Sunday, October 31, 2004

Pushing Democracy (Everywhere But Here)

Bob Herbert takes on the Repugs:
In Philadelphia, where a large black vote is essential to a Kerry victory in the crucial state of Pennsylvania, the Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House, John Perzel, is hard at work challenging Democratic voters. He makes no bones about his intent, telling U.S. News & World Report:

"The Kerry campaign needs to come out with humongous numbers here in Philadelphia. It's important for me to keep that number down."

That's called voter suppression, folks, and the G.O.P. concentrates its voter-suppression efforts in the precincts where there are large numbers of African-Americans. And that's called racism.

These are days of shame for the United States. No one writing a civics text for American high school students would recommend this kind of behavior for a great and mighty nation. We have to figure out a way to extricate ourselves from Iraq and rebuild a truly representative democracy here at home. Right now we have a mess on both fronts.

It was Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, who said that "America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment."

That's as good a thought as any to carry with you into the voting booth tomorrow.

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