Trump’s Ceaseless Efforts To Undermine Our Democracy
The greatest attacks on voting rights since the days before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 began last year and continue unabated in 2022.
These attacks are Trump’s Big Lie in action.
Republican officeholders are passing state laws blatantly designed to diminish the ability of Democratic supporters to vote in federal and state elections. The voter restriction laws are aimed at Black, brown, Native, and other minority voters, as well as the disabled, urban residents, and young voters.
These Republican-driven state laws take dead aim at our democracy.
Last month, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) earned their rightful place in history’s Hall of Shame by casting the decisive votes to kill the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. This legislation would have overridden in federal elections the voter suppression laws passed last year by GOP-controlled state legislatures and would have prevented new laws from affecting federal elections.
In voting to protect these state laws, Manchin and Sinema joined with 50 Republican Senators to give license to voter suppression and election sabotage.
According to the Brennan Center, as of mid-January, 250 bills with voting restriction provisions had been introduced, pre-filed, or carried over in 27 states. This follows the 34 laws passed by 19 states last year that restrict voting.
GOP-controlled state legislatures also have been passing election sabotage laws that, among other things, empower partisan Republican election officials to rig the results of congressional and presidential elections.
On Monday, five Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justices made their contribution to the Republican effort to undermine the Black vote.
The five Justices blocked an order from a three-judge federal district court to require the Alabama legislature to create a second majority-minority congressional district. The district court found that the state’s congressional redistricting plan had diluted the Black vote in violation of the Voting Rights Act.
By blocking the district court order, the Supreme Court allowed the Alabama redistricting plan to be in effect for the 2022 congressional elections.
Linda Greenhouse, a nationally recognized Supreme Court chronicler, challenged their opinion in The New York Times, noting that Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito, in a concurring opinion, justified their votes by writing that the Supreme Court will more readily grant a stay to counteract “late judicial tinkering with election laws.”
But, Greenhouse made clear that there was no late “tinkering” as “the election is months away — plenty of time for the legislature to comply with the decision.”
The five-Justice majority simply wanted to stand with the Republican-controlled Alabama legislature and they used some makeweight arguments to undermine the Black vote in Alabama.
The authoritarian, lawless Trump presidency has been followed by the Trump Big Lie, the violent Capitol insurrection (what the RNC considers “legitimate political discourse”), and GOP state laws that prevent potentially millions of citizens from voting and permit partisan rigging of elections.
Most congressional and state Republican officeholders apparently live their lives in fear of Trump and his cult followers as Trump ceaselessly acts to undermine our elections and our democracy. Kudos are in order for those relatively few Republican officeholders who have stood up to Trump.
It’s time for America to wake up to the fact that the equivalent of a nonmilitary civil war is taking place in our country. It’s a war for our democracy that history demands we win.