"Those penguins on the ground are idiots!"
(Dean Martin, playing a frustrated airline pilot in the movie, "Airport")
Ironically, the left-wing, so called "mainstream media" is frothing at the mouth in reporting that the Supreme Court "threw out" Arizona's S.B. 1070 immigration bill, but in the course of all that glib frothing, the southpaw pundits conveniently pooh-pooh that one part of the law that was upheld by the court is the codicil that allows police officers to ask questionable immigrants to produce their identification, which is already required by federal law anyway, and was the crux of all the histrionic hub-bub in the first place.
The Democrat Party and its minions are also trying to suppress laws requiring positive identification to vote, citing "disenfranchisement" of minority and poor voters by Republicans who typically favor ID laws. The fact is, Democrats are also pushing for illegal immigrants to acquire driver licenses, and other types of ID based on shoddy documents, which thus makes identifying these people more difficult, and theoretically, gaining their sympathy and support as payback, come Election Day, pretty sad coming from the same ilk that cried foul after the Florida debacle in the 2000 election. Having unidentified illegal immigrants among us also poses a significant public safety and public health risk, but that is a possible subject for another day.
To equivocate such requirements with the old "Jim Crow laws," that were intended to segregate blacks, and exclude them from the polls is ludicrous. I have dealt with the public all my working life. Barring few exceptions, only those steeped in utter ignorance or of criminal character have no form of ID. Apathy and laziness is more often the cause of such a deficit, but in this country holding people accountable to their own decisions (abysmal, and otherwise) was thrown out with the baby and the bathwater long ago. Bad decisions create bad circumstances, and people more often than not "disenfranchise" themselves.
Often cited are the poor, elderly, and college students who allegedly cannot produce identification. (Illegal immigrants cannot lawfully vote anyway, much to the chagrin of Democrats...but they're working on it!)
Under recent federal law, now anyone (yes, including the elderly) must produce a substantive picture ID before being examined by a doctor. Who sees doctors more than the elderly?
Banks require identification to cash checks, yes, including checks from Welfare and Social Security, so how do all those poor folk on the government dime get paid?
Colleges not only require, but also issue photo ID's to their students.
State Motor Vehicle Departments now issue non-driver photo ID's that are widely recognized and accepted.
Airlines now require a photo ID to board a plane. And by the way, have you checked out fares and fees to fly these days? If you can afford to fly, then you can afford to take your cheap butt over to the local DMV office (wait in line for a day and a half), pay your lousy ten or twenty bucks, and get your ID.
What was that problem again?
In the course of my work experience, I have also dealt much with society's criminal element, and many, if not most of them, carry little to no ID, not so surprisingly.
And most criminals either cannot legally vote and/or are not apt to vote. And trying to get many college students to vote is like trying to negotiate a buzzard off a meat wagon. Just forget it. They ("like") don't even hear you...."dude." They have bigger fish to fry; beer, video games, and such.
So those two groups aren't voting, either.
Not all that long ago, when sense and courtesy were both actually "common," it was unheard of for any normal, rational thinking, responsible adult to go about in public without identification. Now we make excuses why they supposedly can't. It just doesn't wash. Our entitlement culture has also become an enabling one, to our self-imposed collective harm for the sake of those among us whose motivation and self pride has about as much vibrant spark as a dim bulb with a short.
Never mind "poll taxes," or for that matter, even ensuring the integrity of an election by requiring identification, if I was king, all the walking clueless, mouth-breathing, lemming sports and reality TV show sycophants would be greeted at the door to the polls with a 25 question quiz, based on current events, naming candidates and officials, the issues, and how our government works (something once taught in schools with a Constitution and a chalkboard, before it was replaced with a condom and cucumber). If you fail, you don't vote, period. Then again, I suppose if I was "king," no one would be voting at all anyway. Well, you get the drift.
Those who have been blessed with intelligence that is tragically encumbered, if not morphed, by self-imposed ignorance need to be weeded out and perpetually forgotten. Too many times my well researched vote (and that of others) has been voided out by these walking, talking zombies who would be hard pressed to name the Vice President or their own local member of Congress. My better half, a musician, and a much nicer person than me, often herself even makes reference to what she sardonically calls "B-Flat America."
That reminds me of an old joke I remember from my childhood; Why is an icy sidewalk musical? Because if you don't 'see sharp' you'll 'be flat.'"
I don't think (despite our "B-Flat" electorate) we're quite there just yet, but that joke also reminds me of where we are heading, best summed by the famous TV commercial of the elderly woman, lying on the floor, desperately exclaiming, "Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up."
History is replete with once free republics and democracies that died (or were killed) because their citizens grew too fat and happy. They fell and never did get back up. If we are to be the true master of our government, we must first be the gatekeeper, as George Santayana sagely noted, "Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it."
Responsible citizenship not only means ensuring security and integrity in our electoral process but also properly identifying ourselves to take part in it. It should not be rocket science. I recall as a freshman high school student in Spanish class, the first phrase we were taught was "Como su llama Usted?" ("What is your name, Sir?") By the way, the second phrase I learned was "Donde esta cerveza fria?" ("Where is the cold beer?") Ironically, many of the Spanish speaking countries would never tolerate a fraction of the crap we actually try to defend here for the sake of political expedience, and/or correctness. They know it's crap; we think it's gold, and whether the Emperor is wearing new clothes or not depends on from which side of the border you are viewing him.
For crying out loud, just show the damn ID, and if need be, go get one.
And "penguins" need not apply.