Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What resisters care about

Vice sponsored a poll of the sort of people who make up "the resistance" to try to find out what matters most to us. (I'd qualify in their sample and if you are reading this, you might too.) They sum it up:

Voting is an American value, and one that faces a frontal assault from the most reactionary forces in our country.

First and foremost, we want people to be able to vote, do be able to participate democratically in deciding the future of this country. This means supporting a raft of reforms at state and federal levels in the mechanics of how citizens establish their eligibility: more automatic voter registration, same day registration, and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds when they apply for a driver’s license. All of this should be no-brainers; in our technological environment, the notion that it is hard for states to establish whether individuals live where they claim and are of age is simply laughable.

Other reforms would make voting easier: mail-in ballots, time off for voting on early voting days if people with difficult schedules as in fast food employment need it, and simply more polling places if voting requires such venues. (I have questioned whether mail voting might lower the feeling of participating in a national citizenship ritual which has its own attractions, but we almost certainly are going that way.)

Republicans act as if they know that restricting the vote is a life and death priority for their very unpopular priorities. As conservative pundit David Frum has explained:

The Republican Party has a platform that can’t prevail in democratic competition. ... When highly committed parties strongly believe [in] things that they cannot achieve democratically, they don’t give up on their beliefs — they give up on democracy.

Resisters want to expand voting rights because we believe we are the future. Let's make it so.

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