Misinformation: The current Republican-Democrat brouhaha is politics as usual.
Information: Since 1992 the Republican party has been operating on one primary political strategy—to try to keep Democrats out of power by opposing every Democratic initiative. They have won just one popular Presidential vote since then, but that’s only reinforced their conviction that the only way they can win is to create more division.
They act and talk as if they’ve had no choice, but there has always been a choice. At any point along the way they could have revised their platform to be more inclusive, to bring more voters into their camp by persuading more people of the benefits of their values and goals. Instead, at every decision point they’ve chosen instead to narrow their platform to be less inclusive, and to continue to try to win elections by preventing people from voting. Correction: by trying to prevent voting by minorities that they presume are likely to vote Democrat.
This is certainly not the first time a party has engaged in voter suppression to try to stay in power—that was the name of the game of the Southern Democrats for a century, until Lyndon Johnson broke up their game in the 1960’s.
But it is not politics as usual, because we should never accept that this behavior is “usual.” Not when the law that was signed into law today in Georgia included 1) provisions that will guarantee longer voter lines in predominantly Black areas of the state and 2) a statute that makes it illegal to give a drink of water to someone standing in one of those lines.
Trump famously once said he could stand in the middle of the street in New York City and shoot someone without losing the backing of any of his supporters. The Republicans who lead the Georgia state government must believe they have the same degree of impunity, hiding the tiny degree of embarrassment they might feel about this completely cynical act under the fig leaf of voter fraud. (Which, thanks to the efforts of Trump’s lawyers, has been conclusively proven not to exist.)
Although a two-party system was not envisioned by the Founders, the idea of competitive organizations vying to create and market a service or product that will appeal to the greatest number of customers has a long and generally successful history in America. It would be nice if politics also worked that way, but it only works—both in politics and business—when one side is restrained from corrupting the process and tilting the playing table in their favor. Such corruption can only be prevented by government action, so when the government IS the source of corruption, as in Georgia, we need another remedy.
In America, that remedy has always been the vote, which is why attempts to corrupt the voting process itself are especially pernicious. Every American who believes in democracy, whether Republican or Democrat, should categorically condemn this effort and do whatever we can to oppose it by supporting efforts to protect voting rights in every state in the Union.