Monday, October 25

The numbers are daunting. Republicans are winning by normalizing voter suppression | David sirota

VAnother repression has existed since the republic. Stories of subterfuge and ballot-stuffing schemes are such an important part of American political folklore, a complete book about them. So, in a sense, there is nothing particularly novel about the efforts of Republican politicians to manipulate the vote, or the important revelations that right-wing groups and corporate officers they are coordinating statewide campaigns to make it difficult to vote.

However, a new nugget of poll data illustrates that something more fundamental has happened: voter suppression is no longer a plot devised in the shadows and publicly denied, fearing criticism from a population that considers such measures grotesque. . Instead, voter suppression is having its launch party, because more and more Americans now see it as a perfectly legitimate and even laudable campaign tactic.

The data point comes in a new CBS / YouGov Poll, buried under the top line finding that nearly two-thirds of Republican voters do not view Joe Biden as the rightful winner of the 2020 election, despite Biden’s electoral college and popular vote victories.

Further down in the poll, pollsters asked Republican voters if before the 2022 election they would advise Republican leaders to “inform the public about popular policies and ideas” or instead “push for changes in voting rules. “, based on” You will win once those changes are in place. “

Nearly half of Republicans supported the latest measure, with the strongest demographics supporting Republican, non-white Republican, and white Republican women without a college degree.

This wouldn’t be so profound if it were a poll only of cynical and campaign-hardened Republican consultants. But here we see that an almost majority of grassroots Republicans voters they have internalized the heartless cynicism of their party’s political class.

In the same way that so many Democratic voters have become calculated TV experts who decide whether something is good policy based solely on how they perceive it will supposedly work with moderate voters, many Republican voters have become dead-eyed operatives who They actively support voter suppression regardless of how it might conflict with their party’s jokes about freedom and democracy.

Liberals are still hoping that exposing the latest voter suppression scheme could miraculously embarrass Republican lawmakers into backing down, but those Republican leaders are absolutely proud of their efforts, because a large portion of their voters want that.

Indeed, Roger stone, Karl Rove Y Lee Atwater they have created a Republican electorate of Roger Stones, Karl Roves and Lee Atwaters. Shame alone won’t combat that kind of mercenary amorality. put an end to obstructionism And passing federal legislation to protect and expand the franchise is probably the best hope.

The new CBS poll does not appear to be an outlier. A Economist / YouGov survey March found that 57% of Americans say they would support or are unsure about opposing “laws that would make it harder to vote.” A Associated Press Poll in April he found that while the majority of the country supports making it easier to vote, the majority of Republican voters do not. And the voter identification laws, which are sculpted to make voting difficult, are wildly popular, according to various surveys.

The importance of this rule change is hard to overstate.

For most of my life, campaigns and elections have been considered a blood sport, but at least they had some unwritten rules. It was generally assumed that the outer limits of acceptable tactics were negative ads and Super Pac spending, with the spending of anonymous dark money dumped in that gray area between what was deemed legitimate and not legitimate.

Although cheating to reduce turnout was always a threat to steal an election, outright voter suppression was generally perceived as undervalued, if not criminal, a tactic that would always be confined to the shadows, deterred by public embarrassment. Campaigns and politicians rarely accepted the idea that they were actively trying to make sure people didn’t vote; they either denied it or disguised it as a necessary way to guarantee the integrity of the ballot boxes.

But now, another Overton window has changed. Super Pac and elections that flood the spending of dark money are the norm, and voter suppression tactics and legislation are seen by many as just another totally permissible aspect of political competition.

Perhaps it was always like that, perhaps conservative voters have always been automatons who win at all costs. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that women and people of color were explicitly banned from voting, which is the ultimate form of voter suppression.

But maybe in the modern era, after the right to vote was supposedly extended to everyone, revenge is part of the bigger Trump effect, which among more and more Republicans has literally legitimized everything necessary to take power. This effect is clearly reverberating not only among paid political professionals, but also among Republican grassroots voters.

It is important to remember that the psychological change is not a reaction to the actual proof that the Democrats are stealing the elections. On the contrary, the normalization of voter suppression is occurring even though there is without concrete and substantiated evidence that electoral fraud systematically affects US elections.

In other words, all of this is happening without the kind of evidence that can justify cynicism about elections. (And after the election shenanigans of 2000 in Florida, it is Democratic voters who have arguably the greatest reason to question the integrity of the election.) The change is the product of both the GOP’s fact-free “electoral fraud” propaganda and a power-minded victory at all costs among a large subset of conservative voters.

The former is an obvious problem that is being supercharged by the misinformation miasma unleashed by social media and exacerbated by the decline of fact-based journalism that anchors the news.

Arguably, the latter is even more worrisome, because it is operating at the synaptic level. Politics has apparently turned into a tribal war so red against blue that a significant portion of Republicans now seem willing to trample on the very ideals that the United States is supposed to represent in the name of rescuing the country.

They are willing to sacrifice democracy to supposedly save it, an authoritarian mentality that never ends well.

  • David Sirota is a columnist for The Guardian US and an award-winning investigative journalist. He is editor-in-chief of Jacobin and founder of the daily poster. He served as a speechwriter for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

  • This piece was originally published on the daily poster

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