Because We Don't Have A Right to Vote...

Thom plus logo In America, the country that is supposed to be the world's premier democratic republic, citizens do not have an absolute right to vote.

Because we don't have a right to vote, red state governors can radically cut back on the number of polling places and voting machines so that working class people are forced to stand in line for five, six, in some cases 10 hours to vote.

Because we don't have a right to vote, about 30 million registered voters nationwide have been removed from the voting rolls since 2014, so when they show up to vote they are given "provisional ballots" that, in red states, are almost never counted unless there is a lawsuit.

Because we don't have a right to vote, back in the 1960s William Rehnquist helped organize "Operation Eagle Eye" in Arizona to pull together a volunteer army of large and often uniformed white men to challenge Black, Hispanic, and Native American voters at the polls. It was so successful it kicked off Rehnquist's Republican political career, taking him all the way to chief justice of the US Supreme Court, and is now being emulated by the Trump campaign.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been able to prevent almost a million Florida citizens from voting if they owe fines or fees to the government.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Louis DeJoy can destroy the US Post Office and slow down the mail just in time for the election and not face any legal consequences.

Because we don't have a right to vote, in 2000 then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush was able to take a felon list from then-Texas governor George W. Bush and compare it to the Florida voter list, throwing about 90,000 African-Americans off the voting rolls because they had "similar” names just before the election that his brother "won” in Florida by 537 votes.

Because we don't have a right to vote, voter intimidation has been documented over the past week in Nevada city, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida; Fort Morgan, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Los Angeles - and its a virtual certainty that nobody will go to jail.

Because we don't have a right to vote, the Supreme Court told the Republican governor of Ohio - and now all governors - that he could remove millions of registered voters from the rolls because they hadn't voted in the previous election and didn't mail back a postcard.

Because we don't have a right to vote, red state legislators have been able to force through laws requiring citizens to jump through extraordinary hoops like getting IDs they normally wouldn't need or use, just to vote.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Republicans in multiple states have used the courts to make it extremely difficult to vote by mail or drop off your ballot at a convenient dropbox during a pandemic.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Republicans are rushing Amy Coney Barrett's appointment to the Supreme Court through the Senate so she can be part of a repeat of the 2000 Supreme Court lawsuit, which she, John Roberts, and Brett Kavanaugh all worked on, that stopped the vote count and handed the presidency to George W. Bush.

Republicans can't win elections on their "ideas" of tax cuts for billionaires and eliminating protective regulations on polluting corporations.

People don't agree with them that Medicare should be privatized, Social Security shut down, and Obamacare destroyed.

A clear majority of Americans (including Catholics and Republicans) don't think police and politicians should insert themselves between a woman and her doctor.

The vast majority of Americans think weapons of war should not be carried on American streets.

Because the majority of Americans disagree with Republican "ideas," they've increasingly used voter suppression and voter intimidation as a primary strategy over the past 40 years.

The first piece of legislation the House of Representatives passed this session, HR1, helped establish an absolute right to vote. Mitch McConnell and Republicans in the Senate have refused to even hold a hearing on it.

If you care about the survival and expansion of democracy in America, this may be your last chance to get out there and vote.

-Thom

Comments

DrRichard 4 weeks 1 day ago
#1

Oh well said, Thom. Putting McConnell out on his ass, or at least leaving him in the squaking minority will be a big improvement here. It's too bad most Americans have no idea what is going on, but the massive upsurge in pre-election day voting does give me some hope. Maybe we should have, non-violently of course, a little of the politics of 1883. Then Alfred Packer, the only man in the US ever convicted of cannibalism supposedly got this lecture at his sentencing: "Stand up, Alferd Packer, you voracious, man-eating s-- of a b----. There were seven Democrats in Hinsdale County, and you ate five of them. I sentence you to hang until you are dead, dead, dead as a warning against reducing the Democratic population of the state."

FJL's picture
FJL 4 weeks 1 day ago
#2

I submitted a letter to the LA Times Saturday, in response to an editorial-

An Ugly American Tradition Resurfaces
my letter-
There is an important question that never seems to be asked every election year concerning voter suppression.
Readers are well aware of the 'ugly tradition', and it is very one-sided. The Republican party tells us they have the best programs, policies, and platform to keep Americans safe, strengthen the economy, and make America great again.
If this is true, wouldn't you want every registered voter out there to easily cast their ballot for your candidates?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 4 weeks 1 day ago
#3

9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1: Election Day!

87-86-85-84-83 ---------> 3-2-1: Inauguration Day!

A beginning or an ending, the last chance to save democracy or the last step to plutocracy, fascism, and a new dark age? How in the hell did America, the land of the free and the brave, reach such a stark choice in just the span of one presidency?

Or is Trumpism the predictable outcome of decades if not centuries of right-wing, anti-democratic forces cooking up laws in congress and rulings in court that are diametrically opposed to the intentions of the Founders, violating the very soul of their newborn democratic republic, stealing power from the many, the People, and awarding it to the lucky few, the exceedingly affluent, and the already powerful?

Their tell is their goal to make it harder to vote, to have fewer citizens (think Democrats) exercise their primary civic duty (even if it's not their codified right). The reason is simple: Republicans harbor extremist views that repel the majority, who naturally vote Democratic as a result.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 4 weeks 1 day ago
#4

If Democrats are successful this election, accountability should be right up there at the top of the list of what needs to be done to restore our Democracy. If I don’t see jail time for the Trump crime family and the abettors in the Trump administration, I will never vote for another Democrat as long as I live. If there is no accountability it is pointless to think that there will be long lasting change and it would be pointless to continue the charade.

Legend 4 weeks 1 day ago
#5

Trump Administration has given up on controlling Covid-19. I thought that the idea was to strive to prevent getting Coviv-19 by wearing a mask, Social distance and avoid crowds so that you could survive until a vaccine is administered. Instead the White House is the number 1 spot on Covid-19 per capita on earth.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 4 weeks 1 day ago
#6

I feel the same way, stopgap. It's long past time for the Democratic Party to put up or shut up, which means at the very least to allow the wheels of justice to turn freely without throwing sand in the gears, as the Republicans and Trump have famously done vis-à-vis the Mueller report, impeachment, and every other call for justice.

For the most part that also means justice ending in jail-time would probably be up to the State of New York, since either Pence, should Trump quit during the lame-duck period, or perhaps even Trump himself, should he cling to power, could exercise the presidential pardon to escape all federal crimes related to his time in office and which could also include all family members, business partners, and assorted cohorts. That's okay; jail time is jail time. Al Capone was finally caught cheating on taxes rather than for all his other more serious crimes.

Congress, though, can certainly hold hearings, uncover further evidence to refer criminal charges to the courts, and pass laws to prevent some future Trumpian-type authoritarian to make a grab for power outside the bounds of our so-called balance of power in the three branches of government. But since accountability -- and pretty much everything else -- comes down to the simple act of voting, completely reforming election laws at every level to make it easier for more people to vote should be equally paramount.

If to make this happen, as well as other good things, the future Democratic Senate must "pack" the SCOTUS then so be it. McConnell sure wasn't shy about "stacking" the SCOTUS -- and the whole entire federal court system -- with corporate-friendly wingers every chance he got. How many of Obama's federal judge nominees did he deny fair hearings? So why should Democrats play nice? Packing is an antidote to stacking.

RepubliCult's picture
RepubliCult 4 weeks 1 day ago
#7

We need to add some Sharp Teeth into The Right To Vote:

"No taxation without PROOF of representation."

If the government cannot prove your vote was counted correctly in the final tabulation, the government cannot collect taxes from you.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 4 weeks 17 hours ago
#8

If Dems win, they shouldn’t just expand the Supreme Court to eleven or twelve…Expand it to fifteen. No more screwing around. Time to return to this treasonous bigoted Republican garbage a maximum dose of their own reality!

Legend 4 weeks 10 hours ago
#9

The Judicial System is completely broken. 1 court rules one way and another the other way. Cases can be tied up for years. It is all about money. Amy Barret claims she is a originanist. That is saying that there was no abortion or Obama Care in the Constitution. Nothing about mail in voting in the Constitution. We may win the election but we have lost the Judicial System.

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