GR US

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Just Don’t Ask for ID

Αssociated Press

New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ throws to Miguel Andujar during the first inning of an intrasquad baseball game Monday, July 6, 2020, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

It’s that time of year, folks, baseball is back! Except that the fans aren’t bleeding Dodger Blue, they’re bleeding Cancel Culture Blue! And the pinstripes don’t belong to the Yankees; they’re worn by the inmates from the insane asylum.

You see, America’s Pastime has become the latest victim of the Cancel Culture Left, a dangerous mix of totalitarianism and lunacy without even a trace of true liberalism. It’s no wonder that genuine liberals are outraged that these radical fascistic neo-Marxists are even remotely associated with liberalism, just as I was embarrassed and appalled that the rightwing kooks who invaded our Capitol on January 6 were carrying Trump banners.

For those not familiar with baseball, my Dodger/Yankee references may be lost on you, but no more esoteric jargon in this piece, I promise. Major League Baseball (MLB) is divided into two main groups: the American League and the National League. Roughly at a season’s midpoint, an ‘all-star’ team is assembled in each league, composed of the best and/or most popular players, who then play in the annual All Star Game.

This year’s venue was to have been Truist Park, located in Smyrna, a suburb of Georgia’s capital city, Atlanta, and home to the Atlanta Braves. But it was not to be: the Georgia State Legislature recently passed voter reform laws that according to the draconian Cancel Culture Left serve to curb the African-American vote by imposing measures that would disproportionately affect black voters. MLB thereby announced it would move the All-Star Game from Atlanta elsewhere, thereby punishing the Braves organization, Atlantans, and other Georgians as a whole.

Before we examine the validity, or lack thereof, of the new laws’ criticism, this latest debacle may at least convince those who think the Cancel Culture is a fringe group of squawkers to whom no one pays attention that the left’s lunacies have seeped into mainstream Americana, causing knee-jerk capitulations that ultimately will involve countless of millions of dollars of revenue losses for the businesses of Atlanta, the majority of whose population is African-American. By contrast, the new venue, Denver, CO, has less than 10 percent black residents.

This is just another example of self-loathing progressive whites trying to find purpose in life by inventing an injury to a group about which they know next to nothing.

As for the laws themselves, you’ll have to read all 98 pages – as I did – to gain an accurate understanding, because much of the media – from left to right – will cherry pick aspects of it to suit their own agenda.

The New York Times, among other outlets, failed to mention that the new law actually adds extra Saturdays, with extra Sunday options too, for early voting. The right-leaning press, correct in that it doesn’t make it a crime to provide water to voters waiting on long lines, didn’t mention that even poll workers are not permitted to physically hand bottles to people (they can leave them on a table or a receptacle from where voters can access them directly), so as not to attempt to say anything that might influence their vote.

Joe Biden began his presidential campaign with an infomercial littered with lies, and he hasn’t stopped since. Where in the world did he get that the polls in Georgia will now close at 5 PM? There are ample voting opportunities from 7AM to 7PM, and those online by 7PM are guaranteed the chance to cast their ballot, no matter how long the line.

Former President Trump weighed in, stating that Georgia’s reforms were not as transformational as they could have been, and even quipped that Georgia might consider stricter standards such as those found, ironically, in Colorado.

Yankees legend and one of my all-time favorite players, Reggie Jackson, recently applauded MLB’s decision to pull the Game from Atlanta, because, he said, it demonstrates much-overdue support for persons of color in the sport. That may be true, but it doesn’t excuse wrongful scapegoating and victimization. It would be like applauding a crime-ridden city for convicting an innocent person as a step in the right direction toward fighting crime. 

Both states have voter ID requirements, dropoff boxes, and vote-by-mail provisions. On the whole, Georgia’s requirements are somewhat more stringent, and I say thank goodness. Every American adult should possess the types of IDs required by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) to be collected by American employers as part of the hiring process. Those generally include a passport or a driver’s license, a social security card, and other limited forms of identification. The argument that race, nationality, and socioeconomic conditions prevent persons from obtaining such identification is a crock, plain and simple.

On the other hand, it’s absolutely true that millions of potential voters are disenfranchised because of where they live and work. Imagine a New Yorker who is a custodian in a Manhattan office building but lives on the Southern tip of Brooklyn and has a 90-minute commute door-to-door. If that person works from 9 to 5 every weekday, how in the world can s/he vote in the morning and not be late for work? Sure, s/he can always rush out of work at 5 PM and hope the trains are not delayed, and maybe race to the polling place by 7, but after a grueling day of work that involves being constantly on the move, who wants to stand in line for another hour? 

That is exactly why sensible options that provide flexibility are desirable, but they should absolutely be conditioned upon safeguards such as valid ID enforcement in order to minimize any type of voter fraud. Responsible mail-in processes will prevent widespread electioneering, which has long been expressly prohibited in polling places, even as lax voting procedures implicitly tolerate it.

And, so, we await July 13, when the All-Star Game is set to be played on Coors Field in Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies. Fans may pick up tickets at the box office, but they’ll have to show a valid form of ID.