Modern government is a real enigma. We all agree that we need government, but we all want “the gov’ment” to leave us alone. In many ways conservative and liberals are alike – no one wants big brother government – but everyone wants equality and protection. Everyone hates bureaucracy – but everyone also has their pet peeves with an expectation of a smooth fix by “the gov’ment.”
Conservatives are heard to shout, “The Government is dead. Long live the Government.” They don’t like what they have, and they want what they can’t get. They can’t get it because of the flawed nature of bureaucracy. Liberals are traditional masochists, often heard to shout – “Give me another law!”
Our case study today is around Driver’s Licenses as a central point of frustrating illegal immigrants and terrorists. We live in Missouri and generally accept immigrants from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and with proper identification – from Tennessee. But if you are short of stature, well tanned, black hair, and speak with an accent – whooee, look out. (Hispanic or Arab – take your choice). And to prove the point, we will even make getting a driver’s license difficult for every man, woman, and other genders to get a driver’s license. To punctuate our determination to prevent simplicity of bureaucracy – we will oppose the Real ID – the concept of national driver’s licenses. If government were easy, what would we have to complain about?
Missouri’s last Governor was an anti-immigration pandering Republican. Unable to do anything about the Texas/Mexico border, he and his cohorts in the legislature passed new laws governing driver’s licenses. I have been licensed to drive by the state of Missouri for over forty-five years. Early this month I went to get my license renewed. Nope – not today – I had to have my birth certificate and proof of residency. I have not seen my birth certificate since who-knows-when, so I went to the local Health Department, paid fifteen dollars, and they printed the thing right there. I went back to the license bureau and they were closed for Harry Truman’s Birthday (remember that I live in Missouri). I went back yesterday and was told the state-wide computer system was down. I went back today and was told the local computer system was down. Several million Missourians, like myself, have been inconvenienced to show the twelve illegal immigrants in our State that we mean business. The irony is that all twelve work at the pork plant down in St. Joe and the pork plant provides the illegals with proper paper work. The only people inconvenienced are regular hillbillies like me.
The Federal Government has proposed a national ID card, I think they are calling it the Real ID. The ID would serve as a driver’s license and as an official identification to board an airplane or ride a scooter. Here is the hitch, with a national ID we will have to go to government offices to be affirmed as a red-blooded America. But we would not be allowed to enter the government building without the ID. Catch-22 – bureaucracy in action.
The local Missouri Republicans are hot to trot about the national ID. They were happy enough to make life difficult for Missouri drivers and they want to maintain their power to continue frustrating the citizens. The Missouri Republicans are shouting, “We have the right to frustrate out own constituency if we want to. So keep your liberal Federal Government ideas out of our state.” We have even heard some say that the Real ID is a Jewish plot to spy on the rest of us. And the Missouri Republicans are not alone – about thirteen states have officially rejected the idea.
Ironically – the local Republicans and the ACLU are on the same side of this issue – if for different reasons. The conspiracy theorists are having a field day:
Perhaps we should grant driver’s licenses to terrorists and illegal immigrants – then we could collect fees, demand they have insurance for their actions, get their mother’s maiden name, learn the name of the street where they grew up, and the name of their favorite pet.
There are surely more problems with a Real ID. As with the anti-immigration Missouri Driver’s License Law – these folks who write the rules cannot seem to project the consequences. Presently America has fifty different ways to harrass people who want an offical driver’s license – but thankfully I only have to deal with one of them.