The other day, I received the following among my e-mails...
""I am running for President of the United States, and I ask for your support.
If this great nation is to survive the challenges of the modern world, we need to heal, we need to be inspired, and we need to revive the exceptional spirit that built America.
Working with you and all of our fellow citizens, I want to lead that revival.
I am not a politician, nor am I politically correct.
But I believe my values, my life experience, and my willingness to speak the truth and seek solutions prepares me well to lead our nation toward more prosperity, security, and freedom for every American.
Over the course of this campaign, both my team and I will ask for your support.
So I ask for your commitment, right now,...."
You probably received the same, so I don't want to mention any names. You probably recognized the format. It could have come from any of he people who want us to believe, they are running for President in 2016. What intrigued me was the fact, I have other communications from this same person, who I have come to honor and respect over the years, but this is pure, "boiler plate" as we called such announcements when I was taking an active interest in politics. As I told my readers in the Herald-Citizen last Sunday, I am no longer interested in politics; well, politics as they are playing the game these days.
It is a game, you ought to know. It is not "tag, you're it." Today, it is "see the 'fat' man run".
"Fat" as in "loaded down with the money that was once destined for the public till, where it could be used to pay down the national debt, or - as some of us would have it, to be applied to the problems that we see revealed almost every other day, on the streets of America.
Which brings me to an article I received yesterday, promoting recently published books, under the headline, "Big Dangers for the Next Election". It is a matter that ought to be the concern of the few of us who actually go to the election booth to cast our impressions on who might become our next President. After the way we have treated the present incumbent in the White House, why would anyone care to take on the responsibilities that go with the office? If you are interested - and I trust that you are, the titles of the books are: Democracy and Collected Writings, edited by Desiree Ramos Reiner, Jim Lyons, Eric Opsal, Mikayla, Terriell and Lena Glaser, all of whom represent the Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School, and "The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdowns", by Richard L. Hasen, published by the Yale University Press. I doubt if you will ever see any of the people on CNN, ABC, CBS or NBC. The article reminds me of the kind of dialogue we used to hear when voters were more closely related to the "We, the people..." concept when I first got interested in politics - in the 50's.
The dangers cited by these good folks are - voting restrictions, redistricting and loose rules on large amounts of money being spent to influence voters. They claim, we have been moving further and further away from a truly democratic election system. All of which, I would add an "Amen!"
Here are some facts.. "The Brennan Center estimated that 11 percent of qualified voters in the U.S. do not possess a government-issued photo ID or any of the other documents required by the voter ID laws in effect in 32 states - a finding confirmed by other studies. Some people were turned away from the polls because they had a license from another State or because the license had expired. If these restrictions are not enough to sicken those of you who still cling to the concept that "We, the people" should be encouraged - not discouraged, to vote, hear what a certain legislator in a Southern state, prior to a recent election, rushed through the Legislature, one of the harshest voting laws in our nation. It cut back the number of days for early voting, eliminating same-day registration and prohibited people from voting outside of their home precincts - all forms of voting heavily relied upon by blacks. Let us pray that when the elections are held in 2016, that we all remember the cities in other states, recently in the news - Ferguson, New York City and Baltimore. The recent anniversary of the historic "March on Selma" should have been enough cause for the citizens in every State to vote "No" whenever any law is proposed to deny any citizen the right to vote.
My opinion is that the only documents that should be necessary to vote would be a copy of the voter's birth certificate or the court document that recognizes the holder as a person afforded such rights through the process of immigration into the U.S.
Attempts to blatantly redistrict certain districts in States controlled by partisan legislatures have been thwarted in many such States, but as long as we extend their right to act as they please concerning voting, we will continue to see such efforts made by those who ignore the fact we were formed to become the United States of America. We need to end such efforts even if it takes an amendment to the Constitution to certify the right of every citizen to vote their conscience.
I first became involved in politics in those days when State's Rights were the primary issue and like most newcomers, I thought I knew which side to join. Little did I realize the partisan nature of our Legislatures. I came to believe it was a "Southern" problem, but that no longer is true. The forces that control the apparatus of our two major political parties appear to enjoy the "status quo" regarding their privileges - apparently believing that "We, the people" no longer matter. And so it will be as long as a majority of our population continue to believe that it is the "other guy's" problem and not their own.
It is time for all of us to get really serious about the greatest problem we have at hand.
Oh, I almost forgot.... the opening letter. Did you notice, he didn't say anything, but he did ask for money. He may no be a politician, but he seems to be catching on, fast!