Now that the Build Back Better legislation has at least been temporarily blocked by the intractable corruption of Joe Manchin, the Senate has moved over to voting rights. But factually, voting rights repair should have been the top priority the whole time.
Using the pretext of the relentless repetition of The Big Lie from the former President that the election was stolen from him by fraudulent voting, 19 states with Republican-dominated legislatures have passed laws to restrict voting rights and place partisan hacks in positions of authority over election results.
The idea here is simply to override elections, otherwise known as the voice of the people. If allowed to move to fruition, this trend would be the end of free and fair elections in our country.
Invigorated by the flood wave of dark money unleashed by the “Citizens United” decision of the Supreme Court in 2010—which shifted political power in favor of wealthy donors—an erosion of voting rights has been happening in our country. This money river coupled with the Holder Supreme Court decision which gutted a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, has brought about repressive anti-voting legislation the like of which has not been seen since the Jim Crow laws that crushed Black voting in the South between 1877 and 1954.
Heather Cox Richardson, in her almost daily and highly enlightening articles, has eloquently tied the current erosion of voting rights to the actions of the Southern Democrats after the Civil War. One could get the idea that some of the thinking and reactionism—yes, that is a word, meaning “a tradition in right-wing politics; the reactionary stance opposes policies for the social transformation of society“—demonstrated by radical Republicans seems to be cloned from that era.
The restoration of voting rights, on the table now in the Senate, means nothing more than the future of our democratic system, or its end under a one-party dictatorship—and a dictatorship that has already shown its hand with its callous acceptance of white supremacy and money-over-life policies.
According to the notes of James McHenry, a Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, A lady asked Bengamin Franklin, ‘Well, Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” His reply, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
We are factually on the brink of losing it. The Senate needs to act. The filibuster must not be allowed to stand in the way. Discussions are already on-going about carving out an exception for voting rights. Good. The more carve outs administered to this relic of obstructionist and racist governance the better.
We urge that all our readers contact their Senators and push. Hard. And then again, harder. This is for all the marbles, folks.