Politics Magazine

Across the Fence

Posted on the 24 March 2012 by Erictheblue

Here is the text of a letter to the editor printed in Thursday's Star Tribune:

As a political independent, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief by the antics of both the Republican and DFL Parties in our state. However, the most absurd position being taken in Minnesota at this time is the opposition to voter ID by the DFL Party.

Have the Democrats among us forgotten about the numerous examples of voter fraud and expensive and time-consuming election recounts (that we taxpayers pay for)?

Have they forgotten about the millions of illegal aliens and other nonresident transients who are in our state and who could easily sway an election if permitted to vote?

Is there no concern among Democrats of the potential national security risks associated with a lack of voter ID? Or should we all just stick our heads in the sand and "trust" that nothing like that can happen in "Minnesota Nice"?

We have laws on the books that dictate who is allowed to vote in elections. I want this law to be enforced and not just "assumed."

The contention by Democrats that a voter ID law will disadvantage the poor and elderly is an obvious smokescreen, because the law will provide IDs to citizens without a valid driver license and will allow people to use other means to prove their residency.

The voter ID law has a clear fence line. On one side sits those who support voting laws and fair and accurate elections. On the other side sit those who do not.

Corby Pelto

From my side of the fence, it's possible to glimpse another fence, on one side of which sits a herd of morons.  Let us append some comments to each of his paragraphs.

Oh, he's a "political independent" disgusted with both parties! In that case, be prepared to hear the voice of reason! That's paragraph #1.

What examples of voter fraud is he talking about? The argument, if that is what you want to call it, is pretty much like the joke about how pink elephants hide in cherry trees.  (Have you never seen a pink elephant in a cherry tree?  That's how well they hide!)  And by what leap of illogic would voter ID prevent close elections? That's the second paragraph.

Minnesota has a population of around 5.3 million.  And, according to Corby, "millions of illegal aliens and other non-resident transients."  Where do they sleep at night?  He's not saying, but I bet he knows who they're voting for.  Not the independents!

We come now to paragraph #4, which concerns an unexplicated national security risk we've been incurring for all these years in which it was too easy to vote.  Is it that all these millions of aliens have been sent by foreign powers to vote for candidates who hate America?  It's hard to say.  When Corby asks whether we should all "just stick our heads in the sand and 'trust' that nothing like that can happen" here, it's impossible to identify the referent of the second "that." Nothing like what?

Paragraph #5: Yes, Corby, "we have laws on the books."  Your side wants to change them.  Since the legislative process won't yield the necessary votes, the state's constitution must be amended. It's a small lesson in the decline of conservatism, a once respectable political philosophy. 

In his sixth paragraph, Corby dismisses as "an obvious smokescreen" the argument that a voter ID law will deter some citizens from voting.  Were he more generous, he'd recognize that we all have our own preferred rhetorical ruses.  His own is the tone of bland self-confidence with which he pronounces each stupid, illogical syllable.

And then, finally, the fence line. It happened that, on the same day Corby's letter was published, I came across this blog post by Charles Simic.


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