VOL. 131 | NO. 216 | Friday, October 28, 2016
Fixin’ To Lose
BY DAN CONAWAY
RED STATES. RED HERRINGS. Earlier this year, I wrote about laws our state Legislature passed in their last session to solve problems that didn’t exist.
Statistically, you and I are much more likely to be struck by lightning while in the next door bathroom stall to a transgender person who just committed voter fraud, or sitting between an outraged counselor or therapist and a same-sex couple carrying concealed weapons in a college chapel pew than we are to fall victim to anything the Legislature has proposed or passed laws to protect us against.
Meanwhile, Tennessee continues to discriminate against, well, pretty much anybody who’s different from the straight, white, middle-aged, insured, male Christians of the Tennessee General Assembly.
It appears we’re a national model for some.
Take rampant voter fraud. You know, the Tennessee law that protects us from the threat of in-person voter fraud by requiring state-issued photo ID to vote – you know, the law that makes it much harder for the old, the young and the poor to vote. In 2012, a Carnegie-Knight Initiative studying election fraud in all 50 states all the way back to 2000 found a total of 10 cases of voter impersonation nationally, one in every 15,000,000 prospective voters, .00000006666667 percent. In Tennessee, the number from 2000-2012 was zero.
Yet – even though states run elections in this country, even with 31 Republican governors and 23 of those states with bright red legislatures as well – Donald Trump continues to trumpet that the fix is in nationally.
Since Memphians are all about Memphis, let’s bring this home with a few local illustrations.
The odds of a rigged national election are even worse than the odds of Brian Kelsey becoming a Democrat and moving to Orange Mound, worse than the chances of Walter Bailey becoming a Republican and moving to Millington to share a one-bathroom apartment with Terry Roland. The fix is much less likely than The Rendezvous becoming vegan, The Peabody ducks becoming live targets at Bass Pro, Elvis coming back to play the lounge at The Guest House at Graceland or Hasheem Thabeet coming back to shoot threes.
My team, Tennessee, got beat like a rented mule by Alabama 49-10 and it looked worse. Yet the odds that we actually won that game are better than a rigged national election. Come on, did you see the Tide linebackers? Nobody’s that fast. Had to be on something. A true freshman quarterback running for three touchdowns? Had to be rigged. They should forfeit.
That’s how conspiracy crap gets started, spreads like fertilizer, and grows a smelly crop.
This election will not be fixed – as in manipulated – but this election should show all of us how much needs to be fixed in this country – as in repaired. We don’t like each other very much. We don’t talk much or share much of anything. We don’t look for truth, respect facts or respect differences.
When you don’t do those things, everything turns to crap.
I’m a Memphian, and Alabama beat us fair and square.
Dan Conaway, a communication strategist and author of “I’m a Memphian,” can be reached at email@example.com.