If you’re the kind of person who pays any attention to American politics, you probably know that the US has a midterm election coming up in a few weeks. You might also recall what happened during the last one, when Republicans rode the Tax Evading Assholes Express to take control of Congress, as well as numerous state governments, coasting along atop most Americans’ general apathy towards voting in midterms. As a consequence, those same Americans who eschewed their right to vote in 2010, in addition to many others, may find it more difficult to exercise that right in 2014, and beyond.
According to conventional wisdom, higher voter turnout typically benefits more leftist candidates, and for anyone who lives outside of Vermont, Democrats are often the furthest-left option with any chance in hell of being elected on the state and national level, so higher turnout usually equals Democratic gains, and Republican losses.
Aware of this inverse relationship between the size and diversity of a group of people, and the likelihood individuals in that group will vote for them–even when given only one other choice–the GOP apparently reasoned that if they wanted to continue winning elections without having to make their policies more-inclusive and less-terrible, their best bet would be to use the powers they’d gained during the 2010 election to decrease turnout in the future–“if you can’t beat ’em, cheat ’em!”
Thus, they embarked on a coordinated campaign to suppress the vote, consisting of the usual voter-roll purges, unnecessary tightening of registration deadlines, and good, old-fashioned lies, plus enaction of draconian Voter ID laws, whose nominal purpose was to combat fraud, but which have had the “side”-effect of disenfranchising a far greater number of legitimate voters than the number of illegitimate votes they could’ve possibly prevented.
Oh, and it just happens that the groups most affected by these changes include young voters, the poor, and (of course) black people, most of whom tend to vote Democratic. But the Voter ID laws TOTALLY AREN’T RACIST IN THEIR INTENT, YOU GUYS! Voters in Republican-controlled states are being defined not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their wallet!
In all seriousness, if the above weren’t bad enough, then the Conservative wing of the Supreme Court seems to be in on it, too. Oh sure, the Court blocked Wisconsin’s Voter ID law the other day, but even that was merely a temporary hold, applying only to the immediate election, leaving it open to appeal and potential reinstatement afterwards. And a ruling they issued in 2008 already upheld an Indiana Voter ID law of similarly-dubious origins and motives.
And there was also that time they torched the Voting Rights Act. Y’know.
I actually finished drawing the above cartoon over a week ago, and coloring it several days later, but I was too busy in the interim to post it along with even a short article. Most of that time was spent running all over Portland, Oregon for the city’s annual Design Week, trying to get my portfolio in front of anyone who might be willing and able to offer me work. Afterwards, I had an unrelated commission for the cover of a weekly in Bellingham, Washington, and it was actually somewhat difficult, ultimately requiring an all-nighter Sunday, which didn’t end until early Tuesday morning, around 2 AM.
I guess what I’m saying is, I could surely draw cartoons for this site much more often if I didn’t have to spend so much time on (barely more-effective) income-gathering efforts, such as job hunts that almost never produce interviews, and freelance inquiries that rarely lead to commissions. Everyone seems to realize that this stuff no one’s hiring or paying for is what I’m best at, and so far, very few have either understood the broader, potential applications of the techniques involved, or at least identified adequate skills or talent in my design and general illustration work.
If you want to help with any of that, you should click here, or send me an email–especially if you or someone you know might have any jobs I could do!