Voting Rights MUST Be Senate’s Focus, January 6th Was Dry Run For Insurrectionists

Let us be honest. Our democracy is under attack.

As we near the January 6th anniversary of the violent rioting and deadly outcome on our nation’s Capitol, where over 140 law enforcement officers were injured, we must grasp that event was not a solitary one that is now over and done. Instead, the 6th was akin to the first shots fired at Fort Sumter in 1861. The roadmap for further violence and an even more dire stab at the heart of democracy is outlined by Republicans who have simply made up their minds to steal the 2024 presidential election.

They have created and fostered through FOX News the tortured twisting of facts and data from the November 2020 election, repeating the lies often enough to sway their viewers across the land. Republican state legislators have rammed through in a number of states harsh and unnecessary voting restrictions so to make it harder to cast ballots and fog the outcomes if the final tally does not meet their wishes.

Conservatives have even used as a talking point that state legislatures have the final say in which slate of presidential electors gets to vote in the Electoral College. Republicans have argued, out loud and in the light of day, for a crazy upside-down theory where, for instance, a state legislature could undo the will of the state voter. For example, if more people in a state voted for a Democratic nominee a legislature would still have the power to pick a slate for the Republican nominee to be counted at the Electoral College.

When the Republicans tell the nation their intentions, through words and legislative actions, the citizens need to pay heed. This is not just some fabricated scare tactic Democrats are promoting. Republicans are telling us exactly what they intend to do.

Today Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a strongly worded, and much-needed letter to his colleagues. Simply put the Senate must pull their pants up and do the work that our democracy demands. The new push for legislation dealing with what Republicans did on January 6th and their plans for the future must be dealt with by senators.

As we all are witnessing, the attacks on our democracy have not ceased. In fact, they have only accelerated. Much like the violent insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol nearly one year ago, Republican officials in states across the country have seized on the former president’s Big Lie about widespread voter fraud to enact anti-democratic legislation and seize control of typically non-partisan election administration functions.

While these actions all proceed under the guise of so-called ‘election integrity’, the true aim couldn’t be more clear. They want to unwind the progress of our Union, restrict access to the ballot, silence the voices of millions of voters, and undermine free and fair elections. They wish to propagate the Big Lie perpetuated by the former president that our elections are not on the level.”

Republicans will, doubtless, respond that they’re just listening to the concerns of their voters. Oh, please! Stop the crap! The only purpose for the newly enacted laws in various states and the proposed bills is to ensure more and more restrictions so as to impinge the ability of voting by Black people, people of color, young people, and lower-income Americans. 

Long-time readers of this blog know I am very much rooted in history and civics. What happened on the 6th, and what has been threatened for the future based on legislative action to curtail voting, must not be seen as a partisan fight. The issue at hand, the survival of our democracy, should not be a partisan contest. What I am writing about here, and what the citizens need to be engaged in, is the struggle for the nation’s ideals. It’s very survival as a functioning democracy.

This is an American fight. It’s a battle between conservative and autocratic forces that want to go backwards to an era of Jim Crow laws and the majority in the nation who value a more inclusive democracy with cultural diversity mirrored by election results. Make no mistake that is the fear of an older and too-white America. Therefore, we must demand the furtherance of a more inclusive democracy. It starts with a push by voters to insist the Senate address the filibuster issue and then pass the voting-rights legislation.

Our democracy requires nothing less.

And so it goes.

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