The Inner Bottom Line ®
A Syndicated Column about Personal Choices & Ethical Dilemmas
Every once in a while, an issue comes along that either threatens or compels us, despite our political, religious or social differences, to stand together against a much greater danger. Today, despite the fact that a number of newspapers and commentators are avoiding giving this issue the front-page attention it deserves, we are now approaching, head-on, an issue of that magnitude.
Voter fraud. Yesterday, an article about the discovery of a serious case of voter fraud in Florida surfaced above the fold in the online morning edition of the Los Angeles Times. When I first read the headline, I blinked in disbelief and read it again. http://is.gd/XYsIry OMG, it’s happening. Then I quickly checked the NY Times, Time Magazine, The Huffington Report, CNN, etc. Odd, there was nothing. Yet.
According to the piece, “The Florida GOP had contracted out its registration efforts to a newly formed company called Strategic Allied Consulting. The RNC had urged party organizations in seven swing states to hire the firm, directing at least $3.1 million in payments to it.” The article goes on to explain, “Strategic Allied is run by an Arizona-based consultant and Republican Party activist named Nathan Sproul, who has been dogged by charges in the past that his employees destroyed Democratic registration forms.”
I wasn’t surprised at the news, given the horrific mean-spiritedness of many key Republicans to defeat any bill or idea proposed by our President merely on the grounds that they want to defeat “him” along with their determination to do so by their drive to amend voter registration laws and practices. However, the realization that these brazen efforts had actually begun, six weeks before election day, was still a jolt.
Finally, as the day moved forward, various other news outlets jumped on the story, along with the news that the RNC had now fired the firm. http://is.gd/04x34A Really? Was this another old flip-flop? First they hire the firm and then fire it? Why is that? Because they were duped by this firm’s intentions in the first place or because the real intentions of the firm were accidentally leaked or uncovered?
Then, this morning, another scandal erupted in North Carolina. http://is.gd/k3Fydw Appearing on TV with a seeming look of “egg on my face”, the RNC’s Communications Director called the reports “allegations” and defended the RNC’s swift action to severe the ties with Strategic Allied Consulting.
As I listened to this man dig himself farther into the hole, my sense of humor kicked into my emotional mix for a moment and I thought, oh, brother, this is the gift that keeps giving to Bill Maher and Jon Stewart and the likes. And while having a sense of humor in the midst of tragedy is a saving grace in life, it doesn’t in any way diminish the seriousness or gravity of what has been happening to our country for far too long.
But wait, it got worse. Apparently, additional article reminded us that Mr. Sproul has been the paid political consultant and longtime GOP operative of Mr. Romney. http://is.gd/I3pvWk
Wow. Really. You better get busy, boys, and see how you can spin your candidate out of this one. Talk about egg-on-the-face now.
On the bottom line and The Inner Bottom Line, listen up, you “to-hell-with-this-country, over-my-dead-body, it’s-no-to-everything-and-anything-that-Obama-wants-to-do” bozos in Washington. In case you don’t know it, not only is my allegiance and my vote not for sale, but no other American’s vote should be either.
And that forces the question, what are WE going to do about this? Does the majority of this country value the right to vote so little that we can afford to stand by and watch a bunch of inept thugs hijack a basic right of every citizen?
This about accountability. And boundaries. About integrity and fairness and respect. And about The Short List: The list of things and values in our life that are non-negotiable. For me, freedom is right up there at the top. What about you?
If you’re young, or a successful working professional, or one of the 1% who has more money than you could ever spend, maybe you’re thinking, “hey, this doesn’t really concern me. What’s the big deal? I can vote so what’s the big deal?”
What’s the big deal? The big deal is that anyone who can’t afford a car or is too old to have a driver’s license anymore is suddenly at risk of having this inalienable right stolen away from them at the polls.
And what is even more frightening, based on this latest piece of news, are the serious efforts being made, documented and well-funded by well-known political operatives to undermine and falsify voter registration records, laws and rules.
You’re smart. And I know you care about your country. I also know you’re well aware of your own Inner Bottom Line and the four basic ethical values of honesty, fairness, respect and integrity that none of us can afford to have placed on the auction block.
So please, get upset. Get involved. Speak up and out. Tell and text your friends. Stand up to anyone in office who supports or is involved in this unspeakable and unacceptable practice. And for heavens sake, VOTE!
And when you do, at that moment when you might be pressed to lose patience at the long line or the irritating person in front of you running off at the mouth, remember how blessed we are to be able to vote without guns pointing at us or sending us away before we’ve had a chance to express our opinion.
Maybe today it doesn’t affect you personally. But if you stand by silently and let it happen in this country, tomorrow it could be something else that you value the most that will taken away from you.
You can submit your questions or book private phone sessions with Olive at theinnerbottomline.com as well as explore her new blog at whatskeepingyouawakeatnight.com. Or call her blogtalkradio.com show, “The Inner Bottom Line,” starting October 2012. All letters are anonymous and confidential.
Kindle and audio versions along with the hard cover of Olive’s book, The Nude Ethicist: A Simple Path to The Good Life, are now available on amazon.com.