The Republican Party is trying to cancel anyone who thinks differently.
That includes me, and I’m guessing anyone who reads this newspaper, as well as 81 million other Americans who voted Democratic in the last presidential election — more than any other candidate has ever received.
As they do with the catastrophic dangers of climate change, the overwhelming flood of guns on the streets, and the degrading poverty in our schools, housing and physical health, Republicans would like to simply wish us away.
The Republican Party is working overtime to eliminate our voices. Republican politicians have introduced some 165 bills so far this year to restrict access to voting in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, and other states. The bills seek to limit voting by mail, make it more difficult to get a ballot, cut voting hours, make it much harder for people to register to vote, secretly purge voter rolls, and all kinds of other nonsense.
It’s all devoted to one purpose — eliminate non-white, Democratic voices in how we are governed.
Republican politicians in Georgia just passed a law prohibiting people from giving food and drinking water to people waiting for hours on impossibly long lines to vote. Georgia Republican officials have created the long lines by eliminating far too many places where and when you can vote.
They’re saying, in effect, you have to wait on these ridiculous lines, and nobody can help you with a bite to eat or drink to help you stay on your feet and make it through your long wait. In other words, why don’t you just go home without voting?
I devoted a lot of my time as a New York City elementary school teacher to educating children to become responsible citizens who participate in how we are governed. Students from all over the world filled my classroom — including South America, South Asia, Africa, and the streets of the Bronx and Queens.
I cherish the ideals of our country and the simple beauty of citizenship. It was critical to my job that I thoroughly communicate the idea that all people are created equal, and we all have a voice in what our government should do, what it expects from us, and how it can help us “form a more perfect union,” in the words of the U.S. Constitution.
So it is with particular anger that I see the Republican Party trying to negate the substance of what I taught my students.
The hard truth is the Republican Party doesn’t think people of color — Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans — are equal to white people, and don’t deserve a voice in our government.
Republican politicians — from the U.S. Supreme Court to state legislatures — are trying to cut us out of democracy, often in the name of practically non-existent voter fraud.
I feel like I’m in a Star Wars movie called “The Empire Machine Guns the Vote.”
We should re-name the Republican Party. They should be known from now on as “The Democracy-Killing Party.”
I read about this important idea recently. If Republicans want to take away our right to vote, it’s something very much worth fighting for.
During the campaign, I donated money to Fair Fight and other groups that register new voters in Georgia. They succeeded in helping to elect Raphael Warnock — an African American minister — and Jon Ossoff, a Jewish American filmmaker, to the U.S. Senate.
I also donated funds to voter registration groups in Arizona to help get out the vote.
The election of two Democrats to the U.S. Senate in Georgia and two in Arizona really upset the Republican Party. They just don’t trust democracy to do what they want it to do — namely, run the government to help wealthy white people; destroy our common environment for the sake of oil, gas and coal company profits; and sell even more guns — again, for the sake of corporate profits. They want to shut the door against our voices.
I know the economy is not doing well for most of us right now. But if you can, give even as little as $1 to voter registration groups in George (such as Black Voters Matter), Arizona (such as Mi Familia Vota Education Fund), and other states.
They help prevent the democracy killers from canceling our voices.
We need to make the democracy killers fail so we can lift up our country, to help get the nation where it needs to go. We have to work harder to make “liberty and justice for all” more than a phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance.