How Democracy dies? Voter Suppression + Court Packing + Killing Net Neutrality

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Stephen Melkisethian / Flickr White House Vigil To Save Net...
Stephen Melkisethian / Flickr

Virginians (and, well, the majority of Americans vicarious) felt rather good a few weeks ago. We turned out and turned many Republicans out of office while keeping a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion.  It felt good .. but basking in the sun can’t last long while Donald remains in the Oval (or, well, anywhere he has access to the Football & with any power) as the threats and crisis seem never ending.

Sarah Kendzior has penned a painful — but must read — piece Gutting net neutrality is a death knell for the resistance.  It is a searing piece as Kendzior lays out how a series of GOP and Team Trump efforts could leave the 2017 Virginia election as perhaps one of the last truly democratic (even if flawed) elections in the United States.

Consider these pieces:

  • Voter suppression almost certainly tilted Wisconsin, if not other states and the Electoral College, to Donald Trump. This was with an Obama Administration Justice Department actually interested in fighting voter suppression.  Now, we have Jeff Sessions who sees enhanced voter suppression as the epitome of his life ambition, with a Trump-ista Justice Department lining up on the wrong side of voting rights cases and the Voting Commission working diligently to create excuses and justification for increased voter suppression.
    • Voter suppression will worsen …
  • The potential GOP packing of the courts such that by fall 2017 the majority of the Federal judges will have been appointed by Putin’s Puppet occupying the Oval Office. Let’s remember that Trump’s appointments have been more out of the mainstream than those W nominated (with many of them amazingly simply not qualified for the nomination based on (lack of) experience putting aside their fringe legal concepts).
    • Trump’s judges will not defend voting rights.
  • The end of net neutrality will undermine the ability to communicate truth, enabling ever more domination of #AlternativeFacts and regime propaganda, and weaken the ability of those seeking to defend Democracy to communicate and organize.
    • Many will not know of voter suppression and the courts’ complicity in voter suppression … and it will be hard to mobilize public outrage as elections are manipulated/fixed to keep the GOP in power.

 here we lie at the interconnected horror of the Trump administration’s autocratic manoeuvres. Consider this scenario for 2018:

  • The repeal of net neutrality will stem the flow of information, making voter suppression harder to document.
  • The packing of the courts will make the voter suppression that is documented harder to challenge.
  • And the long-standing solution to purveyors of unpopular policies – vote them out – will be, by definition, impossible, since the election is rigged and the rigging uncontestable.

This carefully constructed web of repression is how democracy dies.

Many of us are looking with glee to November 2018, basking in the glory of Virginia 2017, seeing a demise to GOP control of the House of Representatives, the potential (even with pretty long odds) of gaining control of the Senate, and great confidence in widespread gains in State Houses across the country.  We have confidence that November 2018 elections will be a milestone in returning America toward a more rational path, toward restoring Democracy, and toward ending the Trump-ista Kakistocracy.

Kendzior’s Gutting net neutrality is a death knell for the resistance is a shot across the bow, a serious warning that any casual confidence that the November 2018 elections will be anything close to true Democracy could well be unfounded in face of anti-Democracy GOP plans.  That risk is a call to action to fight even more tenaciously against those GOP efforts to destroy democracy and, in fact, assure the destruction of the Republic and heighten risk (such as worsening climate change) for decades and centuries to come.

Here is Kendzior speaking on a Nov 2016 panel at the News XChange conference in Denmark responding to Matthew Boyle of Breitbart

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