Mar 27, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

What I do not understand is how this is difficult. Every citizen of a country must be able to vote. Each citizen should have a similar degree of ease in casting that vote.

How this is achieved must mean some degree of remote voting by post or ultimately by electronic means, polling stations open 24 hours or longer and nobody waiting for any amount of time to cast a vote.

At the same time robust measures to ensure that elections are not “hackable” in any way whether by foreign parties or local ones.

How is this NOT clear to both parties ?

If there was ever a perfect issue for bipartisan working this must be it.

I live in hope...

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This afternoon I started a list of things to DO now to help support the For the People Act. 1. Write your elected officials 2. Write letters to the editor 3. Participate in non-violent peaceful protests demanding free and fair elections 4. Buy only from companies who show visible support of the For the People Act and democracy -- especially do not support corporations or the donors to Republicans elected officials opposing For the People Act 5. Sign a promise to not vote for any Republican at any level in government -- local, state, national -- as long as they are the anti-democracy party of lies, obstruction, insurrection and violence. 6. Speak up! 7. Counter misinformation especially words being contorted like Socialism and Voter Integrity with accurate definitions 8. Embrace Synergy - we are greater together 9. Support the social justice movement 10. Put a signature on every letter, email, text you send WE the People, All of Us This Time! 11. Hold the media reporting accountable. 12. Reach out to other groups supporting voter rights. Add you own ideas to this list. We the People, All of us this time!

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Thank you Heather.

The historical significance of the signing of the Voter Suppression Law by Kemp and the dragging away and arrest of Representative Cannon is staggering. It will, as I suspect end up in the Courts but not until both have been sufficiently documented for history.

Long after we are all gone, how will that read in future History classes? I hope not as just a footnote to the day. It should be taught as a day that this Nation can't even get out of its own way when it comes to learning from our sordid past.

As Women's History Month winds down, I hope Representative Cannon will be remembered as a Black female elected official that was not only denied access to the room where an all white, male caucus was signing her rights away but was also arrested and charged with a felony for her efforts. The irony is extraordinary.

Be safe, be well.

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History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes...

Our democracy remains fragile and subject to the desire of rich, white men to stay in power. They believe in Party over County without regard for who they exclude and step over on their way forward.

James Henry Hammond was a despicable character in his personal and political life. Looks like the present day Big-Lie Spouting Republicans are walking in his footsteps.

The bravery of Representative Park Cannon should be an inspiration to us all. Conducting the Public’s business in a meeting behind closed doors should always alert “suspicious activity.”

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This is a time to focus. Focus our attention and comments on voting rights. Channel our energy into productive action in service of democratic process, not on noisy provocateurs. Perusing the number of comments to Heather's Letters since November 2020, last night's Letter of March 25 sparked the most comments to date, except for one other--January 6. We were clearly and righteously fired up about Georgia Republicans' lightning passage and signing of a new voter suppression law.

What can we do? HCR Readers had plenty of good ideas and specific directions in which to go:

* Support HR1/S1 For the People Act.

* Protest voter suppression legislation pending in 42 other states besides Georgia.

* Lobby against corporate donations to Republicans, starting with the Top 10 corporations in


* Boycott corporations that donate to Republicans.

* Support MLB moving the 2021 All-star game from Atlanta.

* Support churches and religious organizations that advocate for voting rights, such as the 6th

District AME Church in Atlanta and Rev. William Barber's Poor People's Campaign.

* Donate to organizations effectively working on behalf of voting rights, such as Fair Fight.

* Do grassroots work for organizations effectively working on behalf of voting rights, such as

Common Cause.

* Write letters, texts, emails, make phone calls to newspapers, social media, and offices of elected

officials to make your position known.

Names, email addresses, phone numbers, sample letters, sample phone call messages--it's all there in last night's comments. Sound daunting to read through 871 comments? Select "Top First" and start with Daria Wilber's thread.

Turn your outrage into action. Every little bit counts. Set the good example for your children. Inspire friends and family. As Heather said, we need to be in the water rowing our boats toward the shore where we want to be. We the People--All of Us This Time!

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HCR began her letter today, "Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed his state’s new voter suppression law last night in a carefully staged photo op. As journalist Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out, Kemp sat at a polished table, with six white men around him, under a painting of the Callaway Plantation on which more than 100 Black people had been enslaved. As the men bore witness to the signing, Representative Park Cannon, a Black female lawmaker, was arrested and dragged away from the governor’s office.

It was a scene that conjured up a lot of history."

Not only does it conjure up a lot of history, it reminds me of how close we are to repeating a disastrous mistake again! We magnanimously sent the Confederates home to begin again. What they did was go home and maintain their cause of inequality instead.

Today the DOJ is hunting criminals who raped the Capitol in Washington, but we let these legislators and demagogues who aided and abetted them to sit free in the their chairs of power and continue to vote and spread the poison of inequality penalty-free. The folks in the cheap seats are asking themselves, if we are wrong and our legislators are wrong, why haven't they been unseated? So they use this to justify what they think and do.

As Heather wonders in conclusion, "The Military Reconstruction Act, wrote Maine politician James G. Blaine in 1893, “changed the political history of the United States.”

Today, as I looked at the photograph of Governor Kemp signing that bill, I wondered just how much."

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As I watch the battle over voting and civil rights today not only continue but seemingly intensify I despair that this is a battle I have engaged in since entering adulthood over 60 years ago. I found selfish, racist, attitudes abhorrent then and find them no less so today.

I have spent my life it seems protesting, demonstrating, writing letters, and making phone calls to politicians, working to register voters and get them out to the polls, and supporting candidates and causes to push back against discrimination, racism, injustice, and division. I have worked tirelessly to promote inclusion, social justice, equality of opportunity for all, and, above all equal and expanded access to the ballot. I despair that it seems that the mean-spirited attitudes of those on the other side of this battle have only hardened. Justice and equality seem lately to have regressed to a state of even greater disrepair.

Can it be that a lifetime of efforts in this cause have made no difference at all? When my despair seems overwhelming, I try to remind myself that this is a multi-generational battle that many who came before me fought tirelessly as well. Why should my own spirit lag when they persisted and often made seemingly little progress either?

So, it is back to the bulwarks yet again. I do not despair, because the battle is just and the goals worth the effort. My spirits are lifted by the number of those I see engaged in this effort and their dedication to the cause. How can this fight not be won when so many believe so strongly in the cause for which we work?

I remind myself that while the number of those who oppose justice and equality is large, it is still a minority and a shrinking minority at that. They know their support of restricting ballot access and perpetuating inequality and racism is necessary to sustain their position of power as their ideology is opposed by a majority of our citizens. While they may sustain their power for longer than their cause deserves, as long as the number of those who oppose them is greater than their own, they cannot win. They can only delay the inevitable.

I remember Edmund Burke's admonishment, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Victory or defeat in this cause is therefore in our own hands, not in the hands of those we oppose. Injustice can only triumph if we do nothing. After fighting this battle for so long, I and all those I know working for equality and justice certainly do not plan to surrender now.

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The Republican Party seeks to return us all to the plantation and the company town where "...a few wealthy men rule[d] over a larger class with 'a low order of intellect and but little skill.'"

One supposes that Republican majority legislatures are taking quick advantage to the conservative packing of the federal judicial system, thank you very much, Mitch McConnell, and gerrymandered congressional districts to put the brakes on recent history and reverse the nation's political progress backwards.

I don't think it's going to work; the handwriting is on the wall. What we may be witnessing is, at long last, the final death rattle of the Confederacy, and the Senate filibuster along with it.

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What follows is a long post, and I’m going to make it even longer by way of a short explanation.

Some weeks ago, I drafted a Letter to the Editor, with editorial help from some of the people in this forum – Ellie, Cathy, Annette, Steve and likely one or two I’ve forgotten. What follows is that Letter (edited again this morning) with additional observations from recent events.

Each time I have voted, from that very first time 50 years ago, to this day, I have felt the awesome power and responsibility we share in shaping our nation’s destiny.

In that moment, I recognize the immense good fortune I enjoy, and the sacrifices my parents and their parents made, to preserve that right. Through wars and economic crises – even pandemics – nothing has prevented us from holding our elections.

To our great shame, many Americans have not enjoyed that same freedom to vote. From the moment African Americans were granted citizenship and the right to vote, they have been made to suffer loss of life, physical injury, and intimidation at the hands of people who did not think they were deserving of the vote. The same holds true for other people of color who came to this country in search of freedom and were met by resistance, often violent, by those who feared any challenge to their dominance.

On Election Day in 1920, a white mob massacred Black Americans (the number of dead has never been definitively reckoned but ranges from 30--60) in Ocoee, Florida. Their homes and businesses were burned, Black men were lynched and castrated, and when Federal agents finally arrived weeks later to investigate, not one person was prosecuted. The agents said they were not there to investigate murder, arson, or assault – only accusations of voter fraud. Sound familiar?

Today, 43 states are considering legislation to limit the voting rights, primarily of people of color, but also of the elderly and disabled, all predicated on the lie that Joe Biden was not fairly elected. There can be no doubt, at long last, that voter fraud prevention is not the true motivation behind these laws – they are motivated by racism and fear of a fair election. This must end.

The Senate is now considering the For the People voting rights act that will give more people access to the vote, introduce redistricting reforms that would stop the partisan gerrymandering of election districts by both parties, and provide for small-donor public financing of Congressional and Presidential elections to give average voters a chance to compete with the huge PACS that currently dominate our elections.

President Biden has taken up the cause and named the torrent of anti-democratic laws pulsing from Republican controlled State Houses for what they are – modern versions of Jim Crow laws from the post-Reconstruction era.

The House of Representatives has done its work, it is time for the Senate to act to ensure every citizen the opportunity to vote. If “We the People” means anything, it means we must all have the right to vote. Whatever pressure we, as citizens, can exert on our elected representatives in Washington and in our communities, now is the time to act. Everything hangs on this – the right of the people to make their voices heard through the peaceful process of voting.

President Biden will advocate for passage of the For the People Act and there is a good chance that Senate rules will be changed to return the institution of the Filibuster to the painful physical process it once was. But, we must be prepared for the reaction that is, IMO, likely to result from a vote to pass this legislation.

Today, Republicans/Trumpists are bashing Covid measures as attacks on freedom, ranting about how cruel President Biden’s border policies are (that serving of hypocrisy is a breakfast-tosser) and flapping their gums about the horror of taxes. But all of that will be put aside and forgotten once their guns and votes are at risk.

Insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on January 6th as much in support of Donald Trump the man, as for what he represented. The racist policies at the heart of Trumpism are embodied in the current Republican-supported anti-voting laws.

Should those policies be threatened and should that threat be coupled with legislation to curb the national orgy of gun violence through even modest measures such as background checks and a ban on assault rifles, it is possible the events of January 6th will be viewed by history as the dress rehearsal for the mayhem that ensues.

I hope I’m wrong - I fear I’m not.

(Sources: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-exhibition-florida-honors-victims-bloodiest-election-massacre-american-history-180976283/


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End the filibuster for the For the People Act. Then we can defend voting with the National Guard if necessary. Here we are again, 62 years after six-year-old Ruby Bridges was escorted by the National Guard through an enraged, verbally abusive, white crowd to attend elementary school. Effectively, Jim Crow never completely died. Camouflaged with gerrymandering, unnecessary voter ID laws and myriad, peculiar acts of voter suppression, it has metastasized. Let's kill it now.

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I hope everyone understands that the USA is teetering on the edge of the abyss. It is make-or-break, put-up-or-shut-up time. It is appropriate to be alarmed.

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I am not religious. Raised Christian, I saw a bunch of holes in that religion by my early teen years and declared my Atheism by the time I was 16. My evil stepmother on catching me skipping Sunday school once called me a heathen. I looked it up and it was spot on. But at least I am open about it, not like those lying, cheating, hypocritical, poser Christians in the Deep South such as Governor Kemp of Georgia et al. Part of that voter suppression law goes beyond just putting up obstacles for minority non-white ppl to vote but actually adds a clearly ANTI-CHRISTIAN clause that we heathens find repulsive.

From their own “Holy Buybull” they blatantly ignore a lesson from Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, ...” They just made a law in Georgia that will force voters to stand in long lines for hours and added that Good Samaritans not be allowed to ease their discomfort. These poser White Christians in the Georgia legislature are as evil as the robed Klansmen that sully all the Southern states.

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I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again: This is “put up or shut up” time for the Democrats. If they allow this law to stand, you can be 💯 certain that identical laws will follow elsewhere in the South, not to mention Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and any state where the Republicans control the legislatures. Democrats will never win these states ever again. The courts, which have been filled with Trump appointees (including three on the Supreme Court) will not help. So, this falls on the Senate, where Manchin and Sinema need to be bluntly told what’s at stake here.

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Historical perspective is important here and it is a disturbing parallel with the past. This new election law is surely heading for the courts.

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Morning, all!! Morning Dr. R!!

I was confused when the voice of the previous administration kept hammering down that the election was stolen due to the counting of illegitimate/illegal votes. I simply could not understand why this idea could take hold. There then came my aha moment as the white of us embraced the idea and ran with it. Just as the coronavirus has spread throughout the country, so too has the devil spread. We have and are using the tools to beat back the coronavirus. There's a golden fiddle down in hell...

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From Allison Leigh Touchton Parsons:

"Reaction to Georgia Suppression Law:


(The director of “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Wolverine,” “Walk the Line” and “The Call of the Wild”)

I will not direct a film in Georgia

11:26 PM · Mar 25, 2021

François Audouy

(Production Designer)

I will not design a film in Georgia

Jon Ossoff


Tonight Georgia’s legislature passed a bill brazenly intended to make it harder for Georgians to vote.

Among its outrageous provisions: it criminalizes *giving water to voters who are waiting in line.*

It’s no wonder Gov. Kemp hid behind closed doors while he signed it.

9:30 PM · Mar 25, 2021

Justin Amash

Imagine making it a crime to offer water to people waiting in line to vote

Representative Park Cannon


Hey everyone, thank you for your support. I’ve been released from jail. I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true. #SB202

12:28 AM · Mar 26, 2021·

Mollie Katzen

(an American cookbook author and artist.)

I’m gonna straight-up cater the voting lines in the next GA election. Who wants to help with the prep?

10:55 AM · Mar 26, 2021

Will Bunch

Something looked odd Thursday night when GA Gov. Brian Kemp signed his new Jim Crow voting law

With some Twitter sleuthing, we learned Kemp was in front of a painting of a notorious slave plantation. The symbolism is overpowering.

Teri Anulewicz


On Thursday, in the wake of voting-restriction legislation signed into law by the GA governor, the executive director of the MLB Players Association said the players are ready to discuss moving their annual midsummer exhibition out of GA. #gapol

3:04 PM · Mar 26, 2021

Ted Lieu


Dear @GovKemp: Next year, Congressman @RubenGallego and I are going to provide water to GA voters waiting in lines caused by your voter suppression law. My sense is many, many people will be providing water to voters. Because your law is unAmerican and insane.

Ari Berman

One of most dangerous parts of GA voter suppression bill allows state legislature to appoint majority of state election board & take over county election boards in order to challenge election results

"It will make what we all lived through in 2020 child’s play."

And as Kemp was signing the bill, surrounded by six white men, and in front of a painting of a plantation, Rep. Cannon, a Black woman, knocked on his office door and was promptly, instantaneously handcuffed and arrested. That is the height of outrageous. She was subsequently released, vowing to continue to fight for voter rights, as we all must do.

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