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Voting is Our Right. Period.

Since the 1980s it has been the explicit policy of the Republican party to drive down the number of people who can vote in an election. The reason why isn’t secret either, Republican leadership believes that when more people vote, Republicans lose elections. Normally politicians are clever enough to hide their profoundly cynical and anti-democratic activities in the name of safe-guarding the “integrity” of voting, but just this past week, our blithering idiot-in-chief Donald Trump once again said the quiet part out loud, protesting that if every American could safely participate by voting by mail, no Republican would win office ever again. Such an overt perversion of the bedrock upon which any democracy rests, is not just sickening, but terrifying. It suggests an open disdain for our form of government, and a confidence that so few Americans care anymore that there will be no consequences in trying to openly steal the election this November. But while Americans may not be able to gather in the streets to protest this political coup, it’s very clear that they want every American to be able to safely, and easily vote:

Allow any voter to vote by mail if they want to?

Support: 70%

Automatically register all eligible citizens to vote?

Support: 69%

Achieving what by all rights should be one of the simplest and most basic tasks of a functioning democracy will not, however, be easy. Republicans are fighting furiously on many fronts to make sure as few Americans as possible can participate in the upcoming elections. They are closing down polling places, challenging vote-by-mail legislation in the courts, and writing new legislation to prevent people from exercising their franchise. Luckily, there are still some in the judiciary who believe in democracy and are doing their part to stem the authoritarian onslaught, but such efforts often seem to be the exceptions that prove the rule.

It is clear, though, that Americans at large are more interested than ever in having their voices heard at the ballot box. Despite all these Republican efforts to prevent and endanger voters, nearly 500 seats have flipped from Republican to Democrat over the last few years, often the result of record turn-out numbers. Now with COVID-19 making the very thought of in-person voting untenable the American people want the government to act, and let everyone vote-by-mail.

Seeing this rising tide, Republicans are reaching for one of the oldest tricks in the book to prevent the government from fulfilling its promise to the people: deny funding to any institution that could successfully administer the election. This so-called “starve the beast” method has been used for decades to undermine the functions of extremely popular and effective institutions from the IRS and the SEC to, most famously, the USPS. Already crippled by ridiculous pension pre-funding,

Republicans are attempting to finish the job at the very moment when Americans need the post-office most! Without the USPS, Americans will be forced to choose between participating in the democratic process and staying safe during a probable second wave of COVID-19 this fall.

This Sophie's choice should not be the future so many of our people face! We must take this incredible tragedy that has befallen all of us, in which everything has changed and transmute it into a rebirth of a more socially conscious society! Just because it's the right thing to do, and it's what the people want, doesn't mean we'll get any of it, given the state of our government and our "leaders," unless we put pressure on all our representatives through a broad and enduring movement of people, demanding change. Don’t miss this chance to change our country for the better. Join us every Tuesday, in growing solidarity and power until we take back our democracy from amoral special interests, and greedy politicians: Don't Shop on Tuesdays!

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