Friday, May 11, 2012

Jimmy Carter Prize: Department of Justice & The NAACP

The Jimmy Carter Prize For The Advancement Of Douchebaggery goes to the Department of Justice for their absurd(ly partisan) lawsuit against Texas for its voter ID law. And the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People equally merits this reward for complaining to the United Nation's Human Rights Council. This law asks prospective voters to do what is required of one who seeks to: rent a video, buy a beer, board a plane or cash a check: show a state ID. The DOJ's facetious argument is not that this law diminishes equal opportunity, but simply that it is discriminatory because it would lead to unequal outcomes, i.e. fewer African-Americans and Latinos would vote. To start off with, nowhere in the constitution are individuals or groups guaranteed the right to equal outcomes. In no way can the minimal investment in time and money ($16 for the general population and $6 for those over 60) be considered serious barriers preventing lawful citizens from voting. And the risk of sounding insensitive: those who lack the motivation to take the minimal steps to vote, properly due not have much to contribute to the democratic process. But, if they were serious about expanding access to voting, while maintaining the integrity of the democratic process, the DOJ could have asked the State of Texas to delay the implementation of the law by 3 months, in order to allow adequate time for more individuals to obtain IDs. And the NAACP could have raised funds for and provided them to individuals who could not afford the ID registration fee. But rarely, if ever, do progressives and ethno-identity activists seek to improve equality of outcomes by raising standards.

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