Republicans nationwide have been waging a war on voting aimed at disenfranchising millions of Americans. This coordinated campaign of voter suppression is directed specifically at senior citizens, minorities, students, and the disabled. These are constituencies that right-wing supporters of these tactics (i.e. the Koch brothers) view as Democratic leaning voters. However, once you enter this realm of election engineering, it isn’t long before the same practices are applied to anyone the engineers seek to control.
So it isn’t surprising to learn that the Virginia Republican Party has implemented a rule that will require voters in the primary election to sign a Republican loyalty oath pledging to support the eventual GOP nominee or be prohibited from voting in the primary.
Once again Republicans demonstrate their commitment to upending the American ideals of democracy. This rule is not only un-American, it is unenforceable. We have a little thing in this country we call a “secret ballot,” so there would be no way to know for whom a primary voter cast their vote in the general election. Consequently, this gimmick was strictly designed to intimidate people who go to the polls to exercise their rights.
These martinets of party virtue somehow got the idea that they can force people to vote for a candidate in the general election that they do not support. And since only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have qualified for the ballot in Virginia, this rule would require Paul supporters to vote for Romney, or vice versa, a scenario that many supporters of either candidate would find objectionable.
This is the all-too-foreseeable consequence of a philosophy that permits the sort of voter manipulation that Republicans have been engaging in. It is a creeping infringement on liberties that free nations ought to reject. And it is the ideological companion to the phony assertions of voter fraud (which the right has been unable to certify), and the positioning of legal obstacles to voting (ID cards), that is corrupting our electoral processes.