The “Soul of America” is revealed in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” The soul of America is under attack by an extreme right that seeks to divide rather than unify, obstructing justice for all. Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Progressives protested and brought about social reforms through legislation, Executive Orders, Supreme Court Rulings and Amendments to the Constitution. Reforms came about in Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Women’s Rights, Worker’s Rights, Transgender Rights. Reforms provided a “safety net” through social programs that provide insurance for health care, unemployed, seniors, children, people with disabilities and the regulation, not entitlements but insurance into “We the People paid the premiums. Reforms checked the unfettered financial practices that brought about depressions/recessions in 1909, 1920-1921, 1929 ,1973-75, the 1980’s, and 2008.
These national unifying reforms are under assault in the Twentieth-first century. The power to redress the grievances of our citizens is found in the First Amendment right “to assemble and to petition the government” and We the People are able to put into action in the right to vote. Democracy is a participatory form of government. Our civic duty is to be politically knowledgeable and active to protect democracy.
Activism comes in many forms: marching, petitioning representation, funding, joining a party organization, writing a blog and most important: Voting in All Elections!
Trumpism is undermining our judicial system’s ability to provide “justice for all” by limiting investigative powers of the Mueller Probe and the FBI, plus maintaining that the President is above the law. It delegitimizes the civic right to protest by categorizing participants as “angry mobs” while inciting chants of “lock her up”and body slamming. .
Twentieth Century reforms have empowered a diversified America that provided a plurality for Democrats. There have been five presidential elections in the 21st Century. Only one Republican has won the popular vote, George W. Bush in his second term. However, opposition to diversity and reform have flipped the Democratic Solid South to a Republican Solid and allowed Trumpism to co-opt the Republican Party. All states have become more multi-ethnic and politically engaged, evident in the election of Barack Obama. For that reason, Trump has claimed the existence of rampant voter fraud to give Republican controlled states an excuse to enact laws that suppress the vote of minorities.
The Governor of each state controls voting laws. The Justice Department adjudicates voting laws that differ from state to state. Some state laws end up being reviewed by the Supreme Court, in which Brett Kavanaugh holds the swing vote. There are attempts to suppress the vote in Georgia, Missouri and North Dakota, all involving voter identification rules. Voter ID requirements tend to disenfranchise minorities. Currently, Georgia Civil rights groups are suing the Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is also running as a candidate for Governor. Kemp, as sitting Secretary of State. He, has implemented the “exact match voting law”. In a tight race against Democrat Stacey Abrams, an African-American, Kemp is using the “exact match voting law to disenfranchise African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and women, contesting 53,000 ‘pending’ voter registrations according to the Associated Press. 70% of the voters effected are African-American. In North Dakota and Missouri, ID laws are being Challenged:
CNN October 14,2018 article,
Native Americans run into huge voting hurdle in NORTH Dakota
“ This week, the Supreme Court declined to overturn North Dakota controversial voter ID law,which requires residents to show identification with a current street address. A P.O. Box does not qualify. (Brett Kavanaugh voted to decline.)
Native Americans tend to not use physical street addresses due to living on reservations an also over represented in the homeless population, according to the Urban Institute. It is no accident that voter ID restrictions are enacted by Republican controlled states that have two incumbent Democratic Senators. Native Americans voters were crucial in Heidi Heidkamp’s last election. Recent polls all show Missouri’s Senate race,Claire McCaskill vs. Josh Hawley, as a statistical tie. Please refer to article on VOTING RIGHTS.