A New York Times’ article reveals once again that voter suppression is a necessary staple of right wing extremist rule in this era when politics and demographic trends are moving against the right’s political project. On its face, its patently anti-democratic aims should earn it no broad backing, but because of its billionaire supporters, clever packaging billing it as protecting the “integrity” of the election process, Republican control of a majority of state capitals, federal courts that are increasingly filled by conservative judges, and support from a substantial layer of the white electorate, that isn’t the case. In fact. it’s a clear and present danger, and thus should figure high on the agenda of the progressive movement. If I stopped here, however, I would leave out what is foundational to this anti-American assault.
It’s, of course, no mystery. It’s racism that animates its sponsors and gives it legitimacy in the minds of many people. Just as racism forcibly denied rights, opportunities, and equality to millions of people of color, scarred the political and social consciousness of white people, and severely limited the country’s progressive trajectory in the past, it does much the same today — in this instance and generally.
Indeed, unless vigorously resisted by a majoritarian, multi-racial coalition that locates the struggle against racism at the core of the “Battle for Democracy” in its many manifestations, a future that many of us would have thought unimaginable not too long ago could be starring us in the face.