I've been working on this post in my head for at least a couple of weeks at this point. There have been many mental drafts started even before that, truth be told.
The problem I've had is that every time I start to think about it, I get so damn angry that I can't think rationally. It's pretty much just blind rage, swearing and snark after a little while.
Today, I'm heartened by the news of polls showing opposition to the Voter ID and Marriage amendments to be at more than 50 percent. At the same time, polls don't necessarily mean shit. And people lie to pollsters -- especially about things that are based in bigotry, as these amendments are. Then again, the sheer number of people willing to put their bigotry on display on their car, the front lawn or their body with a t-shirt as absolutely astounding to me.
There are so many reasons these amendments are terrible. Messing with our state constitution is a big deal. It's a document that is supposed to protect the rights of people -- not deny certain groups of Minnesotans the rights afforded to everyone else. It's not something to be taken lightly and certainly not the correct response to having your bills vetoed.
Neither amendment is solving a problem. Voter fraud is nearly non-existent (in Minnesota and around the U.S.), and same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota. Both amendments are simply not-very-clever ploys to get conservatives out to vote. It's gross and the Minnesota Republican part is insulting our intelligence.
We should be voting no on the Voter ID amendment because, as I mentioned, it is solving a problem that doesn't exist. And yet, we don't know how it will solve that problem that doesn't exist, because the rules haven't been written. There's no specification about what exactly constitutes a valid, state-issued ID. That should scare you.
The Voter ID amendment is going to cost millions of additional taxpayer dollars to implement and enforce. But no one knows how much because of the aforementioned not-yet-written rules. How does the "government spends too much/no new government spending" crowd reconcile that with their beliefs? I hope they can't and they're going to vote no because of it.
Finally, we should be making it easier for people to vote -- not more difficult. This amendment exists for one sole purpose -- the disenfranchisement of people of color, the old, young, disabled and poor. Those people have so many fewer ways of being heard that we can't take away their best option of voting. It's discriminatory and wrong. People have DIED to get the right to vote and to protect our right to vote. You cannot lightly mess with such a sacrifice.
The marriage amendment is a little more simple, I think. It's discriminatory and wrong. Plain and simple.
You can't claim the government should stay out of people's lives and then vote for this amendment. Government has no business telling two consenting adults who love each other that they can't get married. Your church can do that -- but your church is not the government. I get so sick of people pulling out bible passages in this discussion. Church and state are separate. Get over it.
The thing is -- our state already tells people of the same sex they can't get married. Don't put that bigotry into the Minnesota Constitution. It'll make it that much harder to reverse in the future, because, you really have to face it -- same-sex marriage is going to be legal at some point in the future in Minnesota around the country. I don't know why you'd want to be on the wrong side of history. Do you want your kids to look at you the way I look at the whites who fought violently against integration? What about the people who put up "whites only" signs? The states that had poll taxes?
C'mon, Minnesota -- I want to be proud of you on Wednesday. VOTE NO TWICE. It's the right thing to do.