It’s time to Break It Down!
Arizona. Georgia. Michigan. Nevada. Pennsylvania. Wisconsin. Six states, six Biden wins, six Trump losses, and six reasons why the Brennan Center’s recent report on state voting proposals reveals that lawmakers in 43 states have carried over, pre-filed, or introduced 253 bills that restrict voting access. The reason for this barrage of voter suppression initiatives is both clear, and simple. To put a fine point on, back in March of 2020, when Donald Trump was still and actively participating member of the Twitterverse, he tweeted this:
MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE. IT WILL ALSO LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY. WE CAN NEVER LET THIS TRAGEDY BEFALL OUR NATION. BIG MAIL-IN VICTORY IN TEXAS COURT TODAY. CONGRATS!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Simplified translation – Mail-in voting leads to more people voting. More people voting means more people voting for Democrats, or if you prefer, against Republicans. More people voting for Democrats than Republicans means…more Democrats elected; more Republican losers.
Consider what this means, in its essence. If enabling more people to vote means Republicans will consistently lose — well, isn’t that the baseline for how democracy works? The point of democracy isn’t that there must necessarily be two parties from which people can choose, it’s that people can choose. If people chose against Republicans — or against Democrats — that’s their choice. You can’t justifiably limit that choice solely to protect the party itself.
Typical means used to curb or discourage voting include, limiting or eliminating mail-in voting, early voting, voting locations, voting drop boxes, and the people who can present one’s ballot. Also included are, increasing the degree of difficulty one must overcome in order to cast a vote, for example, by requiring a specific set of allowable reasons to vote absentee, matching signatures, notarized ballots, and state voter ID, to name a few.
Specifically, as it relates to mail-in voting, it’s important to stipulate that there is no evidence that mail-in balloting favors Democrats over Republicans. In fact, there is published research that shows encouraging widespread voting by mail yielded “a truly negligible effect” on turnout and vote share by party. This documentation is not limited to a single report. A similar conclusion was reported in the Washington Post. It noted that absentee voting in Michigan and Wisconsin might actually have contributed to putting Trump over the top in those states in the 2016 presidential election. Huge early and absentee voting initiatives contributive to Trump and down ballot Republicans winning virtually all the statewide races in North Carolina, except the Governorship in this past November’s 2020 Election.
An oft repeated GOP contention alleges that absentee votes or mail ballots are rife with fraud. This allegation is reinforced in two ways: by noting isolated past examples of fraud being committed on a small scale by individuals, and by emphasizing characteristics of mail balloting that seem like they might allow for fraud to occur. Each of these elements was integral in Trump’s poison pill hokum dispensed before the 2020 Election, and his “big lie,” afterward. He created the opening gambit by priming the pump with the assertion that there was no way he could lose, unless Democrats cheated, and he doubled down with the repeatedly disproved perversion that Democrats, foreign countries, and voting machine conglomerates conspired to commit voter fraud, thus stealing the election he claimed to have won in a landslide.
The thing is, he lost. He lost bigly. In fact, let’s give the victor his due. Joe Biden won. He won by more than 7 million votes. He received a record 81 million votes, and he bested Trump in the Electoral College 306-232. That’s the same Electoral College differential by which Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in in 2016…when he, not surprisingly, claimed a landslide win.
By now, the events of January 6 are permanently etched in American political lore. Immediately following a Trump Rally at the Ellipse, during which Trump and several of his surrogates pointedly fired up the crowd, urged them to fight like hell, and told them to go take back their government…adding that he’d be there with them (He wasn’t). The crowd, or at least parts of it, morphed into a mob, and the next thing you know, there was an insurrection ensuing on the grounds, and in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, the Citadel of American Government. Despite the fact the events of the day unfolded live on Network and Cable TV, many Republicans and conservatives instantly resorted to some kind of bizarre alternative narrative, blaming the carnage on Antifa and Black Lives Matter, when all who had eyes and watched could see that Trump supporters, hyped by his barrage of lies about a stolen election went to the Capitol to prevent Congress from executing its duty and certifying Joe Biden as President. Weeks later, Mitch McConnell described it this way:
“The people who stormed the Capitol believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated president kept shouting into the loudest megaphone on planet earth.” —Mitch McConnell 2/13/21
In summary, Donald Trump spent months, on Twitter, and at too many rallies to count, encouraging his supporters not to mail-in ballots, or vote early; rather, vote in-person on Election Day. After Team Trump’s strategic assessment projected that the likely outcome of this tack was a Trump early lead, overcome by the tide of Biden mail-in and early votes, in states where most GOP legislatures had refused to allow votes to be counted until after Election Day ballots. This dire analysis resulted in Trump trying to stop the count in several states where he led at the end of the night on November 3rd (Election Day), but which trended toward Biden due to still uncounted ballots. By the time it was over, more than 60 courts, many with Trump appointed Judges, including the Supreme Court, on which Trump appointed 3 of the 9 Justices, rejected Trump lawsuits to stop or overturn election results. This goes back to the opening. Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were states Trump wanted, expected, and most importantly, needed to win. To his shock, to Republicans’ disappointment, and to Democrats’ awe, he lost all of them. All 6 are states in which African American, Latino, and/or Native American voters proved decisive, in favor of Joe Biden. In a nutshell, that’s why Trump and the GOP want to limit voting, particularly by people of color. Without a doubt, this is…”American Conservatives’ Open Political Secret: Fear of the Black (Mostly) and Brown Vote!”
I’m done; holla back!
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