Mr. Blunt and Cranky hates conspiracy theories. The underlying egotism, paranoia, smug arrogance (and tendency to react with indignation when asked for impartial evidence backing their CT) that characterizes CT types gives him hives; so he gives them a wide berth, and pretty much treats anything they say like the sounds adults made in the old animated Peanuts cartoon programs of his youth.

When it comes to voter suppression, CTers have many wonderful (to them) “explanations”, each of them more complex and implausible than the rest. Fortunately, it is a lot easier and much less stressful to simply read a wee bit of American history.

During the founding of our nation, there were many debates amongst the founders, and one of those debates concerned the “franchise” (AKA  “who gets to vote”). Some favored a wide-open franchise, others wanted it limited to wealthy white male landowners, and other had ideas that lived somewhere in between the two extremes. Like some other Constitutional topics, there was no complete agreement reached on the franchise question, and a compromise was reached so as to keep things moving along. Over time, the franchise has been gradually expanded (women and minorities, for instance), and each expansion has happened after a debate that in some ways replayed the fights of the 18th Century: the party names have changed, but the core argument remains the same.

Today, the party that seeks to limit the right to vote is called the “Republicans”, and the party that favors expansion is called the “Democrats”.  The Repubs want fewer non-affluent , non-white voters, and the Dems want more of an all-skate policy; pretty much the same positions as their ancestral organizations  had staked out in the 1700’s. This is why one almost never sees a Dem pushing for Voter ID, voter purges, or cutting back on citizens’ access to polls/mail-in balloting: it is contrary to their philosophy in this matter. It is also why one does see so many Repubs pushing the same policies that the Dems reject: these positions are in accordance with the Republican philosophy. No convoluted CTs required, it is just people acting on their historically-held beliefs.

The moral of the story? Remain calm and keep in touch with your local Board of Election to make sure you are properly registered. And if you vote for Republicans, don’t bitch if your voting rights are at some point in the future infringed upon, because history shows that you really should have seen that coming.

Mr. B & C