We here at Ye Olde Blogge have been very worried about the future of our democracy, and by future, I mean will we ever return to being a democracy since it is our steadfast belief that we have long since ceased to be a democracy. There are those who are better informed and better educated about such things who might disagree. That’s okay. Please include links and quotes in the comments. I’d like to see them.
We’re watching the GQP steamroll every facet of our democracy right before our very eyes. Think about it:
- THE SUPREMES are making nonsensical legal arguments that bend the law into pretzels in order to uphold GQP political points. See their recent decisions upholding the Texas Abortion Bounty Law and striking down vaccine mandates. Take no comfort in their vote to release Trump’s WH records. It don’t mean they support democracy. It’s just signals that the GQP is fixing to cut Ye Olde Pussy Grabber loose.
- THE STATES continue to pass state voter suppression and nullification laws. According the Brennan Center 34 voter restriction laws have been enacted in 19 states with another 440 bills introduced in 49 states during the 2021 legislative session. Many of these bills allow partisan officials to interfere with elections or reject ballots. Out of those bills, 152 are being carried over into the 2022 legislative session and another 13 have been pre-filed. You really think Georgia is going to allow Warnock and Abrams to be elected? Florida, Demmings and Fried? Arizona, Kelly and Hobbs? Right. I got some waterfront property in Florida for sale, too. Let me know in the comments, okay? For you, I’ll make you a special deal.
- THE GQP + 2 just declined to pass voting rights legislation. Never forget that: it was the GQP that stopped voting rights from passing and cheered when they did so and congratulated Manchin and Sinema on jobs well done. If you watch the footage of the handshakes closely, you’ll see them palming the money.
Election 2022: What Could Go Wrong
I don’t really think it is a question of whether we’ll lose our democracy or not. I think our democracy is already gone. The question is what are you going to do about it? What can we do about it? Here are my thoughts on the matter:
Think about what might happen. Imagine the various scenarios that might transpire as the 2022 elections approach, the elections take place, and time until the winners take office. At each juncture, there is opportunity for nefarious actors to disrupt the election. The examples my paranoid mind thinks of:
- Voting locations are closed and removed in the run up to the election. This is already happening as dropboxes for absentee voting are being removed right now and various local election boards are announcing that polling locations are being reduced.
- Absentee voting applications are denied. Again, this is happening right now. Reports out of Texas indicate that up to 50% of the applications are being denied on technicalities like inconsistencies with the type of ID used in the multistep process.
- Voter roll purges like we saw in the run up to the 2018 election in which Kemp stole the election from Abrams are taking place. Since then, the purges have gotten a lot less press, but they still are taking place.
- Armed poll watchers are appearing at voting locations challenging specific voter’s credentials and right to be there, standing too close for comfort to voters as they go through the process, and otherwise interfering, harassing, and intimidating voters, especially likely Democratic voters, i.e. PoC’s and younger voters.
- Actual political violence occurring like shootings at polling places, confrontations and disputes over yard signs and other normal campaigning that citizens engage in, harassment and threats made to poll and campaign workers. There’s lots of possibilities here.
- Political assassinations of poll and election workers, candidates, and office holders. Don’t be surprised if one of the yahoos who have been arrested for threatening violence actually succeeds and kills someone.
- Violence at protests in which groups like the Proud Boys show up and attack peaceful protesters and marchers like they did during the #BLM protests after George Floyd’s death.
- State legislatures disallowing votes from specific counties and precincts so that they are not counted because of suspected, but never proven, election irregularities. Accusations will come from the GQP armed poll watchers much like they did in the 2020 election. No evidence will ever be produced, but under the voter nullification laws the states passed, none will be required. Accusations only will do. They’ll justify it by saying that’s all that’s needed for sexual harassment.
- Refusal to certify Democratic winners of elections. State legislatures, secretaries of state, and governors must certify the elections. Don’t be surprised if Republicans just refuse to certify Democratic winners because of election irregularities.
- Endless recounts and fraudits initiated by losing Republican candidates and state legislatures that will tie up the results of the elections for months in the hope that the public will lose interest or become hopelessly confused about who actually won. More importantly, so that a court has to decide who has won as in Gore v. Bush.
- Federal courts upholding the flimsy GQP challenges to election results of denying the Democratic challenges to the disallowing of votes, refusals to certify, or appointment of the winner in the name of election irregularities. The Supremes have demonstrated that they are not constrained by actual law or tradition or norms.
- Massive violent counter-attacks by right wing militias for the least provocation by left-leaning protesters. They were relying on it at the 6 January Insurrection, but the left refused to play that game. If there is little to no violence by the left after the elections, they will manufacture it in false-flag operations.
- Let me know what shenanigans you envision the GQP getting up to rig or steal the election in the comments.
YOU Can #SaveOurDemocracy
Now the question is what will YOU do about it? Better yet, what can you do about it?
- Vote make ’em steal the election. Make sure you go through all of the impediments that the state has erected to keep you from voting and vote.
- Volunteer for get out the vote campaigns. Every election there are GotV campaigns around the country. Some are national, some are local, some are partisan, some, nonpartisan. Volunteer for one of them. Work it. Democracy works when the electorate is involved and making it work. Watch Ye Olde Blogge for information on the various GotV campaigns like Postcards to Voters.
- Volunteer for campaigns. Work directly with a specific campaign. You can phone bank from home. You can stuff envelopes, assuming that the DeJoy hasn’t completely destroyed mail service by then. There are a thousand little things that you can do that will help a candidate.
- Volunteer to work at a poll. There will be intimidation and the risk of violence and other unpleasantness at the polls this time round. Don’t let that stop our democracy. They mean to scare us off. Don’t let them.
- Join groups like Indivisible who are likely to be organizing marches and other efforts to counter the voter suppression and nullification efforts of the GQP. Use these links:
- Indivisible: Started by ex-Congressional staffers in 2016 to help citizens organize to influence Congress. They’ve been massively successful and have chapters all over the country.
- Fair Fight: Stacey Abrams started the organization to counter the voting suppression tactics of the GQP in Georgia and is widely credited with delivering Warnock and Ossoff victories in 2020.
- When We All Vote: Michelle Obama’s organization that endeavors to increase participation in our elections.
- Join social media groups so that you can stay informed about what other like minded activists are going and can find out about marches and protests before they happen. Plan on attending as many as you can. Mass peaceful protest is the single most effective way to counter authoritarianism.
- Find non-violence training sessions. This one is harder to do. I’ve looked online but you don’t find much. I remember in the nuclear disarmament and South Africa divestment movements and even Act Up in the AIDS fight there were lots of non-violence training opportunities specifically aimed at mass peaceful protests.
- Talk to friends, family, acquaintances and anyone who will listen about your concerns and what you think is necessary. We must encourage participation in all facets of our democracy: voting and protesting. Now is the time to be taking chances.
Of course, no one knows what will happen. It is what makes an exercise like this so important. We have to be prepared for many different eventualities. You know that the other side is preparing. You see it reported in the news. They have heavy hitters out there encouraging people to organize and participate in stealing our democracy by becoming poll watchers, running for school boards and other local offices, and harassing and threatening elections officials.
Let me know what you think will happen and what you are preparing to do in case it does happen… in the comments.
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