August 6th, 1965 – Lyndon Johnson Signs The Voting Rights Act.

video – 49 minutes

The rapidity and disdain with which the current administration and Republican led states across the country are working to strip voting rights from citizens conjures up memories of the Jim Crow days of the the long ago past. Or at least we thought they were past.

Two years ago when the Voting Rights Act turned 50 years old, most people could never have imagined the sudden and devastating attacks on voting that have left millions of our citizens without a voice in their own government. Certainly the new voter suppression laws coupled with very questionable and hackable voting machines played a major part in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in the most stunning presidential election ever.

Much like money in politics, rooting out voter suppression and other REAL problems with elections will be hard to do since the people in power are in power due to some degree to voter suppression.

As with the Civil rights Act which was enacted the previous year, the Voting Rights Act was a direct affront to the racial practices of the day. Neither were giving anyone special rights nor taking rights away from anyone. What both laws did was to attempt to ensure that citizens would be able to exercise their rights that were theirs simply because they are citizens.

It is a very sad commentary on this nation that race is never far from the surface as an issue. What is an even sadder commentary is that politicians speak in coded language to exploit the racial issue. This past year has seen one party exploit the racial divide to capture the mechanisms of power in this country.

As often happens in the political arena we take two steps forward and one and a half steps backward. In this case we are close to taking the full two steps backward. Many in America are applauding this development.

So on this anniversary of a huge step forward in our country’s continuing striving to reach the goals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and many other revered documents, we must ask ourselves – What happened and what can we do to get us back on the right track?

Remember that if those currently holding power are successful in taking away the voting rights of any citizens, then you will be the next target until only a hand selected elite continues to elect those same politicians who will continue to restrict voting rights more and more. 

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
This entry was posted in Blog for Iowa, Iowa Voters, voter suppression, voting rights and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.