Republicans will try everything to disillusion vulnerable voters; why it won’t work

Illustration by Sebastien Thibault

Quite bluntly, aside from the most consequential and misconstrued error of Republicans to eliminate this affinity to Donald Trump, the party is continually finding new ways to completely shatter any hopes of ever showing the capability and effectiveness to take back the White House. In fact, with their goals hinging on the perpetuation of obstructionism and ineptitude, Congress also looks bleak.

Now, as a Democrat, sure, this a good thing.

The Republican platform and party leaders are so convoluted, that these days we have a combination of a gibbering lunatic in Marjorie Taylor Greene, and then a Trump loyalist in Kevin McCarthy. Of course, we can’t forget Mitch McConnell’s “scorch earth” desire in the Senate. You almost wonder what platform McConnell even belongs to in these ambiguous days for the party. Perhaps we can call it the “obstructionist party.”

There is a very beguiling piece in The Atlantic this week. The piece is written by Adam Serwer, titled, “The Capitol Rioters Won,” and I found myself disagreeing, comparatively, with his evaluation.

My biggest grievance with our current societal norms lies in the very distinctive and vexatious phenomenon of sensationalism. When it comes to pertinent information and politically based magnitudes, everything and anything runs through a constant stream of how tumultuous or how magnificent something can be. If it’s the economy, the federal government deliberates ways to work to stimulate it and make sure the Federal Reserve plays into the designs. If it’s immigration, you either support assisting foreigners who are attempting to achieve lawful migration (even though far too many people focus on those who don’t), or you are a racist and are wanting to attain full white supremacy. Sadly, there are far too many of those people now as well.

There is no equilibrium.

Consider this passage from Serwer:

Republicans are not “moving on” from the 2020 election. In state after state, Republican-controlled legislatures have passed laws making it more difficult to vote, in some cases explicitly targeting Democratic constituencies. Over the weekend, Texas Democrats temporarily blocked one such measure that would have not only outlawed methods that Democratic-led counties have used to increase turnout, but also curtailed early Sunday voting, a tradition for many Black churches. The Texas Republican state legislator Travis Clardy later insisted that the limitation on Sunday voting was a “typo”; if lawmakers can’t draw up legislation dealing with Americans’ fundamental rights without egregiously discriminating on the basis of race, they shouldn’t hold office to begin with.

Democrats should fight, obstinately, to curtail the destruction and debasement of our democratic values. Although, we must remember some of the most foundational overtures of our political history have featured Republicans attempting to curtail the ablity of many Americans to vote. They have fought tirelessly to disenfranchise millions of Americans, and this is not a new ploy. While this particular strategy in Texas is more than contemptible, it’s yet another reminder to Democrats and citizens living in this country that we must not forget the need for engagement and involvement. You can’t simply show up during Presidential elections and assume all will be well: you must be aware of what is happening within the confines of the government’s authority to govern.

In the more traditional corners of conservative media, writers at outlets like National Review argue for a more restricted electorate. In the more explicitly Trumpist corners of the internet, writers argue that secession or civil war is preferable to sharing power with those they consider “citizen-aliens.” The broad consensus they delimit, which you can see in the actions of Republican-controlled state legislatures and in Congress, is that if Americans choose the wrong political party, they should be coerced by the machinery of the state into choosing the correct one.

The same racial and religious polarization that is fueling the Republican turn against democracy has turned the Democratic Party into an institution that is potentially incapable of confronting the problem. The relative homogeneity of the GOP has left Republicans short of a national majority and reliant on minoritarian institutions to wield power. But conversely, because the Democrats remain a racially and ideologically diverse coalition, they lack their rivals’ unity of action. The mostly white party can be ruthless, but it does not represent a majority; the diverse party represents a majority, but coalition politics prevents it from being ruthless.

This is a superlative and fundamental aspect; it’s the very acquiescence of the state of affairs, and this can be defined as the undeviating polarization of the country. One party (if we can call it that) is cheering for a civil war, featuring bloodshed and incognizance. The other party, which currently holds the power in the executive branch, chooses decorum and conciliation.

When you analyze America as a whole—and we can do this on a rather austere level—we understand that the country is broken into factions of economic wealth. We see folks who are in an economically privileged category, and then we see “average” Americans, who are just hoping to make it through each day. Those who hold the power of financial dominance are easily able to ignore the intricacies of modern-day life for many of their fellow peers. For example, attempting to understand the struggle of an immigrant family from South America, who are merely trying to better their chances of a suitable life in a country of exceptional success, is beneath their obligation.

These are not morally equivalent outcomes; attacking Americans’ ability to choose their leaders because you fear their choice is not the same as ensuring that they have the right to do so. Unlike their counterparts in the GOP, Democrats are not seeking to disenfranchise voters on the grounds that they are ignorant or do not accept American values as liberals understand them.

For the Trumpist base, defined by the sense that a country that belongs to them is slipping away, a future full of elections contested by a right-wing party and a slightly less right-wing party would be an ideal outcome. Trump’s election was, among other things, a gesture of outrage from his supporters at having to share the country with those unlike them. Successfully restricting democracy so as to minimize the political power of rival constituencies would mean, at least as far as governing the country is concerned, that they would not have to. Most elected Republicans have repudiated the violence of the Capitol riot, but they share the belief of the rank and file that the rioters’ hearts were in the right place.

We must understand this conspicuous prerequisite: Republicans have very little to offer to the “average” American voter. They may offer a value system of tax cuts to the wealthy and the resoluteness to “weed out” immigrants, but other than a continuous denunciation of Democratic foundations, what more can they present to influence the independent voter? Very little.

It’s preposterous to observe Republicans converging on states throughout the country, using these coercive voting restrictions. However, we must continually remind ourselves that it’s only through distinct education, that we might see the voters recognize the significance of what leadership should look like. The preeminent issue, right now, is not embedded in the subjugation of so many people who will always have their right to vote, but rather the polarization of our democratic foundation.

Our finest moment is approaching. When that moment approaches, it will be unequivocal; it will show the American people what reputable, tangible leadership can do to better the nation as a whole. This phenomenon won’t be characterized by whether Trump is influencing a party or voters. If our country refutes a sense of permanence and equanimity; then, in fact, we are in trouble…

Works Cited:

1. Serwer, Adam. “The Capitol Rioters Won.” The Atlantic. June 3, 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/06/capitol-rioters-won/619075/. Accessed June 3, 2021.