One of the most egregious stories of voter suppression is coming to us out of the state of Georgia. The state's Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, is in charge of the mechanics of running elections in that state. At the same time, he himself is running for governor. It would appear that Mr. Kemp has placed over 53,000 applications for voter registration on hold. Of those 53,000 nearly 70 percent of them are from African American voters. The indications are that the election for Georgia governor is extremely tight, so one can see how an extra thirty to forty thousand votes WILL make a HUGE difference. Here's the point, Georgia Democrats either knew or should have known about this blatant attempt at voter suppression a long time ago. Now there's only three and a half weeks to go until Election Day and Democrats in Georgia are only NOW getting around to do anything about it? This is a contingency Georgia Democrats should have been prepared for weeks ago. Why were they caught napping? I don't know.
At this stage of this election cycle, Democrats have entered into what I call the No Whine Zone. Yes, voter suppression is bad and voter suppression is what Republicans DO, very well I might add. So why aren't Democrats better prepared? These elections have been scheduled years in advance. They come around every two years, and yet every election cycle Democrats run around like a chicken without a head. Fact is, when it comes to elections, Republicans PLAN to win. That's why they've become the masters of voter suppression. In many instances, it's the only way they can win. That's why they constantly explore new and varied techniques that will give them an edge during an election cycle.
Want to make sure poor people don't vote? It's easy! Pass a law making photo IDs mandatory in order to register to vote in the first place. But be sure you charge a small fortune for each individual photo ID. VOILA! You keep poor people from voting and raise revenues for the general revenue at the same time. Who needs a poll tax when you have THIS scam? Aghast at the idea of people of color actually voting in an election? OK. Then why not make sure there are practically no polling places in areas where people of color live? Spread the idea among the people that voting isn't a right, it's a privilege, a privilege essentially reserved for the wealthy and well-connected. Poor people, black people, brown people need not apply. In Brian Kemp's Georgia, his exact match system which put those 53,000 voter registrations on hold THIS year, has excluded 1.4 MILLION voters from the polling lists over that past six year, twenty percent of the total voting population.
Republican Secretaries of State like Kris Kobach of Kansas and Brian Kemp of Georgia have perfected the manly art of voter suppression in this and EVERY election cycle. They understand that if your total membership is declining, then you have to make sure the OTHER guy's numbers go down even more. Democrats have to face facts. They are almost always unprepared for whatever tricks their Republican rivals have concocted for them. What Democrats KNOW how to do is complain, bitch, gripe and whine. But they seem incapable of handling the challenges they KNOW Republicans will throw at them. That's why they lose so many elections they really ought to win.
Democrats have to get ready for the 2020 Presidential election the day before yesterday. They can't sit back and assume that everything will run smoothly and go their way. They have to be ready for every possible contingency. Benjamin Franklin said it best. When asked what kind of government we had, republic or monarchy, old Ben did not hesitate, he said, " A republic, if you can keep it!" Thomas Jefferson noted, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance!" These men knew that freedom is a fragile thing and must be protected at all costs. Too bad the Democrats were asleep in class when their teachers went over this particular lesson!
Filed under: Politics