“This is an issue that galvanizes, particularly minority voters, and speaking as a Black American, someone who lived through the age of Jim Crow segregation, someone who has seen court challenges where African Americans have had to use the Supreme Court … people have fought and lost their lives to have access to the ballot, to vote. There should be no retrogression in terms of making sure people have access to the franchise and unfettered access.”
Last week the state of Texas loosened gun restrictions. That’s almost incomprehensible in a state that already boasts some of the most relaxed (weakest) firearm regulations in the nation. But, for the hamster-dick right-wing extremists that dominate the Texas state legislature, any kind of gun restriction is a prospect more terrifying than a bunch of angry Black and Brown women storming into a Proud Boys meeting armed with attitudes and hair brushes.
And that’s pretty much who comprises both the Texas state legislature and the Proud Boys: old and middle-aged White men pissed off the world is no longer theirs to play with. Thus, they assert control the only way they know how – with guns.
Now, in Texas, people no longer need a license or even proper training to tote a firearm anywhere within the state’s 268,597 sm. (695,663 km).
Gosh, what could possibly go wrong?
Gun rights advocates have always proclaimed that responsible firearm owners have nothing to fear and the general public has nothing to fear from responsible firearm owners. But they’ve also screamed that any measure of regulation is a step towards elimination. They’ve warned about those proverbial “slippery slope” dilemmas, even though any nearby slope is slippery because of all the spittle flying out their chapped lips from screaming about gun rules.
Someone with more than half a brain stop the madness!
Contrast that shenanigans with the new voting regulations – restrictions – the same state legislature imposed shortly before then. Those rules limit early voting hours, ban drive-through voting and require large counties to redistribute polling places that could move sites away from areas with more Hispanic and Black residents.
The voting measures don’t surprise me. Ever since Barack Obama won his first election – fairly, legitimately and without question – legions of (mostly White) conservatives in state legislatures around the country have done everything they could to ensure that never happens again.
Conservatives have spouted the usual rhetoric about protecting the integrity of the voting process, just as they claim the need to protect their right (their right) to own firearms. I’ve noticed many of those old men – allegedly tough and strong – always express some degree of paranoia; their fear of someone invading their property and hurting their loved ones. Therefore, their guns are readily available. Stupid, paranoid people in the U.S. always reach for their guns and Christian Bibles when things look scary.
Strangely, though, they’ve long since recognized the power of the vote. Voting is actually more powerful and with longer lasting effects than firearms. A bullet could kill someone. A vote can put someone in office who will enact legislation that may alter society for decades.
And thus, they are scared.
It’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so serious. Right-wing extremists always seem to forget – or perhaps, never truly understood – that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the first amendment for a reason. You vote first to enact and ensure change in society. Then again, as I stated above, perhaps they do understand the significance of voting – and that’s why they do what they can to assure that only people with their similar and limited intellectual prowess can vote. With their guns and Bibles by their sides.
My parents told me of seeing television footage of White police officials attacking Black citizens protesting against discrimination and segregation laws and trying to vote in the Deep South in the 1950s and 60s. I recall my father, in particular, telling me that the former Soviet Union would display those images on their own TVs and point out this was an example of democracy.
The U.S. always promoted itself as a beacon of democracy; a government of and by the people.
I’ve seen those black-and-white images of 1950s and 1960s America in various retrospectives of a time how we used to be. Considering what conservative-dominated states legislatures have done to voting and gun laws in recent years, I keep seeing those old images in contemporary colors.
“My name is Bruce Castor, and I am the lead prosecutor – err – lead counsel for the 45th President of the United States. I was an assistant DA for such a long time that I keep saying prosecutor, but I do understand the difference.”
It should be worth noting that, earlier in his career, Castor fought to let Bill Cosby go free while Trump’s other impeachment lawyer, David Schoen, was set to defend Jeffrey Epstein before the latter died in prison.
“The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana has unanimously voted to censure Senator Bill Cassidy for his vote cast earlier today to convict former President Donald J. Trump on the impeachment charge.”
Louisiana State Republican Party, in a statement condemning recently-elected U.S. Senator Cassidy for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump
“President Trump may not know a lot about the framers, but they certainly knew a lot about him. Given the framers’ intense focus on danger to elections and the peaceful transfer of power, it is inconceivable that they designed impeachment to be a dead letter in the President’s final days in office, when opportunities to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power would be most tempting and most dangerous as we just saw. Thus, as a matter of history and original understanding, there is no merit to President Trump’s claim that he can incite an insurrection and then insist weeks later that the Senate lacks the power to even hear evidence at a trial, to even hold a trial.”
You have to understand something about the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They’re not entirely responsible for their actions. They had merely responded to the words of their newly-formed deity, Donald Trump. In the hours leading up to the siege, Trump had infused them with idea that he had been wronged by the voting process; that the 2020 elections had been manipulated by covert gangs of leftist forces determined to enforce abortions and gun confiscations upon helpless, red-blooded, bible-carrying Christian American citizens to ensure his loss. He was a victim, Trump maintained, and vicariously so were his minions.
Thus, the Trumpians had been victimized by the same queer-loving renegades and they were justified in storming the Capitol, tearing through offices, screaming like children told to come in for dinner, threatening others because they got their feelings hurt – all while dressed like ghosts of the Civil War and refugees from a Comic-Con conference gone wrong.
The Capitol Hill warriors are no more victims of enraged rhetoric than porn stars are of poor script-writing. For years conservatives have proclaimed the tenets of individual freedom and personal responsibility. They declared such values in reactive angst to a welfare society and relentless victimhood proclamations.
They loathed when non-White people bemoaned centuries of Euro-colonial oppression and systemic racism. They rolled their eyes at the thought of women hollering about sexual harassment in the workplace and on college campuses. They snickered at queer folks complaining of innate homophobia on the job and in school.
Then the U.S. Congress met on January 6, 2021 to certify Joe Biden as the winner of last year’s presidential contest, and – as Dante Alighieri once wrote – all hell broke loose.
The Trumpian crowd became maddened by the process and felt they had no other recourse but to subvert that constitutional mechanism in the most violent manner possible. Their voices and votes had been ignored and they had to stop the madness.
So, in the name of Ronald Reagan, where the hell was all that talk of personal responsibility? Where were the people to take ownership of themselves and their actions? In other words, why do the Capitol Hill rioters suddenly see themselves as victims of…well, anything?!
They all sound like a bunch of – oh, God! A bunch of minorities, women and queers! Pass the rifle and heaven forbid! Now these “victims” have placed themselves in the same category as tree-loving, pot-smoking, Muslim-loving liberals!
What’s going to happen next? The magnetic poles will switch sides – like communist traitors – and life as we know will extinguish itself?
Again – please!
I personally don’t care to hear the anguished state of mind of these mentally- challenged pencil-dick and cavern-cunt imps. What happened with last year’s presidential elections is something known as democracy. It’s the sustenance upon which civilized societies survive. We cannot exist without it. The goons who stormed the Capitol three weeks ago didn’t fall victim to the verbiage of Donald Trump; they were victims of their own damned stupidity. If they truly were swayed by Trumpian oratory, they are as gullible as a child believing in Santa Claus. They roared into that building because what was left of their brain cells had perished in the swamp of their own hysteria.
It’s just so incredibly interesting that these right-wing extremists who wrap themselves in the American flag and cry freedom – while waving the loser traitorous Confederate flag – are suddenly helpless and violated. They couldn’t help themselves. Their faux president told them to do it.
The reality is quite simple: they’re violent and they’re stupid. But they aren’t victims.
Reed warned that unless “something happened” to reverse the certification of votes in the election, “we’re looking at the possibility and the prospect of a Vice-President Kamala Harris being able to break a tie and turn control of the U.S. Senate over to Chuck Schumer, AOC and the squad, and the far left,” Reed said. (Reed was referring to New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 3 other female members dubbed as “The Squad” (all non-White) who serve in the House of Representatives, not the Senate.)
“The country that we have known for over 230 years will be gone, and there will be no protection for our rights as believers or of the minority rights of the conservatives in the Senate,” Reed added.
This year marks a century since the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution assured women the right to vote. But it’s tough to imagine that only now will we be getting our first female vice-president. Still, it’s equally difficult to understand there was a time when the concept of women voting was radical and almost subversive. The old guard of White men who bore something like 99% of the nation’s wealth and power 100 years ago usually had trouble extending those privileges.
In 1917, the National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company (the publishing arm of the National Woman Suffrage Association) came out with “This Little Book Contains Every Reason Why Women Should Not Vote.” And all of its interior pages were blank. It was essentially a comical publication, but at its core was a serious message: there are no good reasons to deny women the right to vote.
Granting women the right to vote was just one major step in the ongoing struggle for voting rights in the United States. As much as detractors tried, they couldn’t squelch the myriad movements to ensure that very basic right, such as the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Considering what’s happened in this year’s elections, it appears that struggle is not over.