There is a strong belief out there that all black voters lean towards the democratic position when it comes to voting. This isn’t always true. Although there does appear to be an overwhelming majority that does favor the left, Rand Paul has made a concerted effort to attract the African-American community back to the Republican perspective. Historically, the Republican Party was originally the preferred party of African-Americans. Only recently has the Democratic party garnered more of the black vote.
It’s well known that Rand Paul supports the eradication of mandatory minimums for federal drug charges. He believes in allowing judges to do the job that they’re paid to do that is to decide the adequate punishment for criminal offenses. Some individuals that get caught with petty drug charges or first-time offenses suffer the same fate as habitual offenders and hardened criminals. Personally, I know people who have made bad decisions or are still hindered by offenses made as a juvenile or young adult. I am one of those people.
Chris Deaton, writer at Red Alert Politics, details Rand Paul’s feeling on why voting in the African-American community is hit especially hard by the “War on Drugs”:
“If I told you that one out of three African-American males is forbidden by law from voting, you might think I was talking about Jim Crow 50 years ago,” Paul said. “Yet today, a third of African-American males are still prevented from voting because of the War on Drugs.”
Although Paul feels that the war on drugs is hindering people from exercising their right to vote, the two most recent elections have seen a greater turnout percentage-wise of African-Americans than any other demographic. I believe the majority of this is motivated by having a black candidate on the ballot. Also in the previous two elections we’ve heard more claims of voting fraud and voter discrimination than ever before. Simple measures such as a voter ID law could be enacted to help quell both these claims.
Yet there are still opponents to this measure who will complain that this is a measure to prevent certain people from being able to vote. I often wonder why there is anything wrong with requesting identification at the ballot. Every other important act that we do daily requires identification such as driving or checking bank accounts, so what is wrong with showing ID once every four years for such an event as important as electing a president? Rand presents his take:
“Additionally, Paul said that those who liken voter ID measures to Jim Crow laws are misguided.
“I … think that some people are a little bit stuck in the past when they want to compare this,” Paul said. “There was a time in the South when African-Americans were absolutely prohibited from voting by selective applications of bizarre and absurd literacy tests. And that was an abomination, that’s why we needed the Voting Rights Act, but that’s not showing your ID.”
When we as Americans began to look at issues from the perspective of what is most beneficial to society and not what is most beneficial to ourselves, we can begin to make improvements in law that will equally benefit everyone. These two issues although centered around the African-American community, have deep underlying implications that can affect the country for the better as a whole. Sen. Rand Paul is making the necessary moves to let the issues be known and changed for the better.
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