Democracy is under attack here in the United States and around the world. Authoritarian leaders are suppressing pro-democracy movements everywhere.The result has been only death and destruction. Some leaders have even called for and engaged in murderous attacks on their own citizens. Others, through neglect and incompetence, demonstrate their lack of care for the lives of their citizens. Even during a pandemic, they seek only to undermine elections and hold onto power.
The United States has seen an assault on it’s capital, the seat of American democracy, by extremists under the influence of propaganda decimated by big media networks and national politicians. The attack on democracy in the United States didn’t end on January 6th. Politicians and partisan news outlets continue to lie about the election. Those same lying politicians are enacting voting restrictions across the nation. They are even criminalizing the provision of water to people standing in long lines, lines that they should never have to stand in but for the politically motivated voter suppression efforts of corrupt legislators and officials.
These same politicians, citing fake news and false propaganda, have unleashed an offensive onslaught of undemocratic legislation designed specifically to suppress the vote of American citizens in states across this nation. Meanwhile, authoritarian politicians appeal to racial animosity and hatred to stoke their base and garner support for restrictions on the right to vote.
Reforming the filibuster will allow democracy to prevail at a time when democracy needs to be strengthened and protected.
These actions were made possible by the erosion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Supreme Court in its decision in Shelby County v. Holder (2013) allowed states with a history of restricting colored people’s right to vote to avoid federal oversight. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC (2010) allowed special interests and billionaires to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections. Now authoritarian leaders are spreading disinformation and passing laws to undermine our democracy. This situation demands aggressive action to preserve voting rights through the enactment of the For The People Act (HR1/S1), The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4), the Washington, D.C. Admissions Act (HR 51), and by addressing the filibuster.
The For the People Act and the John Lewis voting Rights Advancement Act protect the rights of American citizens to vote. The Washington, D.C. Admissions Act gives American citizens living in Washington, D.C., the right to full representation in the United States Senate. Reforming the filibuster will allow democracy to prevail at a time when democracy needs to be strengthened and protected.
At a time when democracy is under attack, we cannot allow undemocratic procedures like the filibuster to be used to undermine the will of the American people. The filibuster should not be used to allow the minority to control the Senate. Democracy must prevail and the filibuster, in its current form, stands in the way.
America’s grand experiment in constitutional democracy almost came to an end on January 6th. The Constitution declares that “we the people” choose our representatives. Those who seek to take the right to self-government away from us are a threat to our national security, because they seek to overthrow our democracy and the right of the people to rule themselves. When traitors seek to take away our right to vote, they undermine the people’s right to self-government and all the benefits that come with a government accountable to the public.