I went to prison a few years ago, for 10 months. Since then, I've been carrying around a secret. The knowledge of a conspiracy we hatched inside that is determining the course of American history.
I'm talking about voter fraud.
It started when we were shooting the shit about what we'd first do when we got out. Loco was going to get high on tequila, then hire a hooker. D-roll couldn't wait to see his baby mama, and hug his kids. Skeeter would find meth like he always did -- just through sniffing the air. Rambo, however, insisted he'd learned his lesson, and was going straight to church. We tried not to snicker -- no one laughed at Rambo -- but we were all pretty sure he'd be shit faced for at least a week, just like the rest of us.
Then Drifter floated in with Cutter -- and we thought it was only polite to include them in the conversation. (Men are surprisingly courteous to each other in prison. A lot safer that way.)
You'd think the idea would have come from someone like me -- given that my nickname was "The Professor." But no, it came from Cutter, a man who'd never even seen the inside of a voting booth. Cutter had become a news junkie, after I'd "loaned" him my walkman, and he'd happened upon right-wing talk radio. One day he'd heard a Republican warning that if Obama won he'd seek to create a socialist paradise, and that's when Cutter had the idea.
"This is the plan," he said. "When you see your parole officer, first thing you do is petition to get your rights reinstated as a voter." Loco interrupted. "What's 'petition' mean?" I explained helpfully, "it means 'ask the judge.'" Loco was horrified. "Hell no, dawg! That judge will send me right back here if I even look at him wrong!" Cutter shot back with the look that earned him his nickname, and Loco decided to let him explain.
The plan was that each of us would register to vote in 10 different precincts, and get 10 of our friends and relatives to do the same thing. Cutter figured in no time flat there would be hundreds of thousands of us tipping the election. Skeeter resisted the easy math, citing his attempt to corner the Southern California meth market using very similar calculations. After some discussion, Viper settled the issue. "In 2000, the election hinged on about 1000 votes in one Florida county." (Viper had been a lawyer for Lehman brothers, the tattoos on his face were just to look tough in a scary place.) "Cutter might be on to something Voter fraud -- done right -- can get us everything we've ever dreamed about. Free healthcare. Free housing. Disability payments." He looked to Skeeter, who was always complaining about back pain from getting shanked in '03. "I want my medical marijuana paid for, do you think you can get that?" he inquired. Drifter, who'd earned his moniker for his ability to drift over the border with truckloads of illegals, shot higher. "I want more infrastructure. Specifically a tunnel under the Rio Grande. I'll collect the tolls, though." Such a libertarian, Drifter.
This high-minded salon continued until chow time. Word spread like wildfire through the cell blocks. Inmates made collect calls home, issuing directives. "First you get a few death certificates of people who died who were the same race and age as you. Then request their birth certificates. Then stand in line and get picture I.D.s as them -- go to a bunch of different DMV's if you have to. Then register to vote in several precincts, under all these different names, not to mention your own name. Also, request an absentee ballot for each alias, plus vote everywhere on election day, twice if possible. Oh, and of course get everyone you know to do the same thing." Loco even had his boys memorize the instructions in Spanish.
This worked like a charm in 2008, obviously, because Obama won. In 2010, I admit, not so well. I blame that on Rambo, who was what you'd call an "influencer." Rambo was disenchanted that there was no public option in healthcare reform, and told everyone to stay home. This year, though, he's back on board. "Ain't no mofo gonna make me take personal responsibility for my life" he told me, from the McDonald's window where he was working a double. "Good to see you Professor. Would you like to supersize your order?"
I realize that sharing the success of this grand scheme on the Huffington Post might expose me to scorn from the left, but I've been so inspired by Paul Ryan's steely blue eyes, that I've found the courage to come clean. Besides, I'm so tired of Republicans who clearly have the interests of the country at heart being vilified in their effort to root out and prevent voter fraud. After all, who would know better than they do how the criminal mind works?