Mandatory Voter Photo I.D. laws have been enacted in the states shown in green. The Texas law has been challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice. Ostensibly, these stricter laws were passed to prevent voter fraud, even though there is no evidence of such. It appears that they were implemented for political reasons, and meant to discourage seniors, minorities, and young voters who would more than likely vote for a Democratic ticket. Not surprisingly, these states are headed by Republican Governors and legislatures with a Republican majority as well.
|"Florence F. Noyes as 'Liberty' -- Suffrage Parade, 3/13/1913"|
From 1867 until 1920, when Congress finally passed the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote, brave women protested, marched, and were even arrested and thrown in jail for demanding equal rights as men - the first being the right to vote. It took many more years for them to gain ground in other areas, such as property rights, Roe v Wade, and the ongoing struggle to gain equal pay for equal work.
How can something so hard won as "equal rights" for women be in jeopardy now at the hands of white, middle-aged, mostly Republican men? If we study our history, it seems we are moving backwards to the days of the Woodrow Wilson administration! Many men are still opposed to women's rights. They would rather see them "suffer"! Or keep them at home, barefoot and pregnant!
Under the guise of "religious objections", slowly but surely across this nation women are losing the right to say what happens to their own bodies. Many states are now instituting legislation to supposedly limit or prohibit abortion by requiring invasive sonograms as well as ridiculous questioning beforehand, such as asking women how their marriages are, are they certain they were "raped", and even asking if birth control pills -- which are hormones -- are to be used for medical or contraceptive purposes. The idea being that such programs providing these services are promoting promiscuous sex -- that is the opinion of at least one Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum. And Mitt Romney says if he is elected, Planned Parenthood must go!
By pandering to the religious right, making opposition to funding of abortions by the new healthcare laws (Which, by the way, I understand not wanting to use tax dollars for abortion if one is fundamentally opposed -- but for denying women contraception coverage? Give me a break!), they stand the chance of eliminating essential health care coverage for many women who have no insurance and many who have been unemployed due to the current economic conditions.
"Stand Your Ground" laws exist now in 21 of our 50 states (most of which have Republican Governors), some stating that you can use deadly force without attempting to retreat in any location, even outside your home. Such laws do not require that your own property is threatened. You can be anywhere, and if you feel threatened, you may shoot and kill the person you perceive to be threatening you without being prosecuted for murder. It is considered "self defense".
This is a generalization of such laws, I know, but it is essentially what has happened to the young black male, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. I don't know about you, but I had not heard of these laws until this recent incident. I can understand the laws that permit one to shoot an intruder into your home with the expectation your life is in danger, but "stand your ground"?? The NRA had to be involved in the passage of these laws! And the rise of right-wing, conservative Republicans in the states involved speaks to a scary trend in our country. A lot of the above states are known to have a number of white supremacist and survivalist groups, as well as being home to the Ku Klux Klan. They may well be more trigger happy than some. (I'm just sayin'.)
These are just a few of the things that cause me to wake up during the night and ponder the direction of our country. The issues of Social Security and Medicare benefits being considered for budget cuts are high on my list as well. Being a senior citizen, I am in a minority category. I did a little research on minorities in this country that included not only seniors but races and ethnicities other than "white", and have decided that if all of the so-called minorities (women actually outnumber the men in the U.S.) band together in this election year, we can stop the progress of these trends towards a repressive government, concerned more for the powerful corporations and the wealthiest 1% of our population. One only has to look at the wealthy supporters of the Republican candidates and the Super Pacs they represent to know that these folks are not out to improve the lives of the 99%!
I know who I'm going to vote for this year! How about you?
Peace, love, and wisdom to make right choices,