The sustaining symmetry of democracy is the right to vote. The right gives each individual, if nothing else, the belief that he or she can help shape their life and the destiny of their country. Voting is the potter’s wheel of a vibrant democratic process, it could turn the future toward a different direction, thereby reshaping what once was. Barack Obama and the Democrats swept into office on the promise of progressive ideas and remedies for the then mushrooming financial crisis and social justice inequities that gripped the nation in 2008. While having a majority in congress for two years President Obama shepherded landmark legislation in affordable health care (ACA) for the uninsured, Wall Street reform (Dodd-Frank) which helped to promote progressive culture. This would ultimately lead to declaring DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional, supporting gay marriage as a civil right, and a serious thrust to reform the broken immigration system without having his party having a majority in congress. And in reaction to gun massacres like Sandy Hook, Obama also battled (without success) in tightening the laws on background checks for buying guns — more specifically high-kill capacity, semi-automatic weapons.
This ambitious agenda met with constant and obdurate opposition by the Republican party, and as Obama’s success grew his detractors did as well. There were those on the right side of the aisle who floated rumors about impeaching this president and would in the privacy of secret discussions (something that democracy allows) plotted their obstructionist plans. Only the occasional public gaffe like Senator Mitch McConnell’s announcement that his first priority was to make Obama a one-term president saw the light of the day. McConnell failed to produce his desired result.
Nevertheless, this esoteric statements encouraged a new specious strategy. A blueprint that began to tear down the building blocks of our democracy and reminded us of an era when voter suppression existed for African American people with laws like Jim Crow and the poll tax. Many in the Republican party uses the disguise of voter fraud as their impetus, but the statistics on voter fraud bear out a much different conclusion. Voter fraud is not prevalent it is barely visible when investigations are done. On the contrary, voter suppression has become a well thought out tactic for the GOP to win elections.
Full Article: The Price for Obama’s Success: Voter Suppression.