2021 is likely to be a singularly momentous year in American and world political history. It may come to be known as the year that America ceased to be an embattled democratic republic and became a full-fledged oligarchy. Alternatively, it may be recognized as the year when the people rose up and defended their right to vote from it being taken away.
On January 6, the U.S. Capitol, the well-recognized seat of American representative democracy, was invaded, violated and vandalized for the first time since 1814. Our elected representatives were inside to fulfill their solemn responsibility to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The results had already been validated by the secretaries of states of all 50 states. They had survived all the 40-plus legal challenges brought by or for the benefit of the 45th president of the United States. The false assertions by some of massive fraud in the election had even been summarily dismissed by the heads of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as unfounded. The insurrectionists were there to stop the process, however, because they didn’t agree with the results.
Since then, more than 360 bills have been filed in the legislatures of 47 states seeking to repress the vote, targeting people of color and other groups known to characteristically vote for candidates of the opposite party.
Now, add to that the fact that 2021 is one of the decennial redistricting years and many state legislatures will most certainly be gerrymandering their voting districts to favor the party in power and incumbent candidates. The anti-democratic results of their partisan district-rigging will endure for the next 10 years.
At the moment, two Democratic U.S. senators are blocking the only path forward to defeating these blatant attempts to subvert our democracy: Senator Krysten Sinema of Arizona and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who are doing so even though a majority of voters in their states support the For the People Act.
The most effective action we can take right now is to join our fellow citizens in these two states and around the nation to put pressure on Sinema and Manchin to convince them to throw their support behind the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The time to fight is now…before it is too late.
President, RepresentUs New Mexico