Connecticut Secretary of State, Susan Bysiewicz has Republicans up in arms about a power she has given poll workers to bar voting Americans from wearing certain clothes, when they arrive at voting booths. What kind of clothing? Perhaps mini-skirts? What about people wearing pot leafs on a shirt? No, it's not any of these. Anyone wearing anything affiliated with WWE, or its wrestlers, could be asked to cover it up or even be told to leave, but why exactly? Its because former CEO of WWE Inc, Linda McMahon is running for a Senate office.
Vince McMahon, chairman and chief executive of WWE, as well as husband of Linda McMahon, took to his website asking fans to stand up for WWE and for voting rights. Saying "I believe WWE Fans, the organization, and its superstars are being discriminated against, by elitist government officials and some members of the media," McMahon didn't pull any punches, adding "Denying you your right to vote, denying you your First Amendment rights is un-American, unconstitutional, and blatantly discriminatory against you our WWE Universe."
Its hard if not impossible to find a way to disagree with that. Sure some will, but that is politics as usual. Generally, we don't like to get into political dealings because of the yelling and arguments that come from political discussions. Even more, we generally don't side with Republicans. When it comes to the right to freedom of speech, and our right as Americans to vote, we don't care what party a person is with. Bysiewicz telling people what to wear is beyond her authority. Understanding that advertising for politicians is not permitted within 75 feet of polling places is illegal under Connecticut law, we could agree with anything that said Linda McMahon being worn, but to say a fan of John Cena has to run home before going to vote while on a break from work is ridiculous.
If a Granddaughter of Eddie Bauer ran for office, would that mean that they would ban any and all Eddie Bauer clothing? What about a relative of Donald Fisher who founded The Gap? Could all clothing made by The Gap be banned? Isn't this the same thing? If WWE clothing of any type could be construed as political advertising, would it be safer to say "Vote Naked"? Would that be more constitutional under Susan Bysiewicz's ruling?
If anything, Bysiewicz may have just handed Linda McMahon a victory by the bestÂ type of advertising. Plain and simple, controversy sells and publicity of any type could sway the vote in one direction or another. What do you think? Regardless of if you are a fan of WWE, does this violate First Amendment rights? Chime in and tell us your thoughts. Meanwhile, if we could vote in Connecticut, all that could be said is Linda McMahon would have our vote. Smackdown the vote!
Â© 2010 Bryan Bales
photo of Susan Bysiewicz courtesy of Wikipedia Commons