If you’re like me, you probably have a hard time comprehending why there’s even a debate about voter identification laws.
There is a great need to bring common sense and obvious practicality into this issue and dust away the cobwebs of misconceptions surrounding the debate over voter ID.
It’s reminiscent of the debate surrounding illegal immigration and amnesty: The late singer and Rep. Sonny Bono, when asked for his opinion on illegal immigration simply said, “What’s there to talk about it? It’s illegal.”
Bono spoke in plain, simple and concise language.
And this is exactly what is needed when voter ID comes up: plain, simple and concise language to clearly stress the necessity of showing a form (any form) of valid state identification to vote.
One of my favorite politicians in America right now and one of the few people I’m excited about getting behind for a 2016 run at the White House is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
He’s the perfect champion for individual liberty, limited government, strong national defense and Republican values needed at this pivotal juncture in our country’s history.
Paul has the opportunity to become a leader the nation desperately needs right now, but he made a serious misstep last week when discussing voter ID.
A grave miscalculation.
While in Memphis, Paul stated:
“Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing. I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”
This is the 21st century we’re talking about here, meaning it’s extremely unlikely a citizen of this country doesn’t have immediate access to acquire a valid form of ID.
How will you open up a bank account without showing some form of identification, pick up prescription medication, buy alcohol or tobacco products, get on a plane or perform dozens of other basic functions of life where a valid ID is simply part of the process?
We aren’t talking about some draconian resurrection of the poll tax or literacy qualification to vote, but merely showing a valid form of identification to prove the ballot you’ll fill out is actually yours.
Reading the full New York Times article where Sen. Paul is quoted, it’s important to note he didn’t denounce the idea of voter ID or state it was unreasonable to require voters to show identification.
He just said it was “offending people” for Republicans to keep talking about it.
Standing for what’s right isn’t always popular, especially at a time when many citizens of our country desire the establishment of a permanent Democratic stranglehold on the Executive Branch by passing amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Just like when Bono ended the debate about illegal immigration with two pithy sentences, Rand Paul should simply ask what those opponents of Voter ID are hiding.
Instead of allowing the opponents of Voter ID to define the terms of debate (whether they consider it racist and insulting to blacks, as the New York Times insinuates), Rand Paul needs to state that not having election integrity in the form of valid identification to vote is offensive to our republican form of government.
Even if it’s for something as mundane as a school board vote, if one election in the United States of America even has a whiff of voter fraud to it, we should immediately find this offensive.
Being a leader means you will make decisions, important decisions, on controversial topics, which will be considered “offensive” to many, many people.
But that’s the price, the sacrifice of being a leader. Compromising your beliefs for fear of offending people isn’t a trait worthy of celebrating, nor is it a trait that is found in true leaders.
In a 2013 speech to Howard University in Washington, D.C., Paul was forceful and passionate in his defense of Voter ID laws, showcasing the type of fortitude needed in a leader prepared to run for the Republican nomination for the presidency.
The damage done to this country under the presidency of Barack Obama has been immense, and yet the 2016 presidential election doesn’t look like a sure-fire bet for the Republican Party.
Rand Paul is one of those conservatives capable of putting up the best challenge to take the White House in 2016, but he’ll need to display the desire to be a leader unafraid of offending those proponents of bad policy if he is to persuade Republicans and tea party members to cast a ballot for him in their state’s primary.
To paraphrase the late Sonny Bono, “If you’re against voter ID laws, what do you have to hide?”
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