In the News
Politicians All Speak in the Name of Democracy While Blocking People’s Empowerment
– Kathleen Chandler –
President Biden and various Democrats have numerous times attempted to get a bill addressing voting through Congress. The House narrowly passed the most recent version, HR 5746, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, by 220-203 votes. The Senate blocked a vote on it, using the 60-vote requirement to close debate to do so. The legislation addresses issues including voting access and election administration. Its most significant feature, however, is that it puts more decision-making power in the hands of the federal government, specifically the executive, not the states, as is currently the case.
During the Senate dispute, as is the case with disputes on the various state laws, those championing them all claim to be defending democracy. President Biden, commenting before the Senate vote, said, “I believe the threat to democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills, debate them, vote, let the majority prevail.” New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who heads the Senate, said, “To everyone who believes this chamber is still capable of defending democracy in its hour of great need, I urge a yes vote.” Senator Gary Peters of Michigan expressed a representative view given by those in favour saying, “Nothing less than the very future of our democracy is at stake.” Minority leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell said, “Today the Senate will need to prevent this factional frenzy from damaging our democracy, damaging the centre and damaging our republic forever.” Various Senators, those voting for and against, invoked the South and Jim Crow laws, each proclaiming others racist or defending themselves as not racist and all claiming to uphold democracy.
So just what kind of democracy is it that since its very founding to today ensures that even the most basic right to vote is not guaranteed? None of these politicians want renewal and renovation of the political process. Two things are occurring. One is a move by the federal government to control elections, hoping this will prevent a repeat of the 2020 elections and preserve the union even while conditions of civil war among the rulers escalate. Second, the various factions, using the claim of democracy, are trying to line up their constituencies to divide and divert the people while securing the narrow interests of the oligarchs they represent. Their concern is that the large majority are dissatisfied with existing government and taking their own stands for their rights, in strikes, demonstrations, through petitions, Zoom meetings and other means. They are reflecting the striving for their Right to Govern, for a democracy of the people’s own making.
(TML Daily, posted January 25, 2022)