August 9, 2020

If the only way to make America great again is to silence voters, we need a different goal

Americans. Whatever our differences let’s agree to keep some things sacred, like the expectation we each have equal access to voting.

We say we want a free and fair society so why do we ignore partisan attempts to separate We The People from the vote??

We hear about gerrymandering, but we plug our ears. Why?

We gloss over alarming evidence of voter suppression including the elimination of polling places to make voting more difficult in poor or minority-heavy areas, or the purging 700,000 eligible voters from Georgia’s state rolls that disenfranchises citizens.

For people of color it’s yet another stop sign on the long road to being made whole in the eyes of the law. And, we know the goal of reducing votes is to marginalize those who are assumed to vote the wrong way (against the rightward ruling class).

Most recently, a case rejected by the Supreme Court establishes a modern version of the poll tax obstructing the citizenship of Native Americans in the upper-Midwest.

This from the Scotus blog:

The Supreme Court today declined to intervene in a challenge to a North Dakota law that requires voters to present identification that includes a current residential street address. Lawyers say that the ruling will prevent thousands of Native American voters (and tens of thousands of North Dakota residents who are not Native Americans) from casting a ballot in the upcoming 2018 election in a state that could play a key role in Democrats’ efforts to retake the U.S. Senate.

A group of Native American voters in North Dakota have challenged the law, telling the courts that the requirement that voters present identification bearing a street address could pose an obstacle to voting for Native Americans in several ways. Native Americans often live on reservations or in other rural areas where people do not have street addresses; even if they do, lawyers for the challengers argue, those addresses are frequently not included on tribal IDs. Moreover, the lawyers add, Native Americans in North Dakota are “disproportionately homeless.”

In April, a federal district court in North Dakota ordered the state to allow voters to cast ballots as long as they could show IDs that had either a current street address or a current mailing address, such as a P.O. box. The state followed that order in the June primaries, but in September the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit put the district court’s order on hold.

The challengers went to the Supreme Court last week to ask the justices to step in. They told the court that a change in the voting rules “so close to the election—after voting has actually started—will irreparably injure Native American voters and cause serious voter confusion.”

As an independent I can declare attempts to defeat the will of individual voters to be present on both sides of the left/right duopology. There are very fine obstructionists on both sides.

Plenty can be said about rigging in the Democratic Party and the intentions of DNC leadership to produce the candidates they want rather than the ones the people want, but, in the main, Republicans – those who often hold up concepts like “liberty” and “freedom” and American exceptionalism – prove themselves to be the most determined to sin against their own political religion.

The DNC’s Tom Perez’ points this out in a piece about voter suppression in North Carolina by offering a very brief history of the right-wing anti-voter playbook: “In 1980, Paul Weyrich, a godfather of the modern conservative movement, told a conference of conservative evangelical activists, “I don’t want everybody to vote. … Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

Perez says more than three decades later GOP operatives continue to admit their shot at winning is dependent on eliminating non-Republican voters, not on their policy positions winning fairly and squarely in an honest idea economy.

Frankly, that’s not winning, that’s just crooked and corrupting and scarier than any of the anti-immigrant, anti-BLM, anti-Socialist boogiemen Republicans use to raise funds and stoke racial animosities for political gain.

Two years ago we were told the Make America Great Again narrative sprung from the dissatisfaction of the unheard economic refugees living far from coastal elites and their alienation gave us Trump.

It was a lie then and even more so now that the Trump train has become a tariff stricken wage killing machine and civil liberties threat dedicating it’s greatest efforts to rolling back any policy intended to protect the powerless or vulnerable.

That didn’t come from alienated Americans who were finally heard and represented by our new emperors. That came from alienating through voter manipulations to the point that the majority were subdued by a mighty few.

Regardless of party, people of good faith must restore the vote. That would truly make America great.

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