Last Updated:November 27 @ 10:50 am

Parker: Voter rights are not free

By Star Parker

Engraved large on one of the walls of the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall are the words "Freedom is not free."

It is sad that so many are unable or unwilling to appreciate the truth of this simple phrase or are ready to heed those who have or seek power and distort it.

I cannot think of anything hurting us more today than false and confused notions about the nature of the ideal of freedom.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a recent appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," said voting should be as easy as "getting a glass of fresh water."

He equated requiring a picture ID to vote to Jim Crow laws and poll taxes.

It is particularly troubling to hear this from Lewis, a battle-scarred veteran of the civil rights movement.

The National Mall and the streets of Washington are filled in the summer with tourists -- many families with kids -- visiting our capital. They can see the collection of symbols and memorials across the Mall testifying to the truth that "Freedom is not free."

A five-minute walk from the Korean War Veterans Memorial is the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which serves as a reminder of the struggles of the civil rights movement.

A few minutes in the other direction is the World War II Memorial.

And heading back around again, you encounter the sad swath of black stone in which the names of more than 50,000 lost in the war in Vietnam are engraved.

Looking out over it all at the base of the reflecting pool is Abraham Lincoln, who presided over the bloodbath in which more than half a million Americans died in the internecine struggle for the nation's survival and ideals.

A short ride over Memorial Bridge takes one to Arlington National Cemetery and the flowing green pastures filled with uniform white gravestones of our soldiers fallen fighting our many wars.

The struggle to protect and maintain a free society and to build on it so that we can continue to climb higher never ends.

Certainly someone who put his life on the line struggling for civil rights, like John Lewis, should know this.

How can he possibly conclude that voting -- the privilege to make one's voice heard as part of the ongoing deliberations central to our enterprise of advancing human freedom -- should be as easy "as getting a glass of fresh water"?

A free society will soon not be free if the citizens in it see their freedom as something that should arrive effortlessly, free of personal responsibility, like the appearance of the morning sun. Black leaders do damage to our nation, and to our black citizens, to call requirements for a modicum of personal responsibility in order to vote "racism."

A study published earlier this year by the Pew Center on the States characterized America's voter registration system as "Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient."

Among its conclusions are that "approximately 24 million voter registrations in the U.S. are no longer valid or significantly inaccurate; more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters; approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state."

In 2008, the Supreme Court considered Indiana's voter ID law, which the New York Times then reported was "considered the strictest in the country," and found it constitutional.

Every American should celebrate efforts requiring responsibility for clear proof of identity when registering to vote. And every American should appreciate the importance of efforts by states, like that taking place now in Florida, to update and ensure the honesty and integrity of voter files.

Freedom is not free. To the extent that Americans of any background do not appreciate this, we will long for the days when we were free.


Star Parker is president of CURE.

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  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    June 11, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    To the liberal mind, voter’s rights are just one more item added to the list of unearned entitlement benefits where those who sacrifice nothing get to go to the head of the line while those who sacrificed all are to be forgotten along with our rules of law.

    Rep. John Lewis apparently took too many shots to the head in his freedom marches and has forgotten the responbilility part of the Martin Luther King Equation. This of course is the guy who claimed the sharks still follow the blood trail of 300 million black slaves tossed over the side of slave ships on their way to AMerica. The total number of people in Africa was only 221 million in 1950 and grew to 1 billion in 2009. But truth in numbers and honesty in government are never allowed to stand in the way of a Democrat agenda of mind manipulation.

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  2. MaryComment by Mary
    June 11, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    To me, voting is not a right or an entitlement. It’s a responsibility. We are responsible to those who have fought and even died to give us this, and we owe it to them to exercise our responsibility to pass this on to our children and grandchildren.

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    • theoldsargeComment by theoldsarge
      June 11, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

      I agree. It is a duty as well as a right. I devoted 22 years of my life in uniform to help preserve all of our rights. The greatest freedom we have is the right to elect those we wish to lead us and it disturbs me to know that less than 50% of those eligible exercise that right. That is the product of apathy. APATHY IS THE GREATEST THREAT TO OUR LIBERTIES AND FREEDOMS! NOT OBAMA!

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      June 11, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

      Where does that leave us when only the irresponsible people vote themselves free lunches while the responsible people are too busy earning a living to go out and vote?

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  3. wedeyComment by wedey
    June 11, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    There was something on the news about bus loads of people traveling from Detroit Michigan to go vote in Wisconsin. It had very little playback in the media. How can Michigan voters vote in another state. I am a senior citizen and I don’t know how many times a week I have to show my driver’s license for something. My mother, who finally got her driver’s license later in life, but we would not let her drive because she was the worst driver ever, finally gave up her driver’s license and was given a State ID in lieu of her
    driver’s license. It was quite easy. I am pretty sure that most states do the same. I don’t want to hear about how disadvantaged someone is that they can’t get a State picture ID. This should be mandated law rather than just letting someone walk up and vote with no proof as to who they are and that they are eligible to vote. These same so-called disadvantaged people seem to be able to make the effort to get any kind of government handout but can’t put a little more effort into getting an picture is preposterous to me.Voting is the most important privilege given to people and everything should be completely on the up and up and it seems the only ones complaining about this are the democrats. Why don’t they put more of an effort into going out and insuring that everyone has a photo State ID rather than what they are doing.

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    • billwvComment by billwv
      June 11, 2012 @ 10:42 am

      Wedey: That would make ‘cemetary’ voters road to the polls much harder. You would have to be alive when they took the picture. Besides, the ‘illegals’ [pardon --- 'undocumented'] would find it impossible to produce [evidence of legality].

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    • vevaComment by veva
      June 11, 2012 @ 11:19 am

      This is par for the Democrat/Liberal/Communists. They have done it before. I hope it really didn’t happen in Wis. It is illegal to vote anywhere other than in your own precinct. Mail-in ballots are just another way taking the lazy approach to voting, and encourages fraud, a family member deciding who another member should vote for. We are encouraged by our elections official to become permanent mail-in voters to “avoid the hassles of Election Day voting and complete your ballot wherever, whenever you want”! Now doesn’t that sound like one should be proud and willing to take the time to vote at the polls? Instead it makes voting sound like a “hassle” and just too damn much work to get off the couch and make an effort! I will go to the polling place. I will show my driver’s license with my photo on it. I will be handed a paper to sign and a ballot. I will go into a booth and privately vote for who I HAVE decided deserves my vote!

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  4. cxComment by genesal
    June 11, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    Everyone mentioned, lost, protecting our rights and freedoms, had to carry Military ID Cards with pictures. Voters should do no less to prove their eligibility to vote.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      June 11, 2012 @ 10:46 am

      They also carried Dog Tags to identify them when their sacrifice resulted in them being dead. Similar I.D. voter cards would like wise reveal many of the names used by Democrats to vote also to be among the real as well as walking brain dead which would reveal their INELIGIBILITY to legally vote.

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  5. bobnipComment by bobnip
    June 11, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    Martin Luther King believed that someday all men would be judged by the depth of their character…not the color of their skin.

    This Pseudo-President, currently tainting the White House, has an exactly opposite view. To him character has nothing to do with it. If you are White…you’re an enemy. If you are rich…you are an enemy. If you have an opposing view to any of Herr Obama’s warped perspectives…you are an enemy. He has made a conserted effort to divide the races, confuse the uninformed, lie to the niave, and cause fear in the senior citizen. All the while he spreads his Marxist beliefs throughout the federal government institution.

    If we can defeat him in November…the new President has a huge task ahead of ridding several departments of those still holding tight to communist beliefs. He must start in the EPA and Education…and work his way down every corridor…throwing out the trash.

    Obama giving the “Medal of Freedom” to an avowed communist, Dolores Huerta, is an insult to that medal and demonstrates, yet again, the disdain the Kenyan has for American liberty.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      June 11, 2012 @ 10:52 am

      Judging by Obama’s character and core beliefs he has just the kind of character Martin Luther King would judge as the kind to look out for and avoid.

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  6. stymied4sureComment by stymied4sure
    June 11, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    Voting itself should be “as easy as getting a glass of fresh water” if you are a legal citizen. It appears a lot of dead people “talk” at election time. Who cares if you are asked for a photo ID to vote, unless you have something to hide. Being informed and wishing to vote for the best possible candidate to keep America the great mighty nation she has always been should be a privilege we look forward to indulging in. But flip side of the coin is looking at the den of vipers we have to choose from, how do you do that? It appears that unless you are looking to be on the dole, there is nothing that a vote is going to help. Hopefully that will change and freedom will once again ring in America! May God keep his hand on and bless us again. But for once in a long time, may we be worthy of a blessed nation!

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  7. billwvComment by billwv
    June 11, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    Having an [ID] is a basic essential of modern civilization; and if there is no [ID] there are many aspects of life and society that cannot be engaged in. John Lewis understands that perfectly; yet to purvey the ‘image’ of Mr. Understanding he has to uphold the Democrat lunacy fringe which he will side with against common sense. All the people who are against [polling sanity] are on the side of Mr. Lewis and his constituency.

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  8. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    June 11, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    Getting that ‘glass of fresh water’ isn’t so easy. It took the work, and sweat, of many to establish reservoirs, lay watermains, create and maintain purification plants. And even after all that, a small army of monitors to keep watch that it is fit to drink.

    John Lewis needs to be palced on a life raft, far out to sea, surrounded by miles of water. I suspect that He might soon learn that ‘a glass of fresh water’ is not to be taken lightly.

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  9. librabobComment by librabob
    June 11, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    Elected or appointed officials like Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga and Attorney General Eric Holder work for the people, they are public servants. However, they both have been using the power of their office to circumvent the integrity of the American voting process. They do so because fraudulent votes generally favor democrats, that’s a fact. Ask anyone from Chicago how that works. If fraudulent voting generally favored republicans both of these officials would be screaming bloody murder demanding a photo ID at the polls. Their contrived rational of voter intimidation or minority disfranchisement, especially among blacks, is as phony as they are. They can produce no valid evidence to support their allegation. Are they even aware that everyone who wishes to visit the White House (including blacks) are required to produce a valid photo ID and their social security number. Why should that requirement be more stringent than the actual act of voting for the occupant of the White House.

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  10. vevaComment by veva
    June 11, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    How nice to read an article written by Star Parker. She hits the nail on the head. The Libs need to be hit on the head. The Blacks got the right to vote. Such an effort by many was made. But the libs are blurring the line between responsibility and entitlement, and persuading everyone they can that its too much work to comply with one requirement – a photo ID – to vote! EVERY state should pass that requirement. They haven’t, so it is up to us collect signatures to put it on the ballot for the public to decide. Like in Minnesota. They will also vote on marriage, whether of not it is between one male and one female, this Fall. We can’t depend on our Legislatures to accomplish this in what is only a few month’s session, each year. See what the people did in California and Illinois recently, regarding continuing inflated salaries and pensions, etc. for State employees? They voted it DOWN! About time!

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  11. JDZComment by JDZ
    June 11, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    Star does it again. She is a breath of fresh air in terms of Americans of any color or background as it is obvious that she is a patriot and understands why this country is the envy of the world..and what sacrifices have been made over the years by the thousands who have fought to protect us and our freedoms.

    She also can see how this country is being taken apart by the partisanship and devisiveness created by the “progressive” mentality in this country. What is sad to watch is how the African American and Latino communities are being used to perpetuate the conversion of America into another “me too” socialist country.

    I actually believe that one of the root causes of our problems across the board is the shortcomings in our overall educational system and the infiltration of so many progressives into the academic structures at all levels. Our kids are not learning about the history of this country from the Pilgrims and through the ages to our current modern way of life. They are oblivious or ignorant of the challenges of our pioneer ancestors and the sacrifices made along the way that has led to a country that has achieved the greatness of the USA. Most of our kids have never been to Washington D.C. and have first hand been exposed to the various monuments and other public venues like the Smithonian Institute, which has captured all kinds of historical data, exhibits, and materials validating the history of this country and our American heroes that were involved. I recently went to Honolulu and visited Pearl Harbor and it was a very patriotic and emotional experience.

    The now generation is more into music icons, reality shows, sex and violence for the rush it gives them, and social networking and are not being educated on the history of the country and why we are exceptional. If they were, then the liberal agenda would be dying on the vine, as it is totally counter to what has made this country the greatest in the history of the world.

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  12. daniel2Comment by daniel2
    June 11, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    Great article Star I could not agree more. When freedom is as easy as getting a glass of water then we have a problem with people taking it for granted. Too many people have died so that we can live free. Their sacrifice should never be demeaned to so little as a glass of water.

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  13. fmrusmcrntxComment by fmrusmcrntx
    June 11, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    Great article from Star Parker, who’s a REAL WINNER! She gets it, unlike morons like Rep. John Lewis and the rest of the liberal “we’re entitled” crowd! What did these folks ever do for our country, except WASTE our money? Our national government, led by their “teleprompter messiah” is totally out of control. We have a golden opportunity to change this, and rid ourselves of Obozo & his cronies in November! We MUST do this! God Bless America, keep her Free and Strong! Semper Fi! :)

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  14. skyfirehunterComment by skyfirehunter
    June 11, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    Requiring a photo ID, IMO makes perfect sense. This confirms that whoever is there presenting that voter registration card actually is who they say they are and that everything is valid.
    With all the concern over identity theft nowadays and the historical “graveyard vote” making this a requirement will eliminate fraud. I will also point out ‘again’ that the graveyard vote was a tactic employed by corrupt Democrats. Now we have a Democrat trying to make political hay over this…

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  15. Bill from MiddletownComment by Bill from Middletown
    June 11, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    Brilliant, as usual; not hard to look at, either.

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  16. cxComment by genesal
    June 11, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    When you don’t ask for pictured ID look at what kind of President you get.

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