Many years ago, I struck up a conversation at a conference with a citizen of a third-world nation struggling to establish democracy. He was shocked and disbelieving at the failure of more than half of eligible voters in the U.S. to actually exercise their right to vote. I'll never forget what he said:
"If we had the right to vote in our country, not a single person would fail to do so."
Right here in the United States of America, McCain/Palin supporters are trying to intimidate eligible voters - their own neighbors - from exercising their right to vote.
The Washington Times, a self-described conservative paper, reported today on a polling site in North Carolina where "a group of loud and angry protesters who shouted and mocked the voters as they walked in." The voters were mostly black, and the "angry protesters" were "nearly all were white."
Stop and think about that for a second. In the United States, in the 21st century, we have Republican activists protesting a presidential election. McCain/Palin supporters have taken to heckling, mocking, and shouting at people who want to participate in the democratic process. Literally.
And when they're not trying to intimate voters at polling places, Republican activists are slashing voters' tires, kicking journalists to the ground, attacking middle-aged women going door to door on Obama's behalf, and vandalizing ACORN offices. And, of course, the unabashed racism is common.
The mind reels.
And the stomach churns.
Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....