Assault on Democracy

Author: Gary Hart

Ask any number of Americans what they think of about democracy and they will say “voting”.

That is the way we select our leaders.  In local elections, that is often the way we collectively decide on issues of local importance.  Voting is democratic.  Each vote counts.  And each vote is equal to every other vote.

That very basic common understanding should be endorsed and supported by every American.

That being the case, then why are legislatures in virtually all Republican controlled States taking up proposals to suppress the vote, to make voting more difficult?  This is directly contradictory to democracy.

Proposed measures include elimination of absentee ballots (except in extreme situations), more stringent voter identification requirements, restrictions on voting sites, and a host of other hurdles.

In the past, these measures were usually justified as preventing voter fraud.  A commission composed of those who believed in widespread fraud appointed by President Trump disbanded soon after its composition due to lack of evidence.

The true reason, ironically offered by that same President known to be economical with the truth was: “If we let everybody vote, no Republican will ever be elected.”

There you have it in a nutshell.

This assault on democracy, the very heart of democracy, is to squeeze out widespread voting, make it more difficult, hold down the turnout, and give Republicans a leg up.

Democrats do better in cities with largely diverse communities and, increasingly in suburbs where white women particularly are switching to the Democratic Party and in education centers around the country.  Republican voters are found in the South, in rural areas, among those who believe, usually wrongly, that jobs are being taken by illegal immigrants, gun owners, and the aggrieved.

This pot must be stirred up and that can best be done by encouraging, not discouraging, people to vote.

Voter suppression was used, largely but not exclusively in the South, to make it more difficult, even impossible, for Black Americans to vote.  The voting rights act and other legislation eliminated most of these barriers.  But even limiting voter registration sites and polling places in minority neighborhoods is meant to accomplish the same thing.

In the 21st century it is difficult to believe one of two major parties wants to restrict democracy.

7 Responses to “Assault on Democracy”

  1. Paul G Says:

    REPUBLICAN PARTY FEARS THE US CONSTITUTION & BILL OF RIGHTS. WHY?

    “If we let everybody vote, no Republican will ever be elected.” – Ill Duce, DJT.

    Tragically for the rest of US, this “survival fear” – detailed with effective brevity by The LincolnProject.org leaders (Steve Schmidt, et al) – seems lost in verbosity by Democrat leaders and “Ya-but” major media talking heads.

    Jan 6, 2021 deadly attack on our Capitol is treason, incited by DJT’s relentlessly self-serving daily attacks on pandemic-adaptive mail-in voting since June 2000.

    DJT willfully and with fatal prejudice violated his Oath to our Constitution. Any doubt about this fact should be wiped away by his brief and precise words on the record to a journalist before America’s first recorded COVID illness.

    “This is five (5) times more deadly than the flu. If you’re the wrong kind of person that gets it – it will tear you apart!” That was Jan or early Feb, 2020. But the CIC master of chaos over-ruled and silenced his scientists while publicly telling the opposite to all other Americans – including his devoted US veteran supporters.

    Quickly and inevitably, America’s long-earned reputation for CDC integrity, mastery and efficiency in ensuring the US and world citizenry’s health-safety was in chaos.

    Misled by talking heads especially on old right-wing media such as Fox “News” and new Facebook monetized sewers of algorythmic incitements to divisive hatred, COVID patients had their lungs torn apart as they struggled to breathe day after day, as their families saw Fox and Face spew and echo DJT’s willful and deadly lies.

    Why willful? DJT feared defeat by the less-well-off back and brown voters, especially those voting early by the fear-induced mail-in system in a growing number of states. The projector-in-chief told a reporter he didn’t want to panic people. But he was the one in panic. DJT (secretly like a fox) began his re-election planning just a few hours after being sworn-in Jan 20, 2017. He saw COVID as a curveball threat to him.

    The projector-in-chief who still called COVID a Democrat “hoax” on the eve of his Nov. 3, landslide defeat, uttered not a word of caring to the ever-escalating number of Americans struggling to breathe – even of his own suffocating supporters. For 77 days thereafter DJT fumed to supporters to “stop” fraud robbery of “their” America.

    Will US Senate enablers ratify this horror – fearful for their fake Party’s survival?

    If so, they are no more “impartial jurors;” they’re forever traitors to America; traitors to our Founders’ and Lincoln’s noble sacrifice; traitors to almost half a million COVID suffering and dying and their ever-pained families; traitors to trusting citizens who believed their self-serving and willfully deadly lies.

    No if’s ands or buts about it; our Constitution’s Oath must trump all other oaths.

    If our republic is to survive, this pledge must be kept and now fully enforced.

    Or, will We let a Party’s survival needs trump America’s need to breathe free?

    “Ya-but” NOT!!!

  2. Stephen D. Pillow Says:

    “In the 21st century it is difficult to believe one of two major parties wants to restrict democracy.”
    The true reason, ironically offered by that same President known to be economical with the truth was: “If we let everybody vote, no Republican will ever be elected.”

    “There you have it in a nutshell.”

    Having lived in the South all of my 73 years, I for one do not find it at all “difficult to believe one of the two major parties wants to restrict democracy”. It is a necessity for the ever shrinking WHITE majority so that they can continue to control government, society, and the economy. It is the only way that they can keep their “white supremacy” in place. When they have only a minority position in their demographic, they have to arbitrarily reduce the majority position by limiting its ability to participate in the vote. Hell, they knew this even when the South was mostly Democrats. Non-whites were not allowed to vote. It’s just the Republicans who want to restrict the vote now. It’s the same people and they are WHITE.

  3. Gary Hart Says:

    you are absolutely spot on, Stephen, and I am remiss in not including your key paragraph. No party is blameless in this world of power, cruelty, and woe. Gary

  4. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Well, being the cockeyed optimist that I always am, I prefer to accentuate the positive. Like two lovely speeches at the state department today. America leads best when it leads not just by the example of its power but by the power of its example. Truer words were never spoken.

    President Biden has been living at the White House for only a couple of weeks and already he’s looking younger, don’tcha think?

    As for me, I give perpetual smile on the face whole new meaning. I like being in seventh heaven – hope I can stay for eight years!

  5. Michael Says:

    Imagine the worldwide outrage if, in Germany in 2021, its constituent states were working to suppress the votes of its Jewish citizens. The same outage should be directed at us today – 150 years after passage of the 14th Amendment and more than 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act. This is beyond shameful.

  6. H. Patrick Pritchard Says:

    Sixty two per cent of all registered voters were Republican or Democrat in 2020. The remainder were unaffiliated. Striving for unity means inclusion of all Americans not just those identified with a party. Republican definition of unity is extremely myopic and self-centered!

    To even begin to think about unification, all barriers restricting the right to vote
    for all must be banished from the land.

  7. Brian C McCarthy Says:

    Senator,
    Even if all citizens were allowed and encouraged to vote, there would still be structural barriers to those votes translating into real representation. One is the first-past-the-post electoral system. A system of proportional representation, or even single transferable vote, would likely allow for election outcomes that better reflect the wishes of all the voters in a district or state and not just a plurality. Another is the antiquated and increasingly undemocratic Electoral College which disproportionately weighs the votes of states with small (and usually rural, white, and illiberal) populations. Eliminating voter suppression is only one of the electoral reforms needed to truly ensure that all persons’ votes count equally.
    Sláinte!
    BCM

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