The Moral Majority was a group of Protestant political activists who used some new marketing techniques, mass mailing, to help Ronald Reagan defeat Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election. This was before the rise of the internet which would take mass advertising to a whole new level of annoyance.
Jerry Falwell Sr was one of the leaders of that group.
After Reagan was elected some members of the group went to the President to called in one of their markers for services rendered. Among the things they requested was a National ID card.
I recall at the time I thought they were just Baptist busybodies who wanted every American couple trying to get a room at the Holiday Inn to provide proof that they were married to one another, especially on Fridays and Saturdays after 11 PM. Maybe this was having some domestic impact on several of their congregations.
In his inimitable way, Reagan politely refused. No if’s or but’s, but still polite. I think the White House put out a statement, while praising Moral Majority and the good service they’d provided America, noting the President’s dislike of state control of one’s coming and goings. A drivers license and voter ID card was enough.
(To give you some idea how things have flipped, about 30 years later, at an interstate motel I’d often stay on the Lexington and Georgetown Pike exit, near the Toyota Plant, because of the real Japanese sushi restaurant there, that motel had a big sign that it was “Christian owned and operated”. In shorthand, “College coeds need not come here.”, and it gained a reputation for turning away any couple that mad no proof of having the same last name. Just before I made my first trip to the USSR in ’91, I recall it had been targeted, much like the Colorado/Oregon bakeries 20 years later, after turning some flamboyant, and likely targeted gay men, away.
(Just a note as to how quickly things can change in a culture.)
Despite the fact that in some states an illegal alien can have both a driver’s license and voter ID these days, I think Reagan was correct. His instincts were spot on, for they targeted illegal or unconstitutional state action.
Reagan knew governments had used those kinds of identity cards since the rise of the German Reich in the 1930s. He knew what they ultimately could mean.
They were instruments of control, not just of identification. Every man, woman and child had to have one on their person at all times, and be prepared to show them upon demand to any number of state officials.
In the Stalin era, including the satellite states, it was one of their first steps of control because all their others control rules were built on that ID card…even though the USSR & Co fell before they could computerize and barcode their ID system. Computer usage was still “top secret” at the time of the USSR’s fall in 1992. I met professors who taught computer science, and offered advanced degrees, and had yet never actually sat in front of a PC screen.
That was in 1992.
It evolved and evolved quickly, only not in service of “the state” as Lenin and Stalin & Co had envisioned it, only more in line with an oligarchic state more closely similar to what Michael Bloomberg envisions.
This is why I titled all the “isms” not just Bernie’s socialism.
Today the Federal vs State/City Government debate has taken an evil twist, for it is the current federal government (as opposed to the eight years prior) that seems to be reflecting the constitutional will of the people while some city and state governments seem to be in direct defiance of that national.
As we know from the Civil War, it is ultimately the federal government who has to be the people’s “court” of last resort. Reagan sensed that in 1984.
We have been treated to two (2) national candidates who no longer feel compelled to disguise their disgust for “the people” as defined in the Constitution, both calling on higher laws of human “management”, this piece on ID cards just the first of several way life will change if either can become president and seize control of the necessary tools of force, and legislatures that will provide the cover of legitimacy. (Barack Obama had it in his grasp, but faltered, fearful of taking the leap, but if you’re wondering, it was Michael Bloomberg’s vision of a corporate-managed future that appealed to him, not Bernie Sanders’…to the extent they are different.
This series will describe the many ways they will be similar or the same, for once an ‘ism takes hold, the people at the bottom scarcely know the difference. Obama proved that.
For our purposes just consider this little ID booklet I picked up in Estonia in 1996, and add a barcode to the opening page. Then you have what your children/grandchildren will be required to carry and produce if asked by an as yet undetermined number of local, state and federal government official.
When/if that day ever comes, knowing also that that photo is also part of a national and state photo recognition program, as we know from China (for now), this will be a key element of state control from the top.
This booklet is a Komsomol or Youth Brigade ID, to which virtually every 14-28 yr old belonged. All those spaces refer to 3 categories of activities, to be initialed or stamped, in each of 12 mos, covering 14 years.
They often wore a pin,
A different ID to the 29-year old will be issued when that card expires.
There will always be a barcode on their face.