Nearly every newscast we watch lately causes us to discuss how far "backward" America is going!

Recently, a "Democracy Now" interview with Rep. John Lewis, civil and voter rights activist, recounted the bloody struggles against racial discrimination leading to the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. Support material included apologetic testimonies from southern whites who, over time, acknowledged the fundamental wrong of their discrimination.

This backdrop evolved to a discussion of the current nationwide state-by-state assault on voting rights targeting more groups but engorged with the same discriminatory infusion of the '60s.

We've lived this. We've seen the complicity with injustice of those who are indifferent, silent and vow not to follow that path while Minnesota prepares to address its own version of discrimination through new voter registration legislation.

There is no "real" problem in Minnesota as other articles here and elsewhere have outlined. Certainly, no need for a constitutional amendment! Why go through this again?

After contemplation, we acknowledge and discuss the root of this activity, the human condition; the role of power, wealth, ego, of frail flesh smothering ethereal spirit in shaping human history.

Clarity can be troubling. This political season is a panorama of democratic de-construction seated in age-old fears and arrogance. Must we re-learn, re-live? If complacent, yes! If aware, visionary, no! The pot is being stirred; the ancient cycle turns!

This era's American aristocracy is reclaiming its desired power of the few over the many through renewed assaults on the emancipating functions of public education, labor rights, proportional taxes and voting rights.

The fulcrum to leverage compliance from a certain group of citizens is division, and division is galvanized through fear, fear of the "other"; any "other" that lubricates gears re-tooled for today's model. It's downright Pavlovian! Stimulated response via punishment or reward, psychologically delivered.

Sad, the length and breadth of humanity's learning curve, the failure to sense the manipulation. In the case of legislating tighter voter ID requirements, supposedly targeted at the "undocumented," it is a multifaceted hypocrisy that our government gladly spends taxes from their wages, won't prosecute their knowing employers and deports them knowing they'll return.

But wait, every finger pointed has three pointing back. We citizens who complain they burden public services and take jobs have long benefited from lower food costs where they labor and we seldom will.

We have learned from the past, see the big picture, the distraction and will not be part of a repetition of history. We choose to vote NO to the proposed constitutional amendment requiring a photo ID for voting. We hope our story resonates with others of similar vision.

Robert and Monica Hatch,