Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Voting Rights Act

On March 15, 1965 (8 days after the first attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery was marred by violence committed by law enforcement officials). President Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of legislation guaranteeing voting rights for all. The act was finally signed into law on August 6, 1965.

A strong part of the reason that Johnson felt compelled to address the issue was the fact that the events in Selma were captured on film by news agencies, causing outrage throughout the country. The movie “Selma” (which not enough people have seen) graphically illustrates the racial injustice that still persisted in his country 97 years after the passage of the 14th Amendment. If you have not seen the movie, you can see it in its entirety by clicking on the link below:

As a result of legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, states started to pass more restrictive voting laws in 2010, and the Supreme Court ruling of June 25, 2013 further weakened the Voting Rights Act. As a result, the 2016 Presidential election was the first one that was held after the Supreme Court ruling – with disastrous results. 98 of the 100 largest newspapers printed editorials in the fall that Donald Trump was not fit to be President. In the end, Hillary Clinton received endorsements from 57 newspapers, and Trump only received endorsements from 2. Thirty five of the 98 newspapers either did not endorse any one at all, or they endorsed either Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.

Although Trump was helped to his “victory” due to the assistance of FBI director James Comey and the Russian government (which has been acknowledged by 17 separate intelligence agencies) the most significant factor that allowed Trump to win a narrow victory in the electoral college, in spite of the fact that he lost the popular vote by 3,000,000 votes, was voter suppression. Trump’s margin of victory in Michigan was a tiny 10,704 votes. In Wisconsin, it was 22,177, and in Pennsylvania, it was 67,416 votes. Although it is impossible to know exactly how many people were prevented from voting, but the article below will provide some clues:

Fortunately, the laws currently on the books have prevented further erosion of voting rights, at least for now. Federal courts declared against the redistricting on November 39, 2016, and Federal courts also ruled against redistricting in Texas earlier this week. Now that Jeff Sessions is the Attorney General (despite the fact that he committed perjury during his testimony to Congress) it is not clear that the protection will continue to exist.

When he testified on January 10, he stated that he felt that the Voting Rights Act was intrusive, and he had no problem with voter ID laws.

Like virtually all of Trump’s cabinet picks, he is completely unqualified for the position that he was nominated for, a point that Elizabeth Warren brought home when she attempted to read Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter.

There is strong suspicion that Preet Bharara was fired to prevent him from investigating Trump’s finances, which would constitute obstruction of justice, and would certainly be an impeachable offense. Coupled with Trump’s declining mental state, as well as growing evidence of interference by the Russia government, it is quite likely that Trump will be impeached before he is in office for a year.

However, that is not what would be best for the country.

What we actually need is a thorough and independent investigation into the collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. If it is as comprehensive as all of the intelligence agencies suspect, than the only possible remedy is to void the results of the election, and appoint Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States. Since Donald Trump was sworn in on January 20, she would technically be the 46th President of the United States. As a result, our country would be significantly safer, and we could all sleep better at night.

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