I'll show you my I.D. if you show me yours - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

I'll show you my I.D. if you show me yours

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Posted: Monday, May 12, 2008 5:34 pm | Updated: 9:26 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

 All I want to know is - what's the big deal? Settle down. People, you're going to pop an embolism the size of a balloon poodle tail. I'm talking about the reaction to the 6-3 vote by the Supreme Court upholding an Indiana law that requires a person to show a photo ID in order to vote.

All I want to know is - what's the big deal?

Settle down. People, you're going to pop an embolism the size of a balloon poodle tail. I'm talking about the reaction to the 6-3 vote by the Supreme Court upholding an Indiana law that requires a person to show a photo ID in order to vote. And some folks are simply foaming with apoplexy. By the sound of their little fists pounding on various semi-solid surfaces, you'd a-thunk they had just discovered that rhythmic clapping doesn't really bring fairies back to life. So you got to show a government-issued ID? So what?

Supreme Court upholds voter identification law

You're voting. It's a privilege. Earn it. You have to prove you're registered in the district in which you are voting, don't you?

I understand this means I'm throwing in with Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, signaling some sort of serious rift in the space-time continuum, but at least I have the solace of knowing that Justice Stevens is snuggling up with us in the ugly tent. He said: "For most voters, the inconvenience of gathering the required documents and posing for a photograph surely does not qualify as a substantial burden."

Obviously Stevens doesn't drive a lot these days, or he'd realize any time spent at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is cruel and unusual. Maybe he's saying the old and the poor have time to wait in line for an ID. At 88, he should know.

For crum's sake. You need a photo ID to cash a check. To buy beer. To rent a video. To board an airplane. To enter big downtown federal buildings. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't be surprised to find out you need to show an ID to get into the very buildings that issue the IDs. Which, admittedly, is a tricky bit.

I'll be honest here: I hate having to show my ID. And what I hate even more is the general attitude of the people requesting to see it. Usually it's in a tone of aggressive entitlement like a distracted trust-fund baby asking for the keys to her BMW with eyes down and palm up. But you know what? I do it. Why? Because I'm a brain-dead, arms-outstretched, drooling, zombie tool of the right wing? No, because I want to cash a check to buy some beer or board an airplane with a carry-on full of DVDs, that's why.

What I most especially hate is when they take my license out of my hand and put it down for later consultation. Hey! Hey! Mr. or Mrs. clerk-type person, here's the deal. You want to see my ID? OK. Here's my ID. Look at it. You don't need to hold it or caress it or put it down on a napkin in the greasy spot where hunks of your Cinnabon with extra frosting still lurk.

Not to mention germs, buddy.

And let's level the playing field here. If I show you mine, I want to see yours. How am I supposed to know you're who you say you are? This should be mandatory at banks. "Yeah, sure, no problem, I'll deposit my money with your lovely establishment, as soon as you show me two forms of ID and tell me your mother's maiden name."

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Will Durst is a comedian and writer

based in Los Angeles.

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