Forrest Whitman is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. He writes in Salida, Colorado.
Folks in my small Western town are divided: die-hard right-wingers on one side and so-called progressives on the other. But both appear to support those “deregistering” from the list of eligible voters for fear of federal intervention in what is a state right.
I see the hard-right folks in Safeway carrying pistols. The progressives hang out in my favorite coffee shop with The New York Times. Both are likely influenced by the myths of the Old West, either consciously or unconsciously. And both are dropping off the voting rolls at an alarming rate; somewhere around 3,000 have deregistered in Colorado so far.
Neither group wants President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission to know anything about them. They don’t want it known that they’re registered to vote, or what party they belong to, and they clearly don’t want to have their Social Security number put in some insecure database. Both are alarmed and suspicious that the Trump administration’s commission is really designed to suppress voter turnout.
I know some of the “hard right, anti-federal” folks. They tend to have “Don’t Tread On Me” decals on their trucks. They often sport a T-shirt that says proudly, “I’m the NRA.” It’s a small town and we tend to know one another. Usually, we can all be cordial at break time at a city council meeting.
click here to read more.