This is a long post - but I caution the reader to refrain from just quickly scanning the interesting parts, but to read all three parts - the introduction, the evidence, and the final reason.
Freedom, and Democracy. These are our birthrights, our most guarded traditions, our most cherished national treasures. Nothing else of this earth comes close. How many times have we all watched elections in emerging democracies and hoped that the will of the people would be manifest by free and fair elections? We want those countries to be like us, democracies with governments of, for, and by the people. America is the country that has been the inspiration for activists for generations - can anyone forget Tienanmen square, the paper-mache statue modeled off our own Statue of Liberty, the nameless man with a briefcase stopping a line of tanks in their tracks by his own sheer courage and indomitable will?
America is a land of immigrants. My own wife was once one of the tired, the poor, the tempest-tossed yearning to breathe free - and she, like the vast majority of immigrants, is fiercely patriotic. Why? Because here we have rights. Here we believe in equality. Here we have a voice. Here our votes count every bit as much as does the president's...and to vote is patriotic, for more than anything else, our votes are what make America great at the most basic level.
To the Republican party elite, one must ask, "WHY do you not believe in Democracy?"
If one is a true patriot, then one should strive to ensure that EVERY vote is counted without regard to one's personal political, social, or religious beliefs. And the converse is every bit as true - if one makes the least efforts to prevent others from voting or tries in ANY way to corrupt the votes of others, then I say to you that such people are at best unpatriotic and at worst treasonous felons tearing away at the most crucial foundation of our great nation.
There has always been fraud in elections, but our elections have usually been fair and equitable to a reasonable extent. But no more. Now there are concerted efforts at voter suppression, voter caging, and outright election fraud...and the fact that little is being done about it makes our democracy a cruel joke before those who once looked to America for inspiration.