In this installment of our weekly conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative examine the controversy surrounding voter ID laws, and how the recently-passed voting law in Georgia affects the larger debate.
PF: It’s remarkable that we even have to use the word “controversy” in this discussion, but incredibly that’s the situation in which we find ourselves. Opposition to voter ID laws comes up every year or two, and each time it does, the rationale for the left’s opposition sounds increasingly absurd. The recent passage of Georgia’s law has rekindled the latest onslaught of hostility, but the intensity from the left will subside in a few weeks. Then another state will enact a law next year or the year after, and the left will lose their minds again. The left raging against voter ID laws is almost as predictable as their periodic trash-talking of the Electoral College.
If the left and their media were being honest about voter ID laws, they’d recognize that such laws aren’t just reasonable, they’re imperative. If we’re going to enact any voting legislation on a federal level – which is a bad idea, because such laws should be done at the state level – it should be for states mandating some type of identification in order to vote. Elections are the foundation of our democracy, and Americans’ faith in the process has been in decline.
After the election in 2016, Democrats were screaming that Donald Trump stole the election from Hillary Clinton. They perpetrated the Russia Hoax for 3+ years, screaming “Not My President,” and “Resist.” Their distrust of the electoral process was wholly unjustified, but their skepticism was genuine. They believed the lies. Then with last year’s election, many of us on the right had/have reservations regarding the validity of Joe Biden’s victory. The problem has come full circle.
Huge portions of our population have doubted the legitimacy of our two most recent presidents, which is extremely unhealthy for the country. All of us need to have confidence that whatever the results are of any election, they’re valid. If we can’t trust an election, how can we support the government that it produced? Voter ID laws are the least we can do to address the issue.
Parker: This should be about as dull a conversation as any in politics. In a normal world, someone would propose making sure elections were fair and legitimate, and then the rest of the legislative body would say, “hear, hear!” The leftist dictators and would-be tyrants loathe normalcy and standards, though, and so here we are.
The reason for the opposition is simple: The left seeks to erode everything that our society holds dear and/or requires. Family units? Dissolve them. Colorblindness? Sow division. Genital mutilation and chemical castration for gender dysphoric youths? Proclaim compassion. Lockdown citizens and mandate Covid protocols for citizens but ignore the borders and health status of illegals? Open the floodgates. Murder the unborn? Offer choice. Election integrity? Eliminate it for the purpose of engineering desired outcomes in perpetuity. There is quite literally no position the left holds that makes sense rationally, nor one that seeks to make life better for the good people of the country. It is not an exaggeration to declare every single issue the left touches as being anathema to freedom-loving and life-loving individuals.
It’s almost too easy to call out one of the hypocrisies in the suppression narrative, but low-hanging fruit need to be picked as well. As woke corporations topple over one another to be the most woke, they all seem to forget that identification in the private sector should be required, but when it comes to safeguards against voting fraud it’s suddenly racist. Delta Airlines won’t let people board a plane with ID. For that matter, the government (TSA) won’t either. Amazon didn’t want signature matches on absentee ballots in its union vote, but demanded wishy-washy standards for society-altering elections. The list goes on and on. Heck, some companies that simply transport food or cheap products necessitate an ID upon delivery. That $10 meal needs to be verified but a questionable ballot should simply be fed through a machine?
PF: What I find truly puzzling, and indeed crazy, is that so many otherwise reasonable and normal Americans don’t recognize the insanity. A recent AP poll revealed that 72% of those surveyed support requiring voters to show photo identification before voting. That’s reassuring, though I still can’t understand what the other 28% are thinking.
Nonetheless, an overwhelming majority of Americans support voter ID. So, why don’t more of us recognize the lunacy of the arguments our elected officials are making against it? The left tends to overuse the term “common sense,” but if ever there was common sense legislation, voter ID laws would be it. Secure elections are critical, and anyone in their right mind would recognize that fact.
The obvious question to those who claim voter ID laws suppress voting is this: how? How does requiring one to show ID disenfranchise that person, or how does it suppress voting? The left avoids answering that question directly, preferring to tiptoe around the issue and simply shout, “Racist!” But when we dig into the debate further, we see the true racism.
The argument from those who claim voter ID laws disproportionately target black folks is that it puts an undue additional burden on them; an additional “cost.” It’s difficult to find more expansive reasoning, as the rationale generally stops there, and that’s really the only reasoning we need to see. Their logic is blatantly racist, which is why they avoid specifics.
The laws apply equally, regardless of race, but acquiring ID is more burdensome for black folks than white folks; so they say. That mindset is the epitome of racism. Part of the “costs” to would-be voters according to the left is the onerous requirement to remember to bring your ID to the polling station. Following their reasoning, we can conclude they feel black folks are more likely to forget their ID than white folks, which is again outrageously racist. Voter ID laws aren’t racist, but opposition of such laws is.
Parker: You basically took the words right out of my mouth. When voter identification laws are written (and there are currently 34 states with such a requirement), there is not a single example of the language approximating “so that black voters are disenfranchised.” Ergo, there is no codified racism. Not a single lawmaker or state is explicitly excluding Americans from the polls.
The Ibram X. Kendi narrative says that disproportionate outcomes indicate systemic racism. Apparently the low, low bar of carrying an ID impacts black people more? If a higher rate of black students are expelled from school or a higher rate of blacks are incarcerated relative to their share of the general population, it is claimed that racism is afoot. Naturally, this same logic applies to voting. I have never met a person without identification, but we’re told that millions of black and brown would-be voters count among the folks who apparently don’t fly, buy alcohol, sign for packages, drive, rent or buy homes, or perform a spate of other basic, daily activities.
Of course, the real racism lay with those who believe so little in black and brown bodies that they are incapable of not committing crimes, of functioning in a decent society, and in this case, of obtaining an ID. There is a perverse pleasure in specifically asking white liberals how voter ID laws prevent blacks from going to the polls and actually hearing them provide an explanation. There is no way to speak on this issue without coming across as wholly and unequivocally racist. Ami Horowitz did a man-on-the-street episode, worth watching in its entirety, where the responses included “they” (i.e. blacks) don’t know how to use the internet or don’t know how to go to the DMV to obtain a free ID. Just to hammer home the point, this clip shows him then asking black people about the challenges of getting an ID, and every single person is dumbfounded that it’s even a problem. They pull out their IDs and even name the specific cross street of the closest DMV.
PF: The left demands evidence for any claim by conservatives, and will in fact often ignore evidence even when it’s provided. But with this idiotic claim that voter ID equals voter suppression, they have zero evidence. And the reason they have zero evidence is that their claims are thoroughly false.
In an article two years ago in Political Science Quarterly authored by three professors from academia (Pryor, Herrick and Davis), they examined the theory that “voter ID laws are expected to depress voter turnout because the ‘costs’ of voting increase when an individual has to possess, remember, and produce an acceptable form of ID when voting.” They went into their study with that premise, but were unable to conclude their theory was correct. There was no correlation between lower voter turnout among minorities and voter ID laws. The entire idea is nonsense.
The situation with voter ID laws is a shame; truly. President Biden has been preaching “unity and healing” since he came into office, and voter ID laws would be an easy way to achieve that goal; at least to some degree. We have 72% of Americans who agree voter ID is a good idea, there should be bipartisan support. Instead, we have fierce resistance from Biden, who has gone so far as to liken such laws to Jim Crow; we have the HR-1 bill from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which seeks to destroy state sovereignty and any true accountability with voting; and we have cowardly corporate executives bowing to woke pressure on the issue and moving baseball games.
Many conservatives tend to stand back with cultural issues. “It’s just a baseball game,” they’ll tell us, “pick your battles.” What happened with MLB and the State of Georgia regarding their voting law – of which a significant aspect is the voter ID requirement – may be cultural, but it’s absolutely critical. We must oppose such craziness, and we must be vocal. Our democracy may be at stake.
Parker: Earlier I referenced the fact that fully two-thirds of all states require the presentation of some identifying documentation to vote. Georgia is only the most recent addition to this growing map, but as it relates specifically to the baseball all-star game, this is where leftist lunacy really shines. The Democrat machine whipped up a frenzy about Atlanta playing host and then applauded the decision to move the event to Denver, Colorado, a state that has had on the books this law: “All voters who vote at the polls must provide identification. If you are voting by mail for the first time, you may also need to provide a photocopy of your identification when you return your mail ballot.” Fact-checking units are out in full force pretending that Colorado and Georgia have nothing in common, but at the end of the day, an ID requirement is an ID requirement.
This is the exact double standard that exemplifies the insanity of leftist outrage. Why was there no outrage over 33 other states demanding voters present identification? Dr. Seuss books had been in publication for over eighty years, and had even been read by then-First Lady Michelle Obama to school kids. Suddenly, after 29,000 days (80 years x 365 days) his books need to be banned? Pick any hysteria du jour, and you will find a sudden interest in a “problem” that has existed forever. Any human being with a pulse should be able to identify that Joe Biden’s entire debate performances against Donald Trump included references to migrant children in cages, a poor response to Covid, travel bans, and executive orders. As soon as he got into office, he increased (by a huge margin) the number of migrant children in euphemistic detention facilities. He also admitted we had to let Covid run its course, he made (legal) travel tougher for U.S. admittance for foreigners, and he signed a flurry of anti-American, unconstitutional executive orders. Previously, EOs were the mark of a tyrant; now, they’re the hallmark of a go-getter.
It is good to see freedom-loving states push back against Biden’s dictatorial stances. Each day, we read about more states banning males from competing with females. Most recently, Arkansas even stood up against the genital mutilation and chemical alterations of youth. As it relates to voting, Governor Greg Abbot of Texas indicated that states would move the date of their elections to circumvent the corrupt measures sought by Team Biden. There needs to be a lot more of this from states. Hopefully, the Supreme Court battles will follow.