4th Of July 2021

July 4th - Voting Rights

The Fourth of July has been observed as a day for Americans to stand in unity and in recognition of our nation’s founding. On this day, 245 years ago, exemplary visionaries dared to create a unique form of government called DEMOCRACY. Since then, our founding premise that “All men are created equal” has survived numerous attacks such as the civil war and segregation. However, in Florida, the Republican Party has held the majority in the state house for the past 25 years. This monopoly of Government is a prima facie example of “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

The Florida Republican’s hegemony ultimately undermines our Democratic principle of liberty and has led to tyranny and oppression by elected leaders, partisan judges, cronies, and unelected bureaucrats. Their nefarious laws and deeds have been done in the name of “the people” and the “general welfare,” while undermining the very foundation principles of Democracy for the expressed benefit of the few.

The Florida Republican regime oppresses the very “demos” of democracy, benefiting the donors and establishment toadies while rewarding their political constituencies by paying off special interests with our hard-earned tax dollars. Under the Republican leadership it has become “pay to play” for special interests.

As an example, after Key West voters elected to restrict cruise ships in their port, Mark Walsh, the business developer who operates the Key West pier which gets most of the city’s cruise ship traffic, donated nearly $1 million to the political committee of Gov. Ron DeSantis through 11 of his companies days before the legislative session began. The Florida Republican representatives and senators ultimately delivered legislation preempting the Key West local referendum approved by voters and signed by Governor DeSantis. This was a naked shameful example of Florida Republicans repudiation of Democracy.

Today, in 2021, the self-evident principle of “all men are created equal” faces another attack in voter suppression by the Republican regime designed to thwart the voting power of black and poor citizens.

Republicans are embracing two kinds of voter suppression laws. Many provisions make it harder to cast a ballot in a certain way — such as by mailing in the ballot or placing it in a drop box. Others place needless procedural obstacles to suppress people from registering to vote and/or voting itself, with the expressed aim to make it more difficult for minorities and the poor to vote.

Other voting laws pushed by Republicans are more grossly anti-democratic. They include those which would disqualify voters for no valid reason; allow partisan officials to refuse to certify an election, even if there are no legitimate questions about who won; or make it so difficult for voters who are likely to vote for the party that is out of power; so that the incumbent party cannot lose.

Last week the “For The People Act” which would standardize federal elections, modernize voter registration, make voting easier, end congressional gerrymandering and prohibit many of the Republican tactics that suppress voting by people of color, failed to garner 60 % of the votes to pass filibuster in the Senate.  This was despite polling which showed that 67% of the US population favored its passage.

Voting rights for all Americans regardless of race, creed, color, or ethnic origin, is a foundation principle of Democracy. Without that guarantee we do not have a government that is: “By the people and for the people”. The preservation of voting rights is essential to preserve Democracy as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. A “carve-out” in the filibuster is needed to defend and preserve our Democracy for all Americans of voting age and those who come of age in the future. With your help Democracy and the United States will survive and every citizen will be able to enjoy the franchise of democratic voting.

As we take the time to enjoy our family picnics and our reprieve from Covid on this 4th of July, we take time to honor all those who have served to protect Democracy as we know it. I also ask that you take time to support our local food banks and homeless shelters and their selfless volunteers who donate their time to support those in need.

God Bless and Happy July 4th to everyone!