Every political party displays their priorities in the initiatives they choose to pursue. And voters get to decide which party is more closely aligned with their vision for the nation. That’s the essence of democracy and the concept of government of, by, and for the people.
Today’s Republican Party is doing their part in providing voters with a look at what they hope to achieve were they in the majority. And, as usual, it isn’t a pretty picture, nor one that represents the views of most Americans.
In the wake of yet another horrifying mass shooting, Republicans are once again showing their preferences for a society that permits such atrocities to occur. It’s a preference that is in direct conflict with what the American people want. Every poll shows that common sense gun reforms are popular across a broad spectrum of the electorate. Unfortunately, the GOP’s devotion to guns continues to result in ever more bloodshed. Republicans are telling us loud and clear what they want for America. Most of their agenda is focused on curtailing the rights and privileges of the American people. For instance, Republicans want less…
- Healthcare. They have been been trying for years to sabotage Obamacare, a program that has gained the support of a majority of the people.
- Wages. They oppose a living wage of $15.00 an hour, which is popular even among GOP voters.
- Taxes on the rich. They have repeatedly cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans whose fortunes have increased, while the rest of the nation has struggled.
- Environmental protection. They are staunchly opposed to advancing green energy and mitigating the climate crisis.
- Pandemic relief. They lobbied fiercely to reduce the benefits of the recently passed American Rescue Plan, then every one of them voted against it.
- Voting. Republicans are currently trying to pass more than 200 bills in 40+ states to make it harder to vote.
The one thing that Republicans are fervently in favor of having more of is access to guns and the dangerous ammo clips and accessories that adorn them. It’s a rather ironic contrast that the GOP is for more guns but less voting. However, that’s precisely the mindset that produced the violent Trump Insurrection in Washington. The rioters were pro-gun extremists who were intent on invalidating the votes of millions of citizens.
It’s not surprising that Republicans are so afraid of voters having easy access to the polls. They know that the more people that vote, the harder it will be for Republicans to win. They have said so explicitly. Senate GOP minority leader, Mitch McConnell, has threatened a “scorched earth” response to Democratic efforts to help people vote. Donald Trump told Fox News that it “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He went on to complain that Democrats were “crazy” for supporting vote-by-mail, saying that “They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
Trump on March 30 on why he opposed funding for mail-in voting as part of a coronavirus stimulus bill: "They have things, levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” pic.twitter.com/kpDQX3zxY8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 8, 2020
And of course, Fox News is backing up the GOP’s pro-gun, anti-democracy agenda. They regard easier access to voting as invitations to election fraud, despite a complete lack of any evidence of it. They promote the Republican positions on allowing anyone with a heartbeat to open-carry anywhere they want. They book GOP politicians and pundits to push the NRA’s wish list that includes unhindered access to assault weapons, cop-killer bullets, and the revocation of all regulations, including those that prohibit gun ownership for the violent mentally ill and domestic abusers.
The reason that Republicans are so scared of people voting is that the demographics of the nation are not friendly for them. This is no longer a country that caters to a white supremacist majority. In an op-ed for NBC News Lee Drutman, of the New America think tank, noted that…
“[D]emocracy reform has become a deeply partisan exercise. A Republican president has won the popular vote only once in the last 28 years (2004), and Republican senators have represented a majority of Americans only once in the last 40 years (1996-97). Republicans have increasingly pegged their political future to aggressive partisan gerrymandering and targeted voting restrictions.”
The only way that Republicans have been able to continue winning elections is by cheating. They have drawn bizarrely gerrymandered voting districts. They have passed laws that unfairly burden voters and remove them from the voting rolls. And they benefit from archaic practices like the electoral college and the Senate filibuster. Both of which give political minorities the ability to suppress the will of the majority. It’s why the half million residents of Wyoming have the exact same representation as the 40 million residents of California. That’s hardly democratic.
Significant reforms are urgently needed. The electoral college must be abolished. Senate voting procedures need to be more population-based. Congressional districts must be drawn by independent panels. And statehood must be considered for at least the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These reforms would begin to guide the nation to a more fair model of self-government, and to restore the promise of a democracy that can truly produce liberty and justice for all.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.