The presidential election of 2012 may come down to one issue: voter suppression.
Most Republicans can argue until they're blue in the face that this isn't the case, but the visceral images we continue to see and the contumelious rhetoric used by their party's spokesmen suggest otherwise. For the past two years, there has been an execrable assault launched on President Obama and his candidacy for reelection. The amount of collusion going on to impede the voting process in swing states has become a historic scourge on the nation.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican brass stated on day one that their primary goal was to make President Barack Obama a one-term president. Despite all of their puissant efforts, the president has been quite successful on issues ranging from the rebirth of the auto industry to foreign policy. He has received no help in all these matters from the other side of the aisle. During the first two years of his term, he wanted to work in a bi-partisan manner, but each time the olive branch was extended it was ignored.
It has become laughable to listen to most Republicans come up with excuse after excuse on why they dislike President Obama. Very few Republicans can make a credible case based on statistical facts, but the rest are living in their collective bubbles where facts are foreign and lies are commonplace. The pervasive assertion has been that President Obama is lazy, un-American and not worthy of the position he holds as leader of the free world.
As this election comes to a close, voter suppression is rearing its ugly head once again. The states of Florida and Ohio are following in the same conspicuous footsteps from the year 2000. The Governor of Florida Rick Scott has steadfastly refused to extend early voting hours for individuals who reside in pro-Democratic areas within the state. Voting lines have been, at times, miles long with waiting times ranging from three to seven hours to simply do your civic duty by casting your vote for the candidate of your choice. The images on the nightly news programs have been quite disturbing and problematic.
The atrocity that happened in Florida during the 2000 election has been thoroughly investigated and let's hope there isn't a dubious replay of it tonight. It seems the state has yet to fix their futility and ineptitude when it comes to the voting process. Their on-going spectacle continues to vanquish the process of democracy from running with supreme efficiency. The state of Ohio is running neck-in-neck with the state of Florida for the title of the most haphazard state in the Union. From the "glitches" of losing thousands of votes to implementing last-minute laws to disenfranchise voters makes many residents of the state wonder if there is something more diabolical going on.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is emblematic of a referee inserting himself into big time sporting event and his one-sided calls determine the final outcome in one team's favor. At this juncture, he is making himself bigger than the voting process itself and having a direct hand in determining the outcome for his political party. His conduct during this election cycle has been reprehensible and incorrigible. The denial for extending early voting hours in districts where there is a Democratic stronghold and extending them in Republican areas is not only troubling, but hypocritical.
Democracy isn't allocating hundreds of poll watchers in each state to make sure one side isn't cheating the electorate. Democracy isn't promoting voter ID laws that have been ruled unconstitutional. Democracy isn't throwing away documents signed by citizens to become registered voters. Democracy isn't reveling in the uncouth lies being represented by one political party's presidential, vice presidential and congressional nominees. Democracy isn't waiting in line for several hours just to vote.
Voting is the one of the most American things a citizen can do. But, when you have those in power trying to conspire against the American populace, it insults the very notion of democracy. It shouldn't be an arduous endeavor to cast your vote in this country. Why are Republicans so defiant in letting citizens vote? They claim to be the party of values and virtue, which is quite the feigned juxtaposition. It has been a beautiful sight to watch Ohioans and Floridians congregate within the unfair electoral confines to still make their votes count before and on Election Day.
The Republican Party can't handle the fact that the Democratic voting bloc are refusing to go down without a fight. Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist extended early voting hours during the 2008 campaign because it was simply the right thing to do. The most extreme elements in the Republican base have eliminated their moderate representatives. Is this what the future of our democracy will look like? These unjust acts should wholeheartedly offend more than 300 million citizens who call themselves American.
We deserve better from the people we elect to public office. Remember who and what you're voting for today: the future of America and democracy.