On August 28th, a federal court rejected the new Texas redistricting maps drawn up by our elected legislators, declaring them to be in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, because they are supposedly racially discriminatory. [PDF of Texas v. Holder]In fact, the judges didn't just say that the effects of the map were discriminatory; they declared that our legislators drew the maps for the express purpose of engaging in racial discrimination against non-whites.
Two days later, another federal court threw out our new Voter ID law on the same grounds—it's a racist law that violates the Voting Rights Act. This is nonsense of course; there's nothing about race in the Voter ID laws. Besides, the Voting Rights Act is racist itself. It is based on the idea that blacks have to elect a black legislator to represent "black" interests, and Hispanics have to elect a Hispanic legislator to represent "Hispanic" interests. Of course, this involves a huge double standard: if anyone suggested that the government should help white people elect white lawmakers to represent "white" interests, he would be denounced as a racist.
Let's look at the ruling in the Voter ID case. The blatant double standard I just pointed out is bad enough, but making this ruling even worse is the fact that states like Illinois and Indiana have passed Voter ID laws which are very similar to Texas' law and the feds don't have any problem with their laws. This is terribly unfair, and it's all because of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was carefully written to apply only to Southern states. This is wrong. The federal government has no right to intrude on state election laws, but if they're going to do it to some states, they should do it to all.
Furthermore, the ruling was based in large part on dishonesty. If you're like most people, you're no doubt wondering how a law that requires everyone to show an official photo ID before voting can possibly be construed as racist, since it applies to every voter across the board. Eric Holder said, and the court agreed, that even though Texas planned to give free election ID cards to people who can't afford the small fee ($6 to $16) for a regular ID, the law somehow discriminates against poor people, and because blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be poor than whites, the law is therefore racist.
By that specious reasoning, every business in America that charges any amount of money for its goods or services is racist, and so is every non-profit group that has membership fees, no matter how low. Any action or event that requires a person to show ID is racist, too, including the recent national NAACP convention in Houston, where Eric Holder called the Texas law a poll tax. The Democrats' national convention in Charlotte must be racist, too, as every attendee must show photo ID to enter. When Eric Holder refused Texas permission to enact the Voter ID law, he claimed that 81 counties (out of 254) in Texas have no Department of Public Safety Office, meaning that county residents would have to travel to another county to get an ID card. The court relied on this claim when making their ruling, but it's not true.
According to Jason Heid, writing for D Magazine's Frontburner blog, there are only 14 Texas counties that don't have any DPS office. One of them is Potter County (Amarillo), with a population of 122,000, but that's a technicality since part of Randall County is also in Amarillo, and it has a DPS office. The other 13 counties have very small populations—three of them are under 500, and Loving County's population is a whopping 94. Yet the court simply took Eric Holder's dishonest claim that 81 counties have no offices issuing IDs at face value, and based their ruling in part on this falsehood.
Besides being unfair and dishonest, this ruling is also dangerous. In fact, it strikes at the very heart of our democracy. If we can't have faith that our ballots and elections are honest and fair, is there anything we can trust? Liberals, on top of claiming Voter ID laws are racist, also insist that election fraud is extremely rare, no one ever tries to cheat, illegal aliens can't register to vote, and therefore Voter ID laws aren't needed.
Just like Eric Holder's claim that 81 Texas counties have no office that issues state ID cards, this claim is false. Election fraud is a widespread problem. Last year in Tunica, Mississippi, a leader of the local NAACP went to jail for casting illegal votes under ten different names, including the names of four dead people. Voter fraud is probably the reason Al Franken became a US Senator. As law professor Glenn Reynolds recently wrote in the New York Post:
"In Minnesota's 2008 disputed US Senate election, won by Al Franken—who proceeded to cast the deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare—the margin of victory was 312, but it turned out that 1,099 votes were cast by felons who were ineligible to vote. Many of them have gone to jail, but Franken has remained in the Senate."[Dead voters & a dying democracy? August 27, 2012]
In Compton, California, non-citizens admitted to voting under oath during an investigation. According to the Heritage Foundation, in 1998 between 24,000 and 36,000 of the people called in for jury duty in Orange County, California asked to be excused because they weren't citizens. Names of people called for jury duty are taken from voter registration rolls.
The Heritage Foundation also reports that at one point in the 1980s there were some 80,000 illegal aliens registered to vote in the city of Chicago alone, according to a United States Attorney.[The Threat of Non-Citizen Voting, By Hans von Spakovsky, July 10, 2008] There's no reason to believe that that number is lower today; it's probably much higher.
We've all heard about the rampant election fraud committed by the notorious ACORN, in states all over America. In one state, they were paying people with cigarettes to register under phony names. In another, nearly 60,000 registrations were thrown out for being obviously fraudulent, and most of them had been turned in by ACORN. Yet liberals would have us believe that election fraud is virtually nonexistent, and then our own government calls us racist for trying to prevent this sort of thing from happening in Texas.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he will appeal both of these outrageous rulings to the US Supreme Court. I hope he prevails, but there's no guarantee that he will. In today's environment of rampant and poisonous political correctness, this kind of thing is becoming more and more common, no matter who is in the White House. Democrats have learned that all they have to do is accuse Republicans of racism, and the government will step in to see to it that they get their way. Since Hispanics vote about 2-1 for Democrats and blacks vote for them at around 9-1, any conservative tactic or strategy that's effective against Democrats will automatically be considered de facto racist.
The only long term solution is to work to repeal the discriminatory Voting Rights Act, which treats Texas different than northern states like Minnesota. Otherwise, the federal government will continue to use the law as a whip to keep Texas in its place on their plantation. That's really our only long term hope to put a stop to this sort of thing.
We either repeal the Voting Rights Act, or we simply get used to the federal government stepping in to give Democrats more and more advantages in elections, in the name of fighting "racism."
We are running out of time. In just a few more cycles, I estimate by 2020, it will be all but impossible for a Republican to be elected President, and we'll never have a 2/3 majority in Congress. If Republicans are lucky enough to win Congress and the White House in November, the Republican Congress had better start locking the doors and then throw away the key.
We either handicap the entire discriminatory federal apparatus while we still can, or else you'll see much more than just cheap talk from Rick Perry when it comes to secession. We are rapidly running out of options to preserve the United States as we know it. If the Republicans act like the bozos they were the last time they had power, America's final chapter is already written. If Obama is re-elected the clock strikes midnight even sooner, and according to the fairly accurate prediction market Intrade.com, there's roughly a 59% chance of that happening. In that scenario, with Obama free, as Chris Rock suggested, to go "gangsta" without fear of re-election, God help us all.
Peter Morrison (email him) is a businessman living in Lumberton, Texas with his wife and four children. He served on the Lumberton ISD School Board from 2007-2010 and is treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party. He says "I believe deeply in the principles of limited constitutional government, the sanctity of life and that our state and nation should be run under Thomas Jefferson's principle of ‘Equal Rights for All, Special Privileges for None.’" This article is from his free newsletter, which features commentary about current events of interest to Texans—sign up here.