An interesting story out of Arizona this week with regards to state ID card standards.
When the federal government enacted the “Real ID” laws after 9/11 in an effort to create a uniform standard for all state driver’s licenses, some conservative states like Arizona flipped out and rejected these new standards – viewing them as a form of national ID, the coming of the anti-Christ, or something like that. Now, guess what? The AZ State ID card does not meet federal standards, and as such, residents of Arizona will not be able to use their AZ state issued ID cards to enter federal buildings or board domestic flights beginning in 2016 unless AZ adopts the new “Real ID” standards. That’s right. AZ residents would then have to present a federally issued passport when boarding domestic flights.
What I find most ironic about this whole situation is that the whole reason AZ is in this situation is for the irrational fear by the state legislature toward government overreach and a “national database” of identification cards. However, now because of their having acted on this irrational fear, all AZ residents will potentially have to present a federal passport when traveling anywhere in the U.S. and/or entering certain buildings. In other words, the AZ state legislature has by their own actions caused the very situation they were trying to prevent – the implementation of a national ID (i.e., passport) in order to travel anywhere domestically within the United States.
This is what happens when conservative state legislators, with irrational fear of federal government oversight, enact legislation that ends up hurting citizens in the long-run. You can apply this logic to numerous current issues being blocked by conservative politicians that are in the public’s best interest (history textbooks, global warming, minimum wage, Citizen’s United, healthcare, etc., etc., etc.) Do we see a pattern here?
Way to go guys.