Beneath the surface, while all of the major networks are giving endless poll results and a sea of pontificators are pontificating on a largely unpredictable presidential election, a bit of déjà vu happened in Wisconsin. State Rep. Glenn Grothman announced to a reporter that he believes the state’s new photo ID law would help defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in an election, stating, “Well, I think Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up. And now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.”
Talk about being painfully honest.
In 2012, then Speaker of the Pennsylvania House Mike Turzai gave a similar quip stating, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.” The aftermath is known by all: Democrats leveraged voter suppression as a key issue, African-Americans voted at a higher rate than whites (for the first time in history in a presidential election) and President Barack Obama won 93 percent of the African-American vote.
To be clear, requesting a state-issued ID on the surface is not racist or suppression. Of course, African-Americans lack state-issued IDs at an alarmingly high rate; however, the Obama Department of Justice did not see racism when it approved the voter ID laws in New Hampshire and Virginia in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
Additionally, voter suppression indicters often fail to realize that the lack of state-issued IDs in the African-American community disallows the purchase of a car, opening of a bank account, catching an airplane, getting a job or buying a cell phone in most instances. It is difficult to understand why these indicters seem to be less interested in these facts and exclusively focused on African-Americans voting … for Democrats.
With that being said, the words of Turzai and Grothman provide an inescapable truth – these laws sometimes have political motivation.
Voter ID laws are different state-to-state, so it is not fair to paint with a wide brush. Still, the fact that Democrats only seem to be concerned about the “unlicensed” around Election Day and Republicans openly admit that such laws have some political motivation is a sad truth.
In an ideal world, political parties would be looking for solutions to the underlying problem in order to earn votes. Democrats and Republicans would propose and push competing ideas to make sure African-Americans do not suffer disproportionately from the lack of mobility, the inability to get many jobs or the powerlessness to open banking accounts that is driven by the lack of state-issued IDs.
We all know the reality. Democrats cannot seem to find African-American neighborhoods unless there is a presidential election and Republicans seem to do everything in their power to disable votes from them.
It is becoming cliché in our society that Republicans ignore African-Americans and Democrats take us for granted…
…and Representative Grothman’s words were just déjà vu all over again.
Photo by @Slate
An economic conservative till the end, Hughey strongly believes in the power of self-empowerment as the solution to many of society's problems. He is a business consultant for a management advisory firm in the Washington DC area and a contributor to Project 21, a black conservative organization. He also appears on television as a political and policy commentator on TVOne and RT. A graduate of Stanford Univeristy and Harvard Business School, Hughey believes that education and economic awareness are the keys to empower Americans to take back our nation.