Can You Blame America’s Voting Debacle On The GOP And Its Racist Response To Barack Obama’s Presidency? DMT.NEWS - DMT NEWS

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Can You Blame America’s Voting Debacle On The GOP And Its Racist Response To Barack Obama’s Presidency? DMT.NEWS

In his forthcoming memoir, “A Promised Land,” former President Barack Obama claimed the result of Donald Trump’s presidency and current contested election was the result of “millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House.” Recalling his historic election in 2008, Obama bluntly suggested it also led to a wave of bitter and divisive turmoil which fueled Republicans’ grievances and obstructionism which ultimately changed the party.

“It was as if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a sense that the natural order had been disrupted,” wrote Obama.

“Which is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started pedaling assertions that I had not been born in the United and was thus an illegitimate president. For millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial anxiety.” (1)

Millions Disenfranchised

Whether Obama’s assertion is true, what immediately occurred after the 2016 election was a push for aggressive judicial activism by the GOP and Republican controlled Senate, along with a power grab by Republican state legislators reaching down to deny municipal governments the right to make their own policies on matters pertaining to voting rights, not the least election rules. New picture ID, driver’s license, and permanent address laws disenfranchised millions.

The Republicans, in a seeming war of attrition, used other tactics as well, like warning people with robocalls and an ominous campaign message:

“If you try to vote by mail, your personal information will be turned over to the police and to debt collectors.” (2)

Another strategy that kept millions from voting was imposing the full payment of fines on people with felony convictions. Many found themselves bogged down in an overcrowded and unnavigable justice system.

GOP and ALEC Preemption Laws

Pushed by State Policy Networks and guided by ALEC-affiliated legislators, GOP-controlled states moreover passed preemption laws that denied localities the right to adopt policies that depart from the model being imposed by the network-dominated state legislatures. (3) They sought to turn back any opposition group through the process of redrawing voting districts, and by shutting down thousands of precinct stations in disadvantaged and non-white communities.

Many voting rights experts agree that the goal of the GOP and many Republicans, in a nation that already stands at 138th of 172 democracies in the world in voter turnout, was to have even fewer people participate in the political process.

They wanted to ensure their White political status, as operatives throughout the apparatus and their allied officeholders systematically kindled the irrational conviction that Barack Obama had won through massive voter “fraud.”

Most Cynical

This was the GOP and Republicans as most cynical, that unless a battery of new laws prevented it, such fraud would be used to steal other elections. Driven by racism and fear, so avidly had this “big lie” been spread that nearly half of registered voters, and even federal judges and Supreme Court justices, came to believe fraud was a big problem - especially in cases where non-whites or social democrats were elected, challenging the status quo or tenants of corporate fascism.

With fewer people voting, the GOP believed everything would be so much easier to achieve. In the two years after Republican candidates swept the 2010 midterm elections, ALEC-backed legislators in forty-one states and introduced more than 180 bills to restrict who could vote and how. The measures continued to target the political influence of non-whites and low-income voters and young people, who were inclining leftward.

Hate-Motivated Crimes Surge

Voting rights experts say that America had not witnessed such a burst of limits on voting rights since the calculated mass disenfranchisement instituted by southern states a century ago. But now the effort was national, not only regional, and before long it was affecting outcomes. Indeed, it is the main reason the GOP has maintained control of the Senate. With America’s current voting system, Republican incumbents have a 93 percent chance of remaining in power.

There has been another devastating impact on non-white communities. Hate crimes under the Trump administration surged to a staggering 21 percent. But the latest rise in hate crimes signals a new brutal landscape, where targeted attacks against non-whites not only result in racial spikes but increases driven by a more widely dispersed rise in the most violent offenses. Thousands of offenses now include religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. (4)

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Voter Fraud Lost, This Time

Can you blame the current election debacle on the GOP’s racist response to Barack Obama’s presidency? Maybe the best example of this was a Republican member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers who refused to certify the results in Detroit. The canvasser, William Harmon, evidently had a Facebook Page filled with Islamophobic images, racist remarks against the Black community, and wild conspiracy theories about an immigrant invasion. (5)

Brittany Cunningham writes:

“Historically, voter fraud seems to be a consistent complaint when two things happen: When Republicans lose, and when Black people are the ones to defeat them.” (6)

But Black and marginalized voters in this election overcame nearly insurmountable odds to defeat the Trump administration. The effort was no small task. Consequently, their historic achievement should not go unnoticed if the Democrats want to remain in power in 2024.

Darling (


(2) MacLean, Nancy. Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. New York, New York: Penguin Books, 2017., p. 231.

(3) Ibid., p. 232.




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by , Khareem Sudlow