The Country Is In Real Danger
In a particularly clear analysis on the front page of The New York Times on May 19, Reid J. Epstein summarizes the Republican races for various state and federal jobs with a headline. “In Primaries, G.O.P Voters Reward a Lie.”
The lie is the one perpetrated by former President Trump that he actually won the 2020 Presidential election. The movement in the GOP, is to replace sitting governors, secretaries of state and other local and statewide election officials who did not ascribe to the Trump lie (he lost by 7 million votes and by enough in the Electoral College so that it wasn’t that close) with people who would seize the election system and use Republican majority state legislatures to overturn the votes of the people if that vote does not go their way.
Now for all you Trumpers out there and for that matter all good Republicans, you must admit that this has gone too far. The country must count on a reliable system of voting and election ballot counting. If the system by which our nation chooses its leaders is going to be undermined by a cabal of individuals who will do anything to control the nation, we will become no better than a banana republic or the Nixon White House.
I even have my own voting story.
A few weeks back, I went to vote in the primary election on two statewide ballot initiatives. I had asked for a mail-in ballot first. I filled it out and mailed it in. It came back uncounted. Why? Because I had not added my Texas drivers’ license number to my mail-in form. The instruction to do this is hidden underneath the flap of the envelope with which one is to return the ballot and I did not see it. Furthermore, I am not so keen on providing this information via the mail anyway. No matter. That’s what it takes to vote in Texas now. Who needs a voter identification card? Rather you need a picture ID. I am not really bothered by this all that much, but it does tend to disenfranchise those without a car.
So instead of redoing the mail-in ballot, I just went to the polls having thrown the rejected ballot away.
Well, the computer at the polling place knew I had received a mail-in ballot and I had to forfeit the ballot to vote in person. But I had tossed it. Instead, a poll worker had to fill out a form that I had discarded the ballot before I was allowed to vote. I almost walked out it was so elaborate. From now on, I will only vote in person and not request a mail-in ballot. The legislature has successfully eliminated my desire to vote at my convenience.
I will probably go through this again when I vote in the primary run-offs on May 24, but I saved that mail-in ballot so I suspect it will go faster.
What is clear is that Republican legislatures all over the country are doing everything in their power to suppress the vote by limiting mail-in voting, eliminating drive-by voting, and doing away with all night voting—all ideas that are both helpful and more democratic.
I don’t know what happened to the traditional Republican Party. Other than Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski, those guys and gals have all been replaced by extreme Trumpists, purveyors of the Big Lie and the full-throated acolytes of MAGA.
We in America are faced with a dreadful choice. We either back the Biden-led left-leaning, incompetent Democrats or give in to the Red Hats.
I, for one, will do neither and just hope that someone can emerge on one side or the other who can bring us back to sanity and away from the two extremes.
I just don’t know who that person is.