Thoughts on elections & politics

I always enjoy reading or listening to Republicans telling me what I think. Clearly, conservatives think they have supernatural mental powers to read minds. Particularly tiresome are their accusations of Democrats limiting their freedoms, their ideas of a strong national defense, their superior cosmology, and their superior family values. And, let’s face it – the Republicans have worn out the strategy of accusing the Democrats of exactly what they, the Republicans, are doing. Really – its time to find a new tactic.

The simple fact of the matter is they know they are losers. Smearing anyone who is different from them is a sure sign of a fearful, insecure, minority. Banning books, supporting hate, an un-willingness to invest in infrastructure, and persistent anti-intellectual attitudes all expose their lack of ability to deal with change.

Today’s “conservatives” don’t support the constitution, the rule of law, or the peaceful transfer of power. On January 6 they tried to stop the will of the people who overwhelming voted for Joe Biden. Many, openly support the invasion of Ukraine by Putin (just watch Fox commentators). Replacing democracy with autocracy is their big idea for remaining in power.

Nineteen states have passed laws making it harder to vote since 2020. This is the response to the Big Lie (the last presidential election was stolen). Twenty-five other states have passed laws that expand voting access ─ a response to carrying out an election under the conditions of a global pandemic. Thus, the two political parties have a fundamental disagreement about what democracy means.

In the new book, 100% Democracy The Case for Universal Voting, E.J. Dionne and Miles Rapoport propose a rule that requires all citizens to vote. Mandatory or compulsory voting is currently used in about 22 other countries.

Democracy requires free and fair elections, which are now threatened due to the desperate, anti-democratic actions of the 21st century Republicans. In their new book, Dionne and Rapoport offer a solution. Make voting a universal civic duty. All citizens vote in every election for their location.

Dionne and Rapoport note that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right to vote. Instead, it protects citizens from infringement of the right to vote. The distinction may sound trivial, but in many other countries, the state must proactively make it easy for citizens to vote. In the United States, on the other hand, citizens take on much of the responsibility of voting and cannot easily seek redress from the state when new burdens are enacted.

Republicans do not hesitate to make shit-up when it meets their needs. Critical Race Theory was never taught in public schools, but they want it removed. The idea of educating students so that they never feel uncomfortable – means they will never really learn anything.  Banning books – means they are not really interested in free speech.  Alternatives to scientific treatments for viruses don’t work. GOP attacks on science are because they don’t understand science and/or they can’t use it to their advantage.  And, of course there is the Republican attack on reproductive rights this includes not only abortions but use of birth control.

Politicians who are anti-abortion are also anti–birth control and anti-queer and anti-Black because at the end of the day, they only support a way of life in which they—wealthy white people—are in charge and they are the sole dictators of when, how, and with whom we have sex, procreate, and build our families. It’s about maintaining white patriarchal power and control. It always has been. And anything that allows people to determine their own futures—such as birth control and abortion—is a threat to their power.

Republicans may be smart(ish), so they’re not going to take away your birth control pills, they’re just going to continue to blur the line between abortion and birth control. This is because abortion was never about life for these Republicans. Remember, these are the people who argued that your grandmother should be willing to die for the Dow Jones Industrial Average when it came to COVID lockdowns. These are the people who believe in the death penalty. No, this isn’t about life, this is about power. Republicans want to blur the line between birth control and abortion because they want the power to control what happens to women’s bodies. On the other hand, Republicans say they are pro-live and pro-gun. The hypocrisy is hard to miss. They have become the equivalent of the American version of the Taliban.