If ever there was a word in the english language that has been overused, and frankly misused in the last few years, it is the word 'disenfranchise.' And it happens to be a word often used when opponents of the voter ID laws in Wisconsin try and make their arguments against the law. "Requiring voter ID," they say, "infringes on the rights of certain people to exercise their Constitutional right to vote in an election."
I say this is a load of hogwash because the way I see it, making that claim could be applied to any number of opportunities we may wish to take part in. For example driving a car, or buying a pack of cigarettes, or a six-pack of beer. In Wisconsin, and I'm certain this is also the case in other states as well, one must have a valid photo ID to receive food stamps, to cash a check, to make a withdrawal from a bank account, and the list goes on.
The bottom line comes down to something very basic for me. Participating in certain things requires us doing the basic things to actually do it.
While it's not along quite the same line, if I want to start a business for example, I have to obtain a license. I may need to find investors or obtain a small business loan to get started. Using the argument of the opponents of the voter ID laws, making me do these basic things may disenfranchise me. Requring me to do these things may make it harder, or impossible to actually start a business.
The simple fact is that if I want to start a business I must do the basic things to do this. Just like if I want to drive a car I must obtain a license. Heck, you need a license to fish or hunt too.
And how hard is it really to obtain some form of legal photo ID I wonder? If one really wants to cast a vote and exercise their right, they should not be looking for a way to play the role of the victim and cry woe-is-me I can't vote. They should be looking for a way to do the basic things they need to do to go to the polls and vote. If they are not willing to that, these people are not disenfranchised. They are creating their own circumstances. The tools are there. The opportunities are there, and the argument against voter ID laws in Wisconsin is just nothing more than silliness and whining.
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