Editor’s note: This is the conclusion to the column started last week.
The Republicans are falling all over themselves to complete the shift/lurch to the right of the political spectrum. They are doing this to appeal to the only people left who are interested in anything they have to say: the extreme right wing of the Republican Party and their red-headed stepchildren, the tea party. It’s getting so bizarre the tea party appears to be the event thrown by the Mad Hatter rather than a movement predicated on a famous historical occurrence.
A major question arises: How will they manage to come back toward the center of the spectrum when the candidate is picked and they have to find the centrist voters and independents who will end up electing the next president? Is it any wonder that President Barack Obama’s campaign staff is having trouble knowing where to begin their assault on this absence of reason? It’s such an easy target.
But wait! There are the voter disenfranchisement movements around the country. The fear-mongering about voter fraud has been used to get state legislatures, all controlled by Republicans, to rush laws into place making it more difficult for certain constituencies to vote.
The poor or the elderly who don’t drive cars and thus have no picture ID/drivers license are two groups targeted to prevent voter fraud. College students will not be allowed to register to vote outside their home districts. Early voting and absentee ballots are being assaulted as well. All this is to prevent voter fraud.
Except there is no voter fraud anywhere that even tickles the meter. The only case of voter fraud is attributed to the Republican attorney general of the state of Indiana who was convicted on six counts of felony election tampering. So why does the GOP care?
The Karl Rove-style thinking is if the margin of victory is only a few percentage points in certain states, by preventing groups who tend to vote for Democrats from reaching the ballot box, the Republicans can overcome that margin and actually win all the electoral votes for president and put more of their kind in Congress and state legislatures.
Pretty slick … Where I come from, this is called rigging elections. So, which is worse? A 0.0001 percent of voter fraud occurrences or disenfranchising maybe 5-8 percent of eligible voters from performing their constitutionally guaranteed right?
These kinds of shenanigans coming from the Republican Party strike me as being at least not in the best interests of serving the Constitution, and at worst, downright un-American. How dare they?!
Since the Republican Party serves only the top 2 percent of wealthy Americans, it strikes me as absurd so many other Americans who are true patriots align themselves with a political party that does not serve the best interests of the American people. Why don’t they demand their conservative representation be less radical and more honest with the citizens of this great country?
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. "The Voter’s Guide to National Salvation" is a newly published e-book from Turner. You can find it at www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.