President Trump has a pretty vivid imagination. Why else would he continue to claim 3-5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 Election and cost him the popular vote? This claim has never been proven by Trump, has been widely debunked by many state Attorneys General, and there is bipartisan agreement that Trump is pretty delusional when it comes to counting things. Republicans control enough of government that they could challenge Trump’s claim, but few are bothering. Why? Because voter fraud is a convenient myth that justifies voter ID laws, which typically suppress voting rights of minorities, students and the poor, who tend to vote Democratic. If this disturbing trend continues, the right has a very good chance of staying in power for longer.
Since free and fair elections are a necessary part of a functioning democracy, Trump’s constant undermining of the system which catapulted him to power actually highlights its weaknesses. Gerrymandering is a long, funny sounding word that doesn’t get much airtime, but it’s basically all about manipulating the boundaries of an electoral district in order to favor one party over another – something that both parties legally engage in. Clearly if Republicans can get away with it, they would advocate for gerrymandering for the same reasons they advocate for voter ID laws – to secure their own power by suppressing those around them, specifically in the 2020 election. Why aren’t the boundaries set, you ask? Because populations change, and populations should be represented by government fairly and proportionately. And spoiler alert: there’s another census coming up in 2020, so redistricting is highly likely to occur – and if Democrats gain more legislative seats, it may tip the balance of power in some purple states. Hence all the fuss.
There are a few organizations fighting back against the tide of voter suppression however – like Priorities USA who is creating an online database of voting rights changes, pushing state lawmakers to protect voting rights, and providing funding for voting rights lawsuits. Democrats have pledged resistance to Trump’s vision of America, but there’s frankly not much they can do politically. Republicans have their eyes on the midterm elections, and Trump is no doubt willing to try anything to secure a second term. But despite the President’s white angry male voter base, the GOP is still the party of Lincoln, and Republicans should look to their roots and continue to push for what is right, rather than settle for what is convenient.
Feel like you want to rebel against the districts? Movie for your mercenary mood: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1