Voting is a Right, Right?
Congress refuses to signify the sanctity of voting at its own detriment.
By: Riley Mulcahy
Sometimes I wonder if the Senate thinks that voting is a privilege, not a right. With last Wednesday’s news of the blocking of the filibuster change, it looks like there will not be any chance of seeing voting rights legislation being passed in the near future. Like the Build Back Better legislation, the voting rights bill would enact bold and progressive ideas to help save our democracy; however, senators are too worried about perception and optics.
According to The New York Times, “Republicans aggressively fought both the voting measure and the attempt to weaken the filibuster” and accused Democrats “of manufacturing a crisis by exaggerating the impact of new state laws in an effort to realize a longstanding goal of gaining more control over state elections—and risking the uniqueness of the Senate to do so.”
Republicans fail to achieve any sense of transparency or truth in going after the Democrats for proposing changes that would help strengthen voting. The problem is that Republicans understand that they are the minority party, not just in Congress but also in real life. There is a disconnect between the party that creates laws that suppress voting rights and defend Donald Trump while not condemning those who created an insurrection last January. Somehow, the political process has been so badly bruised that it is based on which party can produce enough chaos to distract the fact that there is no sense of accountability for criminal attempts to block voting and attack police based on the falsehoods that come out of Trump’s mouth.
Senate Democrats have been at a crossroads for a long time, with their legislation being stalled and fought over by their Republican colleagues and moderate Democrats for too long. Voting laws that restrict how citizens express their right to vote and be a part of the legislative process are criminal. There is nothing that President Biden is saying to signal that the inaction in the Senate will translate into something positive in the coming weeks.
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Ryan Ford '23,