Stewart Acuff

Jul 9

A Movement for Voting Rights and Democracy

Between the Supreme Court’s evil Citizens United ruling giving personhood to corporations and money the protection of the First Amendment and now the Voting Rights case, they are moving as fast as a Tortoise-like Supreme Court can to give full control of America to corporations and the Financial Elite.

But as we saw in the 2012 wave of voter suppression, a social movement or mass movement demanding the right to vote and the right to have our votes count is possible.

No one knows exactly how to light the spark that turns good, solid, close to the ground organizing into a movement. But we can develop a strategy to effectively combat voter suppression and lay the foundation for movement when the spark is struck.

First, we need a coordinated, national grassroots effort involving the entire progressive community to fight statehouse by statehouse when these radical right-wing Republican governors, state legislatures, and secretaries of state begin to enact state voter suppression legislation, executive orders, and rulings. We would need the entire progressive community flooding statehouses, committee hearings, mass call-ins to local legislators, hearings and town hall events chaired by progressive state legislators and Members of Congress. We’ve got to demonstrate our outrage and determination to refuse to go back to Jim Crow. We need a professional media operation. If we do this right, we can potentially do three things:

  • stop voter suppression
  • illuminate clearly the threat to democracy we face
  • win some Congressional and Senate races

Through these focused actions, we can create a national movement. We’ve got to be as aggressive as the other side side is and move America toward more democracy, including economic democracy.

I guarantee you that that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) already has a plan to take advantage of this latest judicial atrocity.

Secondly, we need to work with Democratic Congressional leadership and the Progressive Caucus to rewrite the Voting Rights Act to get around the Supreme Court ruling.

More later. This we need to do immediately.


Photo description: A group of African-American children gather around a sign and booth to register voters. Early 1960s.

Photo source: Kheel Center, Cornell University via Wikimedia Commons

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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