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Happy Constitution Day!

September 17th, 2012

On September 17, 1787, 42 delegates met and changed the history of the world.  They had only one thing on their to-do lists that day — sign the U.S. Constitution.

Finally putting signatures onto paper was a remarkable achievement for these men.  After all, they had been hard at work for months, trying to come up with a document that would set a baby-faced America on the right path.

First, they thought they could simply rewrite the Articles of Confederation.  But, after much nit-picking, it was decided that America would be better off with a fresh document.  And so the debate began in Philadelphia’s State House, to determine what kinds of powers the federal government would have — and what kinds of options the people would have to reign it in if it got out of control.

Dozens of delegates sat around the table for four months, throwing out ideas and trying to balance ideas and fears from all over the 13 colonies.  Even though there was no 24-hour news cycle, no Twitter, and no smartphones, Americans shared in the debate — from their taverns, their street corners, and their polling places.

With so much on the line, the delegates had to get it right.  They had to come up with a document that summed up what they wanted and how they were going to get it.  If they didn’t word it perfectly, all of the fighting America did to earn its independence would be in vain.

So, when you’re going about your daily business on September 17th, think about what these men must have gone through.  The pressure they faced was immeasurable.  They — literally — had the weight of an entire country on their shoulders.

Now, it’s up to us to carry on their legacy.

The Unfairness Over Voter ID Laws

September 10th, 2012

Turn on the TV, and you’ll hear all about the fights between the federal government and Texas and South Carolina.  Listen to the media twist things around, and you’ll end up believing these two states are practically demanding your first-born son in exchange for letting you vote.

But when you look at the FACTS, you’ll see that all Texas and South Carolina want is for people to have to show a photo ID before they can vote.  Their laws aren’t all that different from other recent voter ID laws that have passed with the federal government’s blessing.

For example, in New Hampshire, people will have to show a photo ID in order to vote in November.  But next year, things get interesting — because that’s when New Hampshire’s list of acceptable photo ID’s gets much shorter.  Ironically, the list is more restrictive than the list of approved photo ID’s in Texas’ and South Carolina’s laws — yet the federal government approved New Hampshire’s law without asking any questions.

Why are some states getting the third-degree, while others get a free pass?

For example, another voter ID law just went into effect in Virginia.  Now, you can show anything from a photo ID, to your paycheck, to your electric bill to prove who you are.  If you don’t have anything that verifies your identity, you’ll get a provisional ballot — and you’ll have to fax or email proof of who you are before your vote can be counted.  This law is certainly a lot less strict than what Texas and South Carolina want to do, but it still passed without any questions from the federal government.

Where’s the outcry over this law?

After all, the Justice Department has argued that voter ID laws discriminate against minorities because minorities have a tougher time getting ahold of the necessary ID.

But wouldn’t that argument apply to minorities in every state?

Why isn’t the federal government going after every state that tries to pass a voter ID law?

Seems a little unfair, doesn’t it?


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