"I'm sorry, but revolutions start with young people, not 65 year old people talking about literacy tests and people who can't say the word 'vote' in English." — Meghan McCain on The View.That's my favorite quote this week. For one thing, and I hate to say this, the old people have been getting on my nerves lately.
I was having lunch with my mom last week, and out of the blue she tells me that one of her friends, an author of children's books and a Mormon, gave $10,000 of her own money to support Prop 8 -- that's the California ballot initiative that banned gay marriage. I tried to control myself, but my refrained response was basically "how much do you have to hate somebody to spend that much money to stop them from doing something that doesn't harm you in any way? How spiteful do you have to be to use your freedom to take away somebody else's freedom?"
My mom didn't have much of a reply, because I know darn well she voted for Prop 8 just like all of her gray-haired little-old-lady friends, but she did say that maybe that chunk of money would have been better donated to cancer research or something more helpful to everybody...
See, my mom is not totally dumb or cold-hearted, but she's certainly not versed in the subject of civil rights. I wouldn't be surprised if she supports the idea of a voter literacy test. Rachel Maddow recently did a thorough report on the history of such tests. I recommend you take a look at that video, but the major point is that those tests were only given to minorities and the questions were so ridiculously difficult that I'm not even sure a professor of political science could pass the quiz.
Also, those literacy tests are not our ancient history. They are our recent history. They were still being used when my parents were old enough to vote. Old people should know that these tests were discredited because they were racist tools of disenfranchisement.
About a year ago, I heard my dad espousing Ann Coulter's idiotic idea to take away women's right to vote... if you can even call that an "idea." Coulter's argument goes, "if we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president."
And that's the whole idea. Eliminate voters who vote differently than the white landed gentry. Go back to the way it used to be, because things were just so bloody good back then for YOU... as long as YOU weren't black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, female, gay, or disabled.
It's a resurrection of the intolerant past, and the old people want to call that a revolution.