The Republicans Want To End Democracy
The Republican Party — like all parties — has been in the political wilderness at times. In the past, the GOP reacted to electoral losses by adopting a different platform and nominating better candidates. The Republicans didn’t pass any laws or take any measures aimed at making it harder for Democrats to vote.
During the 1980 election cycle, the GOP nominated a charismatic candidate in Ronald Reagan, made popular tax cuts the centerpiece of their platform and formed up an alliance with Christian conservatives. This GOP re-boot worked and the GOP held the White House for the next twelve years.
Similarly, in 1994, the GOP adopted a poll tested platform full of bromides in its efforts to wrest control of Congress for the first time since 1954. This reinvention of themselves won the GOP control of Congress for the next dozen years.
Unfortunately, the Republican reaction to its losses during the Trump era was very, very different. The GOP didn’t abandon unpopular figures like Trump or adopt a more salable platform. Instead, the GOP has simply abandoned its former support for free elections and the peaceful transfer of power. The GOP has morphed into an authoritarian party that relies upon voter suppression and violence to steal elections and grab power.
The present threat to democracy began in the harrowing days that followed Joe Biden’s decisive victory over Trump. Trump unsuccessfully pressured election officials in Arizona and Georgia to steal the election for him. Moreover, Trump weaponized the Department of Justice in an attempt to over turn an election that he lost.
Trump and his minions weren’t the only ones involved in the attempted theft of the election. Trump’s most unhinged followers initiated a wave of death threats in the battle ground states aimed at election workers. On December 31, Reuters issue a report that “documented more than 850 threatening and hostile messages aimed at election officials and staff related to the 2020 election. Virtually all expressed support for former President Donald Trump or echoed his debunked contention that the election was stolen. The messages spanned 30 jurisdictions in 16 states. They came via emails, voicemails, texts, letters and Internet posts.”
All of this culminated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob incited by Trump on January 6. Trump and some GOP members of Congress sent a violent, armed mob to stop the counting of the electoral votes by the Congress. It was a close run thing — U.S. democracy barely survived.
Since Trump’s failed coup, his supporters in nineteen states have passed thirty three voter suppression laws aimed at making it harder for Democrats to vote. And if the voter suppression fails, many of these same laws give elected Republicans the power to throw out valid votes. The most extreme laws have been passed in the battleground states, including Georgia, Florida and Texas.
Closer to home in Nebraska, the Republicans are circulating petitions to put a voter identification law on the ballot in 2022. The Nebraska GOP is conducting this petition drive even though there has never been a documented case of in person voter fraud in the history of the state. The law is intended to make it harder for Democrats to vote.
All of these efforts are aimed at creating a one party state where the GOP can never lose another election. Prominent Republicans like Tucker Carlson have openly admitted that their efforts have been inspired by Viktor Orban in Hungary. As a matter of fact, Trump just endorsed Orban’s re-election bid. Orban’s party has used gerrymandering, control of the courts and bullying of the media to make sure that they never lose.
What this means is that democracy in America has never been in more jeopardy. It is imperative that the Democrats in Washington act before it’s too late. Already, President Biden has stated that he would support a reform of the filibuster rule so that voting rights can get an up or down vote in the Senate. (A voting rights bill has already passed in the House.) As a matter of fact, 48 out of 50 Democratic senators have indicated they favor an exception to the filibuster rule to allow an up or down vote on voting rights legislation.
These Republican efforts to set up a one party state are simply un-American and unpatriotic. “You can’t love America and hate democracy. You really have to hate America and all it stands for to openly attempt to overthrow democracy.” Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT.)
The elections in 2022 and 2024 will determine whether not America remains a free country that lives up to our ideals. Both Jeff Fortenberry and Don Bacon have indicated with their votes that they don’t support democracy. Both of them have voted numerous times against voting rights. Fortenberry supported the frivolous and reckless 2020 Texas lawsuit aimed at disenfranchising millions of Americans in several states and stealing the election for Trump.
In CD01, please support Patty Pansing Brooks. In CD02, Tony Vargas and Alisha Shelton are challenging Bacon.
If the GOP regains power in 2022, there may never be a free election in American again. If we don’t remain politically active and vote, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when people were free.