Since the founding of this republic, voter restrictions have been a constant enemy of the people, especially Black Americans and other people of color. Almost each decade of American history we have witnessed measures to block the full participation of some citizens to exercise their franchise.
President Biden put that anti-democratic process in context on Tuesday at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, and where he stood to deliver his warning about voter suppression and restrictions amid an exhibit entitled “Civil War and Reconstruction” resonated perfectly.
That rupture in the American past and subsequent era that saw the rise of the Ku Klux Klan was emblematic of Biden’s determination to counter such recurrence of violence and reaction in which the most recent and terrible iteration occurred on Jan. 6.
Biden’s defense of our voting rights came a few days after Trump, appearing on Fox News, exclaimed again about the patriotic zeal of the insurrection at the Capitol Building, citing that “over a million people” were at his speech at the White House prior to the attack on the Capitol. In fact, he told a litany of lies on the show.
But it was Trump’s contention that he was robbed and the election was rigged that was at the center of Biden’s remarks. “The big lie is just that: a big lie.”
America, Biden stressed, is now trembling on the brink of losing one of its most precious guarantees of freedom. And no recent electoral victor has benefited most about Black Americans turning out at the polls than Biden. This was at the crux of his message, and the need to withstand the wave of voter restrictions sweeping the country.
Along with arousing the people, Biden has delegated Vice President Kamala Harris to continue the fight against this retrenchment, allocating millions of dollars to fortify local and state governments in warding off the restrictions.
Biden, Harris, and a corps of concerned lawmakers are critical in forging a formidable barricade, but it’s going to take a lot more than this cadre and the limited funds to turn the tide. The furor at the moment is in advance of the important 2022 midterm elections, and may be just the alert needed by the electorate to apply its political muscle.
The most powerful force to offset another uprising like the one in January is a vigilant and informed mass of voters; they must understand the seriousness of the situation now, take a stand with Biden and others who believe in the truth and not The Big Lie.