I’ve been asked to take part in Google/ABC News’ digital election coverage next week. They are talking to people in all 50 states to, determine “why your vote matters and what issues influenced your vote.” As I have stated many times, I am a fiscal conservative with some liberal social leanings. This election is a difficult one for me because of how I weight issues and their importance to me and my fellow Americans. While thinking about this upcoming interview I really began to more seriously consider why and how I will be voting myself.
My biggest concerns at the national level are related to the economy and taxes. I think we need to spend far less on the nice-to-haves and much more on the must-haves like our physical and digital infrastructure. If taxes need to rise to cover these costs, so be it. However, considering we spend far less of our GDP on infrastructure than other industrialized nations of our size and caliber, I think we need to be reconsidering how we spend the public’s dollars.
While this is all well and good, this election cycle I am mostly concerned with two issues being voted on right here in Minnesota: Voter ID and the Marriage Amendment.
We have discussed both of these topics on the site before. While other conservatives, such as Chris Gerlach believe we should limit the rights of our fellow Americans, I have made it clear that I fully support granting equal rights to all citizens of legal age in our country regardless of their creed, color, or sexual orientation. Not one single intelligent argument has been presented which is not full of hatred or irrelevant religious moral belief. While plenty of individuals have spoken to both sides and no one is going to change their minds based on my ramblings, it is important to note that if you’re voting “Yes”, you’re on the wrong side of history. Very much alike those who were against integration or interracial marriage, those voting “Yes” will eventually be overruled as their outdated and bigoted beliefs fade into oblivion.
Just last evening I was in the car listening to a radio commercial supporting the amendment. The group paying for the commercial were apparently horrified that children in Minnesota as young as second grade would learn that our Constitution would embrace ALL people, not just those they deemed acceptable. There’s nothing I find more abhorrent than parents teaching their children to dislike other people based solely on their own misguided personal preferences. But hey, if you don’t want your children to learn that people have equal rights in this country, there is always homeschooling and it’s your right as an American to exercise that option.
As a fiscal conservative I have a real problem with Voter ID. The conservatives have done an excellent job convincing the American public (regardless of political belief) this is a must-have without providing a single viable argument which proves their case. Setting that aside and ignoring the liberal’s claims of disenfranchisement of the elderly, homeless and minorities who normally vote for them we’re left the single most telling reason why this should not be implemented: COST.
Estimates for Voter ID adoption in Minnesota range between 15 and 150 million dollars. For the conservatives to claim that this is a worthwhile venture while ignoring this cost factor is irony as its worst. For a group so high key about cutting costs in Minnesota to lower the tax burden, I am shocked they would propose voters support the opposite of what they were championing for just two years ago. Honestly it shows just how disconnected the conservatives are and how confused they are about their constituency.
Aside from my issues with the high cost, it’s clear the legislation will do nothing to stop what they claim it will. Those who want to vote fraudulently will continue to do so. It won’t stop the handful of felons who have been the only ones found guilty of illegally voting because IDs aren’t updated with your voting status. It won’t stop those who really want to vote “dead and often” as they would be making fake IDs and shuffling between vote sites to continue their slow and inefficient way of illegal voting. Instead we will continue to fear ballot stuffing and, most recently, leveraging the poor security of e-voting machines (championed by the conservatives) to potentially shift elections without anyone having to cast a single vote, ID or not.
Perhaps if there was clear language for the planned legislation already prepared, there would be less what-if scenarios to fear. Perhaps the legislation would be inexpensive and make sense, accounting for all of the concerns laid out above as well as the hundreds of others people have brought up over the last few months. Unfortunately that language does not exist and we must trust our legislators will do the exact opposite of what they normally do and make a law which not only is inexpensive but also makes sense and we all know that’s just not going to happen.
I realize I am probably not going to change one single mind either way here but there isn’t one good reason why you should vote “Yes” for either of these amendments in Minnesota. If you read no other articles about these topics, I strongly recommend these two links.
The first, appearing in The New Yorker is a must and the second, written by reader Joey, is simple and to the point and gets to the heart of the matter from the viewpoint of an intelligent, conservative, Christian:
How are you voting on Tuesday? Have you changed your stance about any of these issues recently? If you are voting “Yes”, why? If you’re voting “No”, why? What sorts of issues do you have either way? What articles have you read which you feel are important pieces to the puzzle? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.