GOP back to their Jim Crow ways after 2020 losses

Jeff Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

After losing the presidency and the senate during the 2020 elections the Republican party is turning back to their Jim Crow ways, doing everything they can to criminalize and disenfranchise poor and minority voters in future elections.

In the months following the election, 22 of the 24 completely Republican controlled state governments have passed legislation to limit voting rights. Apparently uncertain their party’s cruel and unsustainable platform and sociopathic candidates can consistently prevail on the national level, the GOP is instead doing all it can to limit the voting rights of American citizens.

This is no surprise, as one of the prevailing narratives of the 2020 election was the record-breaking voter turnout. Voter participation was bolstered around the country by progressive policies, like same-day voter registration and expanded absentee ballots

Generally speaking high voter-turnout is rarely a good sign for conservatives, who rely largely on minority rule to impose their agenda. This was certainly the case for Republicans during the 2020 election.

As detestable as it is, GOP-government officials are now working overtime to roll back policies proven to increase voter turnout and limiting the scope of our democracy in the process. This struggle over the future of our democracy has been fiercely contested recently in Georgia.

Georgia was a major black eye for Republicans during the 2020 election. Donald Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to lose Georgia since George H.W. Bush in 1992. Then, amid a barrage of media controversy stemming from Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud, Georgia elected Democratic Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof.

While Georgia Republican officials were legally unable to obey Trump’s demands to overturn the election results, they are following through the best they can with legislation restricting voters. 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a candidate who won election in part due to voter disenfranchisement and election rigging, has now signed into law sweeping legislation to restrict voting rights in Georgia.

The bill Kemp signed into law Thursday Mar. 25 includes new restrictions on mail-in ballots and gives Georgia’s GOP controlled legislature more control over election proceedings. The bill targets mail-in ballots by requiring state-approved photo identification, and even goes as far as making it illegal for people to provide food and bottles of water to citizens waiting in line to vote.

This legislation being passed in Georgia is the first shot being fired in the GOP’s war against voting rights. If the Democrats do not respond swiftly with authority to the new threat that these kinds of voting restrictions pose to democracy, they will be at a severe disadvantage in future elections.

President Joe Biden condemned Georgia’s new voting restrictions, saying, “this is Jim Crow in the 21st Century … it must end. We have a moral and Constitutional obligation to act” in an official statement last Friday. 

These stern words from Biden need to be backed up with stern actions. The Democrats should prioritize a new voting rights act to expand and protect American voters. The problem is that there’s no way Republicans in the House and Senate will support the bill. This means that the filibuster must go. 

Biden and his Democratic allies have been reluctant so far to nuke the filibuster, still with the Republican party in its current state bipartisanship is impossible. 

Biden hinted last week that he is open to nuking the filibuster, but he’s going to have to do more than hint to protect American voters from GOP suppression. The time for political posturing is over, the Democrats and Biden need to govern and the only way they’ll be able to do so is by eliminating the filibuster and ending the Republican’s vice grip on our government.