The Census, Restricting and The Republican Conspiracy
Forty years ago, those who wanted to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, along with any other provisions that extended democracy to “we the people,” were calling for a Constitutional Convention. Today, that approach is no longer necessary since those who still want to make those stated changes have found new ways to accomplish the same old goals.
Thomas Jefferson was always about “States Rights” with less Federalist (or federal government influence). Today, the Republican Party is carrying out Jefferson’s vision with three approaches: (1) Voter Suppression legislation, which is now in 43 of the 50 states and with over 500 bills pending, collectively, to make it harder to vote; (2) Former President Trump’s efforts to change the Census 2020 count by questioning whether people in households were legal; and (3) The resulting loss of Congressional seats in at least 6 states, including the one seat from California (a Blue state), and the addition of 2 seats to Texas (a Red State). Texas happens to be one of the states with a complete Republican legislature and governor with major voter suppression legislation pending.
The bottom line is that the Census determines the number of seats in the Congress per state. Since the Congress is fixed at 433 seats, seats are reallocated following the ten year census. Now the change in number of seats requires a change in how congressional districts are drawn up in each state. The drawing of those boundaries to strengthen one party’s voter influence over another is called “gerrymandering”. Where republicans control state legislatures, they will also control the appointment of the people who draw the boundaries. Such boundaries can determine the allocation of voting precincts and equipment. The whole idea is to ensure that never again do we have the kind of democratic vote among “we the people” that put President Biden in the White House.
The Republican conspiracy against democracy can only work if we sleep and become inactive during this multifaceted efort. We must prepare now for 2022 by: (1) Boycotting the corporations that refuse to support “Black Votes Matter” and who continue funding legislators that give to those state legislators engaged in supporting voter suppression; (2) Finding candidates now that we can run and finance against the very republicans supporting and sponsoring voter suppression legislation; and (3) Watching very closely the Redistricting Commissions charged with redrawing political districts so that the votes of people of color are not weakened. We must attend Redistricting Commission meetings whether on Zoom or in person. The damage they do will last for another 10 years.
“We The People” can defeat the Republican conspiracy on all fronts if we get started now and stay vigilant. It is ironic that Thomas Jefferson was the one who said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.” Are you willing to pay that price?