The Right Kind of Discrimination
The latest decision by the Supreme Court to strike down section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has made a big splash in the turbulent political waters of this vast United States. The ruling’s main goal is one of racist motivation, critics say. Big surprise. If conservative-friendly measures aren’t of a greedy nature, you can always bet they are of a racist one. Critics, feel free to add a dash of ‘bigot’ for a more potent flavor should you be running low on greed and racism.
If I were to defend laws aimed at curbing certain groups’ access to, say, voting, the demographic I would want to prevent from voting would be that which is not a citizen of the United States, and the one who considers attaining a simple I.D. a task akin to swimming across the ocean.
The act of acquiring a voting I.D. implies several things. First, it says that you are legally eligible to do so, which I think is its most vital aspect. If you are here illegally, you have absolutely no right to vote. My parents waited eight years to be released by their motherland government and then another five to become eligible citizens of the Unites States, before they could vote. By then they spoke English and they were aware of basic American history. I’m sure the average illegal immigrant didn’t creep into the U.S. because the conditions of his former country were peachy, but that’s no reason to allow illegal immigrants who can’t speak English and have no idea what constitutes a Republic, to have a say in American laws. They are American laws; not Mexican laws, Korean laws, or Russian laws. Your allegiance, as a voter, should be to freedom and justice for all citizens of the United States, not to a certain demographic, race or agenda. How can you vote with such allegiance if you don’t speak, much less, read English?
Secondly, the effort and time you sacrifice to acquire this hypothetical voting I.D. implies that you value the right to vote. All good things take effort- a little sacrifice- even if it’s your right. It is your right to climb the Appalachian Mountains, but it takes effort and time. Yes, you’ll be required to have your picture taken, which means you’ll probably have to stand in line in a snail-paced government-run facility. Is that really too much to sacrifice? I’m sure you’ve done it for other reasons. If it is too much, you obviously don’t value your opportunity to vote. Besides, no one is that busy. If someone were handing out free cable subscriptions for waiting in line to get voter I.D.’s made, everyone would have I.D.’s made the first week. It’s a matter of priority.
Lastly, if you can’t scrounge up the change to pay for an I.D., yet you’re eligible, I don’t want you voting for the laws that will affect me. I realize this may seem harsh, but I have good reason for such a belief. In America, most working people who are always broke are irresponsible. I have seen a lot of people struggle. I’ve witnessed family members having to scrounge gas money to get to work, days before they get their paychecks. I’ve heard immigrant co-workers complain about having to pay the rent late because they were broke. I have been related to American-born individuals who were always broke despite having consistent income. You know what everybody in those circumstances had in common? They were terrible stewards of money. Every one of them. I’ve seen people go out and buy brand new televisions and the newest gadgets the moment they received their income tax monies; they blow every opportunity to open up a saving account, to finally stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. My co-workers- the ones who had to pay their rent late- purchased clothes and worthless trinkets every month, as well as every ridiculous add-on one could put on a car. People buy a new phone every three months, adding an average of twenty dollars to their monthly bill for months to come. If you’ve ever noticed, the homes of many lower-class families are always crammed with junk, inside and outside. Rarely do you see a poor family in the U.S. stripped down to essentials.
If you’re in America, and you’re too broke to get an I.D. made, you’re most likely irresponsible. I don’t like the idea of such a mindset pulling the lever. This is not about class discrimination. It’s about maturity, responsibility. Grow up, control yourself and learn how to be a good steward of your money. How on earth is it reasonable for you to have indirect input on national fiscal matters if you can’t responsibly manage your own measly money matters?
I could only hope for new voting regulations that would be more conducive to semi-responsible people and biased towards those who don’t want to sacrifice a few bucks, a couple hours, and some reality television time in favor of reading about the country they partake in.
Critics have a point. A voting I.D. would curb certain voters. But it has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. It has to do with legal status and a certain mindset. I can live with that.
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