15th Amendment

Voting Rights Extension 2006: 98-0 In Senate! Voting Rights Extension 2021–Rejected By Republicans!

Today is the 10th Anniversary of the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC.

It is very clear what Martin Luther King Jr. would say if he was alive today–total anger at what the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, has done–to work to destroy the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson, and reaffirmed as recently as 2006, under President George W. Bush, when the US Senate voted 98-0 to renew it, with full backing of the Republican President and his party unanimously.

But now, in the age of Donald Trump and a Republican Party morphing into the old segregationist Southern Democratic Party from Reconstruction times to the 1960s, we are stunned to see not one Republican Senator—not even Mitt Romney, nor Ben Sasse, nor Lisa Murkowski, nor Susan Collins—willing to vote to overcome the filibuster tactic. This vote was just to consider and discuss and debate a Voting Rights Act to restore the damage done by the US Supreme Court in 2013 in Shelby County V Holder, and by many Southern and Western states legislatures since then, to restrict the right to vote, the bedrock of a democracy!

The Republican Party has lost its credibility completely as a serious alternative conservative party, and now is just a bunch of power seeking, phony so called “religious’ people, who are out to promote white supremacy, nativism and misogyny! They are out to promote election subversion and voter suppression and deny the right to vote to millions of Americans!

The party will not recover long term if it does not abandon Donald Trump now, and there is no sign of that occurring!

Automatic Mail Ballots Should Be Sent By All States To All Voters As A National Law To Insure Voting Rights!

Nine states and Washington, DC send automatic mail ballots to all eligible voters who reside in their states.

These states include:

California
Colorado
Hawaii
Nevada
New Jersey
Oregon
Utah
Vermont
Washington State
Washington, DC

There is no viable reason why voters have to show up in person to vote, as long as they are registered and live in the state they reside in.

Such a system of mail in voting boosts voting, particularly of poor people, racial minorities, the disabled, members of the military, and the elderly.

Voting rights were guaranteed over time, and then added to by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, along with Constitutional amendments 15, 19, 23, 24, and 26, and so therefore, there should be ZERO boundaries for voting!

If we are to remain a democracy, this needs to become a national law that goes into effect by the Presidential Election of 2024, if not earlier with the Midterm Congressional Elections of 2022!

56th Anniversary Of Voting Rights Act, Now A Major Crisis Of American Democracy!

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, supported by Democrats, but also a substantial number of Republicans, who understood that voting rights were the central human right in a nation that was a democracy.

It was a reaction against the denial in the former Confederates states of the South to enforce the 15th Amendment of 1870, which gave men of color the right to vote after the Civil War.

Now, America is again in a crisis, as the Supreme Court cut back enforcement of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, in Shelby County V. Holder, and many Republican states are now claiming voter fraud in 2020, when it did not exist, and are passing all kinds of restrictions to prevent minority voters, young voters, and poor people from their constitutional right to vote.

Texas, Georgia, Florida and Arizona, and their crooked, corrupt governors and state legislatures are trying to fix the results of future elections, by making it impossible or extremely difficult for people to vote, and Texas has seen the Democrats in the state legislature for the past month and more, leaving the state and coming to Washington, DC to promote a restoration of the Voting Rights Act.

These Texas Democrats face arrest and possible imprisonment, which should not be permitted, and instead, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the right wingers in his state and others, should face prosecution for what they are attempting to perpetrate.

H R 1–For the People Act, and H R 4–John Lewis Voting Rights Act, need to be passed into law now!

Voting Rights Repressed In 17 GOP States And Counting, As Joe Biden Gives Strong Speech At The National Constitution Center In Philadelphia!

Joe Biden gave a stirring speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia yesterday, condemning the attack on the most basic right every American should have—-the right to vote.

The 15th, 19th, 23rd, and 26th Amendments, along with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were designed to insure that no state could deprive anyone who is a citizen and at least 18 years of age, of the right to vote.

But 17 states (Southern and Western and Republican controlled) have made it more difficult for many Americans, particularly young, disabled, poor, or people of color to vote, including the following states:

Florida
Georgia
Alabama
Louisiana
Arkansas
Texas
Oklahoma
Kansas
Iowa
Indiana
Kentucky
Arizona
Utah
Nevada
Wyoming
Idaho
Montana

Republicans currently control both chambers of 30 state legislatures, and the number of states that are attempting to add to this list is alarming.

Texas Democrats have left the state, and face the possibility of arrest and fines when they return, but the idea that this could happen makes the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, practically a dictator of Fascist orientation.

But the Democrats have every right to fight against the authoritarian bent going on in Texas and elsewhere.

The only way to stop this is national legislation, as with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which has now been emasculated by the right wing Supreme Court, which has gone way beyond normal limits.

The John Roberts Court has brought us back to the 1930s!

It is urgent for the Democrats to unite and end the crisis in Texas and elsewhere by passage of (HR 1) For the People Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, (HR 4)!

Celebrating The Real Meaning Of July 4–Promotion Of Freedom, Equality, And Democracy!

Independence Day–July 4–is a holiday to celebrate the promotion of Freedom, Equality, and Democracy!

The 245th Independence Day is a sobering day, as the Republican Party is trying mightily to cover up the Fascist authoritarian attempt of Donald Trump and his treasonous and seditionist supporters to destroy the Constitution and rule of law, as they did on January 6, 2021, with the US Capitol Insurrection.

The Republican Party is also trying to destroy the ability of people of color to vote, something enshrined in the Constitution by the 15th Amendment in 1870, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The right wing Supreme Court, with five of the six conservatives appointed by Presidents who lost the popular vote, and the sixth one (Clarence Thomas) accused of sexual abuse, along with Brett Kavanaugh, has also worked to destroy the Voting Rights Act.

And the danger exists that if one Democratic Senator is unable to vote on any legislative action or were to pass away, the possibility of the Democrats losing control of the Senate to Mitch McConnell is a horrifying reality.

And were Stephen Breyer to continue to ignore the need for his retirement from the Supreme Court, to insure that Joe Biden can select his replacement before the midterm elections, the threat exists that the Republicans then, if not sooner, would gain control of the Senate, and we could face a 7-2 Court, instead of a 6-3 Court!

On this 158th Anniversary of the third and last day of that turning point of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, the tremendous sacrifices of the three day battle which insured the eventual victory of freedom over slavery, let us NOT forget that the battle to preserve freedom, equality and democracy goes on!

Susan B. Anthony “Pardon” A Total Mockery And Embarrassment, And No Intelligent Woman Would See It As Excusing Trump Misogyny

One of the most preposterous and ridiculous events occurred yesterday, on the centennial anniversary of the ratification of women suffrage, the 19th Amendment.

President Donald Trump, the all time misogynist in a very public manner, “pardoned” suffragette Susan B. Anthony for her conviction in 1873, for having “illegally” voted in the Presidential election of 1872, since women were not given the suffrage until 1920.

Anthony “broke” the law in protest the fact that the 15th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1870, gave African American men the right to vote but not women, although the right for African American men would be taken away over time in the “Jim Crow” South, until restored by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Anthony refused to pay the fine of $100, about $2600 in modern times, and the judge did not take any action, and she never was in prison for the so called ‘violation”.

So to “pardon” her over a conviction where she did not pay the fine or go to jail is a total mockery of the idea of pardons, but Trump is infamous for that kind of ridiculous behavior!

One wonders if Trump thinks Susan B. Anthony is still alive, since he seemed to think abolitionist Frederick Douglass was “alive”, when both passed away in 1906 and 1895 respectively! But Donald Trump has no knowledge or sense of history, plus a multitude of many other areas of learning!

One can be sure neither Anthony nor Douglass would give Trump the time of day, so to speak, and would be furious with his racism and misogyny! Anthony made clear in her lifetime that she did not want a pardon, as she felt she had done nothing wrong, so this idea of a posthumous pardon is a pure joke, and historians have already deplored it as a stunt by Trump that is totally out of line!

So this attempt by Trump to try to gain African American or women in large numbers voting for him is totally delusional!

Centennial Of 19th Amendment On August 18, 2020: Time For A Woman VP And Eventually President!

On August 18, 2020, we will be celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving all women the right to vote.

The battle for women suffrage was a long, hard fought struggle for 72 years, since the first national call for the right to vote for women occurred at the Seneca Falls, New York Equal Rights Convention in 1848.

It took fifty years after the 15th Amendment, giving African American men the right to vote in 1870, before the battle for women, white and nonwhite, to gain that similar right was accomplished, as it was thought to be too extreme and radical after the Civil War, crazy as that is, when one looks back!

It was the work of Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the convention, and over the next 72 years, Stanton continued her activism, and was joined in it by such figures as Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Paul.

And the final push for the 19th Amendment came from the first woman to serve in Congress, in the House of Representatives, Republican Jeanette Rankin of Montana.

Now, we will have a woman Vice Presidential nominee, to be announced soon by Joe Biden, and a strong chance that whoever is selected will become the first woman Vice President, and possibly, a future President!

Donald Trump Trying To Suppress The Right To Vote, Unprecedented Since The Voting Rights Act Of 1965

Donald Trump knows he will lose the upcoming Presidential Election of 2020 massively, and is trying to stop people from voting, endangering them with his demand that they must vote in person, not by mail in voting, even though many Americans already use that method, including Donald Trump himself!

He is threatening lawsuits and denial of financial support to Michigan and Nevada, because he knows they are states he must win, but he will not win either, no matter what he does to suppress the vote.

Voting is the most basic right, and this is the first President openly trying to interfere with the right to vote, guaranteed under Amendments 15, 19 and 26, along with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Right now, Joe Biden leads massively among women, senior citizens, and people of color, and is ahead in some polls by 11 points.

The majority think Biden would do better on health care and the CoronaVirus Pandemic.

Every day, by his refusal to deal with the loss of life, and claiming he has made no mistakes, Donald Trump is just solidifying his sound defeat in November!

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

50 Years Of The Voting Rights Act, And Reluctance To Enforce It By Supreme Court And Many States Now A Sad Reality!

On August 6, it will be 50 years since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, overcoming a near century of the denial of the right to vote to African Americans, despite the passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870.

The Southern states denied African Americans the right to vote through all kinds of methods for three quarters of a century, but finally it was a Southern President and many Congressional Republicans joining with Democrats that caused that denial of democracy to be overcome, finally.

And Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, all Republicans, continued to endorse, promote, hail, and extend the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

But then the Supreme Court majority under Chief Justice John Roberts weakened enforcement in a Supreme Court decision in 2013 (Shelby County, Alabama V. Holder), effectively giving license to states run by Republican governors and legislatures to pass new restrictions on voting, that would not only hurt African Americans, but also Hispanics, poor whites, the elderly, college students—all being required to make onerous efforts to meet the new restrictions on voting rights, when there was no earlier evidence of voting fraud.

This sad reality has pained John Lewis, Georgia Congressman, who was involved in the movement for voting rights in Alabama (the Selma-Montgomery March), and was seriously beaten, along with others who were killed, fighting peacefully for the basic right to vote.

So while we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this path breaking legislation, we have to hope that the Supreme Court will revisit what it has done by a 5-4 vote in the next term, with the hope that they will reconsider what they have done, based on the discrimination now being practiced in many states across the nation.