To the editor: I was saddened to learn that on Tuesday, June 22, our two senators, along with rest of the 48 other Republican senators, voted against democracy. I refer to S1, the For the People Act that has already passed the House of Representatives. The vote was not for the act itself but simply to begin debate. The act, among other things, would put nonpartisan panels in charge of redistricting and limited the ability of partisan legislatures to overturn election results. S1 is in response to new laws from Republican-dominated state legislatures that, among other things, make it a crime to offer water to people standing in line waiting to vote.
Republicans are now arguing that administration of elections, even for candidates for national office, should be left to the states. The same argument was applied to letting municipalities and counties continue running segregated school systems and states to administer election laws in the old Jim Crow South.
This is part of a pattern that evolved over the past several years. The Republican Party has lost interest in governing and has become increasingly focused on just staying in power. Over the four years term of the Trump administration the only major piece of legislation passed was the massive tax cut for the wealthy and corporate interests the purpose of which, it may be argued, is to keep the campaign contributions coming to the Republican Party.
Meanwhile important issues, like health care, repair and upgrading of our infrastructure, global warming, gun violence, student debt and income inequality have languished. What I fear is that as the Republican Party becomes increasingly focused on its own self-interest, it will face an increasingly alienated electorate, and it will have to resort to ever more extreme measures to disenfranchise an ever wider portion of the electorate. This could turn into a vicious downward cycle that could destroy our democracy and our nation.
The Republican Party should stop trying to undermine our elections and get back to working for the people that elected them.