Ihre Papiere Bitte

Many World War II movies have a scene where normal folk are walking down the street minding their own business when they’re suddenly confronted by a pair of police officers who say, “Ihre Papiere bitte.” Usually the people being confronted will hand over a set of documents, the officers will look them over, and then one officer will say, “Ihre Papiere sind nicht in Ordnung.” Such scenes are used to show the audience that Nazi Germany was an authoritarian police state. But if demanding identification from people minding their own business made Nazi Germany a police state what does it make the United States:

PHOENIX – You could go to jail for four months if you get caught without an ID as a passenger in a car if a new law proposal passes.


Current law only requires the driver of a vehicle to carry a drivers license, which serves as evidence of identity.

If this bill passes, a passenger would also be required to have evidence of identity. Failure to do so would be a class 2 misdemeanor, which allows for up to four months in jail by current state law.

Isn’t it funny how all of the things the United States government once criticized authoritarian regimes for doing are either being done or are being proposed here? And isn’t if funny that many people living here have managed to delude themselves enough to believe that they live in the freest country on Earth?