Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham’s recently published diatribe against the employment of so-called ballot harvesting must not go unchallenged. I have all respect for the fundamental freedom of free speech, but I am shocked that this publication would print such a piece so rife with unsubstantiated accusations and employing the most ugly and venomous hyperbole I have ever read in my entire adult life (when I turned 18 just two months after Richard Nixon’s resignation, I proudly registered with the GOP based on its fiscally conservative values).
Once again, our state Legislature has passed a law with a solution in search of a problem. A signed and sealed mail-in ballot, by virtue of its prepaid postage indicia, is a piece of U.S. Mail. As proscribed in 1708 of U.S. Code title 18, tampering of any sort with U. S. Mail is punishable by fines up to a quarter million dollars or up to five years in federal prison, or both. No charges of mail tampering have been filed in regard to Arizona’s mail-in ballot program, or surely there would have been a floodgate of articles proving such.
Mr. Graham’s tone does explain why I officially left the fold of the GOP two years ago and, perhaps, why fully 2/3 of Arizona voters shun the GOP as their official party of record. I am myself a Christian man with deeply held religious convictions that tell me the GOP is no place for a sincere Christian who believes in an afterlife and a final day of judgment. In no way, shape, or form is it Christian to grant 2.2 billion dollars in tax cuts to business, while funds are being withheld from educating our children and protecting them from their misfit parents. Our children should not be subjected to the plea bargain of a Prop 123 to receive a properly funded education. Our GOP legislators should be truly ashamed!
I found Mr. Graham’s allegation that the Democrats have been fielding inferior candidates to be wholly laughable. The GOP’s last two presidential candidates were un-electable, and the most recently elected GOP president is such an embarrassment to the party that he is not even welcome on its national stage! And I must say, things are not looking so good for the GOP in this coming November’s presidential race either.
I found Mr. Graham’s disregard for the Bill of Rights to be utterly offensive, nullifying a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, which is contained therein. I grew up in an ugly and embittered 1960s South that was dragged kicking and screaming, piece by painful piece, into granting Black Americans their constitutional rights. No one cared about domestic terrorism then, when the terror was inflicted by the Ku Klux Klan. The hateful and angry faces of Southern whites, immortalized in film from that time, are embedded in my mind. I see the current face of the GOP as no different than those faces from over half a century ago. To conclude, the GOP is no place for a God-fearing Christian man like myself. I can only hope and pray that other sincere GOP Christians will come to the same conclusion I have.
Chuck Jones lives in Phoenix