically involves ballot box stuffing, poll roles populated with the dead, all possible because those controlling the election are those who are cheating. Onesy-twosey fraud is minimal to the extent of being nearly non-existent, as every study has shown. And, of course, the occasional single voter voting fraudulently (say, in their previous district after moving rather than their new one) has an immeasurably tiny effect on outcomes (people have studied the issue) and is nothing at all compared to DENYING PEOPLE THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE AS GUARANTEED BY THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. Sorry for shouting, but it’s important that people understand exactly what these laws do, and if Robert Murphy doesn’t feel that this constitutional right should be defended to the max, tough.

    BTW the spectre of voter fraud was raised many years ago when Oregon moved to mail-in votes rather than in-person polling. This was one of many issues that slowly moved my historically Republican father to the Democratic party – in his later years, he found it difficult to make it to the polling place and made it clear that he would’ve skipped some elections if he couldn’t vote by mail. And, no, the Republicans haven’t been able to show a single case of voter fraud caused by vote-by-mail, which is hugely popular among voters.

  5. This kind of stuff leaves me feeling helpless. I’m about to win a lot of money at Intrade on the Arctic Ice Extent to set the new record, and I’m going to donate some of the profits to Democratic GOTV organizations, and invest the rest in the Global Temperature Anomaly markets. At least I can feel better by taking money away from the people who want less democracy.

  6. The current law that takes effect in September in PA will offer photo IDs with a waived fee so long as the purpose for that ID is voting. On the other hand, while the fee for the ID itself is waived, it still costs money to obtain a birth certificate from the state, a form of identification that is required to obtain the ID in the first place. This, in my mind, is blatant disregard to the 24th amendment to the US Constitution. Then there are also processing times, potentially up to 30 business days for residents over 44 years of age.

    • The voter ID law in Wisconsin also made free photo IDs available, but they forbade office staff from mentioning the fact that it could be had for free. You had to ask for it to be free, or they would charge you for it. Good luck explaining that one to me.

    • I think the “free ID” bit is to undercut any argument that this is equivalent to a poll tax, which was ruled unconstitutional at some point. Forbidding office staff from telling people they can get it for free is a nice touch, in a George Orwell kind of way.

      • Forget about being ruled unconstitutional, that’s secondary; there’s an entire amendment against such fees (24th). The offer to freely obtain the ID is something that would be required and expected if there was such a fraud problem and if this was a solution, so I don’t think it would be right to fault people for implementing that measure.

        However, from what SJ said, it’s obvious that the free ID measures aren’t put in place because they at all give a damn about voters. It’s the bare legal required minimum, it’s table scraps. It’s not a bad measure, but you can still game a system even while technically following the rules.

        And then you have the cost of obtaining documents for ID.

        I thought I also heard a couple weeks ago that the Texas voter ID bill hadn’t been passed with such a measure, that an amendment that would have made the IDs free was turned down. I cannot find that article again, can anyone corroborate?

  7. This has been the modus operandi of the Republican Party since at least 2000. The Florida election that year was decided by arbitrary rules: double struck ballots were arbitrarily discounted for that election. Forget the quibble about “hanging chads” or ambiguously designed paper ballots. Those were a mere blip. There were around 100,000 legitimate ballots shoved into the hopper. Historically, poor people in Florida have had their votes discounted for one reason or another. If they wrote in their choice, they should have punched the ballot. If they punched the ballot, they should have been written in their choice. So, poor Floridians learned to mark their ballot twice. Result: in 2000, unambiguous double struck ballots were discarded.

    The grim joke of the election? The Scalia opinion decided Bush v Gore on equal access grounds.

    As for the question of whether the average Republican is culpable, ask yourself if you’ve ever met a Republican who is upset over the issue.

    • Yes, the argument that a ballot with “Gore” marked off, and “Gore” written in, should be thrown out was particularly transparent. And disgusting.

      • ??? Certainly sounds disgusting, can anyone provide a link to where this is described? Was this a statement made in the Bush v. Gore SCOTUS opinion? I haven’t yet done my proper research on that case.

  8. KeefeAndAmanda

    Let no one doubt that voter suppression of voters who would vote for non-Republican candidates for the purpose of electing Republicans is the reason why these Republicans do this. They admit this explicitly when they speak among themselves:

    “GOP Turzai : Voter ID allows Romney to win PA”

    [Note: Most people who have seen any part of this video have seen only a shorter version that shows only the last sentence. This is a longer version that shows the bigger context, the whole quote further below. The shorter version is at the link further below.]

    Mike Turzai is the Pennsylvania Republican House majority leader. Note the applause he gets at the Republican State Committee after he essentially says that they’ve made it so that Romney will be able to be the first Republican to win Pennsylvania since 1988 via voter suppression of potential non-Romney votes.

    This video above has been around awhile, but the progressive media are now having a great time with it because of this recent and unexpected court ruling allowing this voter suppression law to remain on the books.

    Here is the larger context of his words, reflecting the longer version above with the words on the shorter video being the last sentence, which I emphasized (again, the shorter video in question is also part of this next link):

    http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/06/25/505953/pennsylvania-republican-voter-id-laws-are-gonna-allow-governor-romney-to-win/?mobile=nc

    Quote:

    “We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.

    “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. VOTER ID, WHICH IS GONNA ALLOW GOVERNOR ROMNEY TO WIN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, DONE.””

  9. Try Article at Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Anyone want to guess who owns that and whether he funds CEI, GMI, CFACT Morano, etc), Commonwealth Foundation, etc?

    • The Pgh Tribune-Review is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, for more on whom see Al Franken’s “Lies–And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.” Scaife goes beyond “right-wing” and well into “gratuitously evil.”

  10. When it comes to the GOP and restricting voting rights, I’m afraid I’m reminded of something you said on a different subject: You ain’t seen nothing yet…

  11. J Davis:

    Historically, poor people in Florida have had their votes discounted for one reason or another. If they wrote in their choice, they should have punched the ballot. If they punched the ballot, they should have been written in their choice. So, poor Floridians learned to mark their ballot twice. Result: in 2000, unambiguous double struck ballots were discarded.

    Yes, and the recent federal ruling there recognized the historical Jim Crow-ism of the current laws which were even more extreme.

    It’s a tenous push-back, but at least one federal district judge has done so.

    I don’t expect it to be widely cited by federal judges in future cases, though :( So depressing.

  12. Good job, Tamino. Of course, Republicans have been this way at least since the days of Mark Hanna. As one who grew up in the conservative part of the conservative part of the conservative part of Houston in the 1950’s (I won’t bore you with the reasons for the triple layering), I learned early what being an activist Republican was all about. However, it wasn’t until I went to college and saw the YAF and Young Republicans trying to steal elections with dirty tricks and parliamentary maneuvers that my eyes were truly opened. Nixon’s famous dirty tricks artists, Haldeman and Erlichman, were early YAF members (at USC, if I recall correctly), and Lee Atwater was their student and in turn the mentor of Karl Rove.

    Their rationale for all this was the idea that some people are more qualified to vote than others (no need to guess that the riffraff are those not qualified), for America was conceived as a republic, rather than a democracy. No amount of argument will sway them.

    You might also note that the same people bankrolling climate denialism are those behind ALEC and other groups involved in voter suppression.

  13. There is a bit of an Australian analogy that might be useful.

    About half-way through last decade, conservative Prime Minister John Howard passed a law that would close the electrol roll the day an election was called, obstensably for “electrol roll integrity”. Of course, this had the (intended) side effect of shutting out first time voters (both young australians and new immigrant citizens), who neglected to enrol before the actual election was called – both of whom were less likely to vote conservative.

    Fortunantly, the High Court of Australia found this to be an implediment to democracy and declared this part of the act unconstitutional.

    See http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/getup-wins-high-court-challenge-to-electoral-roll-cut-off/story-fn59niix-1225902071456 for news coverage and a summary of the judgement at http://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/judgment-summaries/frowe-2010-08-06.pdf

  14. Watching this from the outside if I may make some observations. (I may be quite off track as well as being out of line in making these comments.)

    The most obvious conclusion is that the Republicans who want to limit voting to their own supporters would be better off looking at why they believe they cannot win an election without cheating. They could then adjust their policy platforms to better align with what voters want.

    However as I understand it, positions are bought and paid for by vested interests. These interests are not aligned with the needs and wishes of the general population. Therefore Republicans, to get elected *and* keep their funds flowing, need to make sure that only those who support the big donors are able to vote.

    I also wonder why the USA has these problems, which seem virtually non-existent in other developed nations and are usually only found in more politically corrupt developing countries. You’d think there would be lessons that could be learnt from other nations about how to get everyone who is eligible to vote on the electoral roll. (I note the USA is also unique among developed nations in finding it difficult to ensure universal basic health care. It may be a cultural anomaly.)

    No offense intended – there is much to admire in the USA, but it is full of contradictions (gun culture, death penalty etc – while also having some of the most generous people and programs on the planet).

    • KeefeAndAmanda

      “I also wonder why the USA has these problems, which seem virtually non-existent in other developed nations and are usually only found in more politically corrupt developing countries.”

      I think it’s the result of the spending of money being interpreted by ideologically conservative judges in the US as being equivalent to speech – that is, curbing money being spent in political ways is equivalent to curbing political speech, in the views of these conservative judges. I think it’s also the result of these conservative judges ruling that a corporation has the legal status of a person – but without the legal responsibilities of a person. Put these two types of case law together and we have corporations, whose only legal obligation in the US is to maximize profit for shareholders at all legal cost – being given the legal power to buy and sell elections with no legal obligation whatsoever to care for the general welfare. All this put together has not happened as far as I know in any other developed country.

      But with respect to conservative US politicians, it’s more than just being bought off by big money or being intimidated by big money because of the threat of that big money being used against them in the next election.

      It’s also hardcore conservative ideology, which says at its core that government – especially nonlocal central or federal government – is inherently evil and that collectivism via government – using government in a collective way to meet our needs – is inherently evil. And, therefore, since government is a necessary evil, it must be kept to an absolute minimum at all times and at almost all costs.

      Do not doubt this. Consider the worship of Ayn Rand by those such as Paul Ryan. For more on this, see the article by Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman called “The Conservative Onion” here
      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/the-conservative-onion/
      at his blog “The Conscience of a Liberal”, and at least skim through the Reader Picks comments through at least a few pages of the top-recommended several dozen comments. This article generated very many comments, well over 200, and many of them are very much worth reading.

      US conservatives wrap themselves in the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution as it was originally written, thinking that what they wrap themselves in backs up their small-government ideology.

      But someone needs to tell them that in terms of the question of the size and power of central government and of government in general, the Founding Fathers were the most pro-big-government liberal and progressive people in the history of the US, as the following proves: Going from the Articles of Confederation to the US Constitution was the single largest increase in the size and power of the US federal government and of government in general in US history – by far.

      And so the Founding Fathers would most certainly be OK with our doing whatever we had to do to stop ourselves from killing the planet and yes, killing ourselves.

  15. Voter registration requirements are much more onerous than providing a photo ID, and unduly burden the young, poor and transient. People should be allowed to walk off the street and cast a ballot, period. The more voting the better.

  16. In Australia, our “Liberal” party is taking lessons from the Republicans. However voting is still easy. Once you are on the electoral roll, you just attend a polling booth and get your name crossed off. I worked in a polling booth in an old people’s home once, and we went around the home, getting all the old ladies votes.

    But in the last election there was legal action taken to allow young people (who tend to vote for the left) more time to get on the electoral roll.

    • Why is “more time to get on the electoral roll” a problem? Everybody with a right to vote should be on the electoral roll, and I’m not sure why you single out young people. Usually the last registration date is as late as possible. And, of course, you should be able to register to vote before you are old enough to vote. No need to leave it to the last minute.

      Why are you unhappy about the idea of people with a right to vote exercising that right?

  17. If it weren’t Jim Crow in action then the laws would include provision of a free photo id with each registration. The photo would be taken at the time of registration and the id would come in the mail with the voter card.

    This is an ALEC idea and the idea was to curb democrat voters. If you can’t accept the evil your side is perpetrating then either abandon your comrades or admit it, give in and shake hands with the devil.

    • If it weren’t Jim Crow in action then the laws would include provision of a free photo id with each registration.

      AND the voter registration ID would be the ONLY acceptable form of identification at the polls (unless you affirm that you have lost it, wherein would have to come affidavits, provisional ballots, etc.). Because otherwise you still give lots of inherent advantages to the non-poor, non-white voters. When exercising a fundamental democratic right, everyone should be on the same page.

  18. It’s an attempted coup d’etat, plain and simple!

  19. By the way, there is some corruption in Australia too, for example, ‘stacking’ by factions to get a particular person on the ballot. (Also lots of ‘swiftboat’ style attacks with the willing connivance of the mainstream media. Our politicians have been taking lessons from the GOP and our failing newspapers are chasing sensationalism to stay afloat.)

    On the other hand, we get chased by the electoral office well in advance of elections to make sure our details on the electoral roll are accurate and up to date. Afterwards, if we haven’t voted, we get fined (unless we come up with a good excuse)! On balance, I prefer compulsory voting.

    I realise it’s probably easier to manage elections in a country with a population of around 22 million than where there are more than 300 million people.

    • Sceptical Wombat

      It is important to note that “stacking” is an intraparty exercise. In Australia we do not have primaries but the parties themselves decide who they are going to nominate. In most cases candidates for the lower house are chosen by the members of the party in the relevant electorate. Stacking involves registering as many members who are sympathetic to a particular candidate as possible. Once the candidate is nominated he or she has to face the general electorate.

      Another important difference between Australia and the US is that elections are always held on a Saturday which means that most people can vote during the day without taking time off work. People who work on Saturdays or are going to be away from their electorates can vote early or cast a postal vote.

      • Furthermore, the defeated preselection candidate (or otherwise disendorsed by the party) may still nominate for the actual election. With some notable exceptions, the now-independant candidate generally does badly without the name of a major party and apparatus that comes with it.

        Also, in Australia, people may lodge pre-poll votes if they cannot make an actual booth on the day. In some tight elections, these votes can make a real difference.

  20. Greg Palast has been on the trail of vote-rigging (what else should it be called) for some time as covered in his books such as ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy’. Noam Chomsky too has pointed some tactics out in this Noam Chomsky – Peak Oil and a Changing Climate and elsewhere.

  21. I listened to a defense of the Pennsylvania law by the (Republican) legislator who authored the bill. He expressed deep concern about fraudulent voting on election day (with no evidence other than hand-waving) and in absentee voting as well. I wanted to ask him—what ratio of fraudulent votes to citizens denied the right to vote do you believe is acceptable? Is denying the right of 10 legitimate voters to cast ballots worth preventing one fraudulent vote the right ratio? 100:1? And if the legislature wants to “secure” the voter rolls but not deny the right of citizens to vote, it should have provided resources to make it so that the requisite documents were available at no cost, and that the offices involved came to the communities affected, not vice versa.

  22. I think this is part of a larger problem in that we’re allowing our leaders, across the board, to be populated with outright sociopaths. Something is broken in our ability to measure leadership and weed out the outright sociopathic element. You see this all over the republican party now, you see in corporate america, all over the place, even in hobbyist groups it seems like the bulk of people will fall behind a sociopathic and charismatic leader and just go with the flow and not call them on their obvious bullshit.

    I don’t know if I’m just getting older and I’m just seeing it more, or if people really are getting worse at this. Drives me crazy. At least the company that I’m at right now has an HR policy which is explicitly founded on the book The No Asshole Rule. I know that it doesn’t have to be this way and that you can get leadership without having it being run by assholes. Just because sociopaths can throw money and ambition at problems and get things accomplished, you don’t have to put up with their toxic bullshit and there are other people that can lead without it.

    I don’t know if its just the rosy glasses of reading history but it seems like the Great Depression / WWII era generation produced better leadership and had better bullshit filters. They restricted the banks, fought fascism, built unions and reduced income inequality and everyone prospered from it. The kids these days I see in the workplace seem to entirely go with the flow, even more than my generation. We seem to be a society mostly run by sociopaths, supported by angry people [often white males], along with the apathetic.

    • Well, to go all Goodwin here..

      Pretty much the entire leadership of the western world (Well.. Britain, France and the US as it was) made every effort to avoid fighting fascism, until is was almost too late. Many of those in leadership positions did nothing – or denied that there was a problem, and it was only when enemy armies were on the march and planes in the skies that serious action was taken – for the UK this was only in 1940; for the US, 1941.

      But the fact that there was a war – and a war for existence at that – going on at least tended to weed out the liars, sociopaths and bulls**t. Because you can’t claim to be in control when bombs are getting dropped on your head and half your fleet has just been sunk in harbor. Plus, it’s hard for the upper classes to maintain their belief in their own betterness when they have fought alongside the lower classes. Something that is clearly missing from politics today.

      It’s also worth mentioning that in the subsequent 1945-1970 period, essentially all of the ‘modern world’ that we take for granted was built – computers aside, not much has step-changed since then. Shows what could be done, if our political leaders choose to do it instead of finding increasingly convoluted ways of not doing anything.

  23. A recent case in Indiana in which a woman’s driver’s license was cancelled and she was not even informed. The cancellation was for not having car insurance. She had to go to court to prove that she didn’t need insurance because she did not own a car. When I vote, I usually show my US passport, because requiring a driver’s license is assinine.

  24. Don Gisselbeck

    These people don’t just hate democracy, they hate civilization.