Democrats are still falsely claiming that Republicans want to want to drag the country back to the era of Jim Crow laws.
On MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews last night civil rights hero and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) made several outrageous claims about Republican initiated Voter ID laws, including that they are a “sin” and “like a poll tax” and that casting a vote should be as easy as “getting a glass of fresh water.”
Lewis was on the show to plug his book Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change when things went a little wacky.
Lewis said that the vote is the “most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society.” So far, so good. He goes on to say, “Every single vote must be counted, so it is important that people go out, register, and vote like you’ve never voted before.” Again, this is absolutely true. We need voters to be engaged, appreciate and exercise their right to vote!
He then says “I think, Chris, that it’s a deliberate, systematic attempt to win or steal this election before it’s takes place, that a Voter ID in an early voting, making it almost impossible for our young people, our students, our seniors, our minorities to participate, for the disabled to participate is a sin. It’s obscene.”
Rep. Lewis, that’s where you lost us.
As a Christian, Lewis must be familiar with concept of sin. However, one would struggle to find anything to back him up theologically. Many Christians would look to the 10 Commandments as a basic guide to sin. Requiring voters to show identification before voting doesn’t put any other gods before God, or make a graven image. It doesn’t take the name of the Lord in vain, force you to work on a Sunday, covet your neighbor’s property or dishonor your father or mother. Voter ID laws don’t murder anyone, force people into adultery, or cause you to steal (although the case could be made that voter fraud is a form of theft). And it doesn’t require you to bear false witness, unless you’re lying about being an American citizen, in which case the blame falls on you, not the law, for you being a sinner.
Simply put, Voter ID laws are not sinful. Surely, when faced with something this outlandish, anyone even feigning journalistic integrity would feel compelled to distance himself these statements. Right?
Nope. Instead, Matthews responded by saying “I’m worried, worried, worried about this.”
Oh, Chris Matthews. We want you to be a real journalist, really we do. You can start by keeping your leg-thrills and tears to yourself. Rep. John Lewis, we appreciate what you did for African-Americans during the Civil Rights era, but we really want you to recognize that occupy and race-hustling are negative things. But the madness didn’t stop there.
Matthews then attacked the Republican led government in Pennsylvania for passing a voter ID law and asks Lewis “What are people who want to have everybody vote going to be able to do about these laws already put in the books?”
“When we take back the majority we will pass a voter act that will improve the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” Lewis responded, referring to House Democrats’ Voter Empowerment Act, “which will prohibit deceptive practices and voter fraud that keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote,” according to a press release announcing the act.
But then came the perhaps the biggest whopper. Lewis said that Voter ID “is like a poll tax – it’s almost like a literacy test.
“To be able to cast a vote should be very simple. Like getting a glass of fresh water.”
Chris Matthews, please set the record straight!
“I agree with you,” Matthew said instead. “Same day registration would be just fine with me.”
A glass of water? This man, a United States Representative, believes that voting should be as easy as getting a glass of water? How are these two things equal? On one hand, we have water. A natural resource that is vital for life. On the other hand, we have a right for which people fought and died, as Lewis well knows. Yet, one should be as easily accessed as the other? This statement should shock any reasonable person.
Furthermore, fact- checking website Politifact has already debunked Democrats’ claims that Voter ID laws are similar the poll taxes associated with Jim Crow Laws nearly a year ago after DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz made the same outlandish claim.
Any American citizen can get photo ID, and there are numerous groups in every community that will provide rides and other assistance to get it. However, voter fraud is a well-documented problem in America, as Red Alert Politics and other publications are repeatedly pointed out.
Preventative measures are necessary to ensure that each citizen has one vote in order to keep our elections free and fair – something all Americans who claim to support democracy should also support.