Thursday, July 19, 2012

Real Monsters

In general, movies that have been made from comic books in the last few years have been relatively true to their origins - often including the gritty and shocking nature of some of comic-dom's darkest and most evil villains. From what we've heard, the incredibly evil villain in the new Batman movie - the character of Bane - is much the same as his original portrayal in the comic book.

What the character of Bane is not in the new Batman movie is what the real-life hatemonger Rush Limbaugh tried to make his Dittohead listeners believe: that the character Bane is a representation of the corporation Bain Capitol, which Mitt Romney once ran and helped found.

Even Bane creator, cartoonist Chuck Dixon - well-known in the comics community as a staunch conservative - said that Limbaugh's conspiracy theory was "ridiculous."

Sadly, the propagandist Limbaugh's actions simply remind every decent American that there are indeed real life monsters that walk and talk among us everyday. All too often, those monsters try to choke the very lifeblood from us - and from our most cherished institutions.

For example, our right as Americans to have our votes count.

We've been paying particular attention to voter suppression tactics throughout the nation this year, by way of the heroic efforts of non-partisan policy institutes, like the Brennan Center For Justice. As the Brennan Center's latest report (released on Tuesday) notes, "Ten states now have unprecedented restrictive voter ID laws. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin all require citizens to produce specific types of government-issued photo identification before they can cast a vote that will count."

This attack on voting rights has not been a bi-partisan attack on the rights of Americans. The monstrous attempt to suppress and effectively kill the votes of millions of Americans has come almost completely from the conservative Republican corner of the political universe.

Thankfully, decent honorable Americans have been fighting against the brutal attacks on voter rights, most being made through the use of so-called "Voter ID" laws. These laws are almost always simply voter suppression efforts against minorities, the poor, the young - and often, the elderly. It's no coincidence that most of these individuals also traditionally vote Democratic.

While the battles against these all-too conveniently applied Voter ID laws have been heated, many of these laws have recently been running into real, honest justice in courtrooms across the country - like the legal decision in Wisconsin yesterday, permanently killing their voter suppression law.

The courts aren't the only place where monsters are being fought. We also realize much of the political landscape has recently become more littered than usual with violent rhetoric. As certain candidates for office lose their composure and get angry, they're beginning to call each other names, and take their opponents comments out of context.

We get it. No one likes to lose a contest or a game.

Governing, however, is NOT a game, as we've mentioned many times before. Were it only about winning, it would be called "winnerment."

Winnerment is a gum. Government is a responsibility - one with very real consequences for handling that responsibility poorly.

One of those responsibilities is to protect the voting rights of all Americans - rights that are in still in very real danger, from some very real monsters.

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