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Vote like your pants are on fire !

I have been angry, sad, demoralized, frustrated and now ENERGIZED !

Let’s take a deep breath ….

This is the first blog post from the Staunton Democratic Committee (SDC). We will try to publish and discuss a specific topic weekly and detail what you can do locally and nationally to counter the threats to our democracy, personal freedoms and values. Many of these issues are intertwined so please bear with me.

Where to start ? Clearly many people (including myself) are very angry about some of the most recent Supreme Court rulings such as Dobbs (Roe), West Virginia v. EPA, etc. But initially I want to talk about voting (including voter suppression and election subversion) and why the rest of our progressive agenda depends on 2 pieces of Democrat sponsored election legislation blocked by Republicans in Congress.

Consider the current US Congress. Democrats currently have a slim majority in the House and a technical majority (the 51st vote is the Vice President in cases of a tie) in the Senate although our agenda is rendered mostly impotent by the maintenance of the 60 vote filibuster.

If the Democrats can retain House majority and gain 2+ seats in the Senate in the November 2022 elections, we can kill the Senate filibuster and start passing MAJOR legislation including codifying Roe, Build Back Better, and other pieces of legislation that are helpful to all.

However, the most important pieces that MUST be passed include the John Lewis Voting Act and the For the People Act. The For the People act sets national standards for voting and elections, will automatically register all eligible voters in the US, prevents gerrymandering, requires a code of ethics rules for the 3 branches of government and contains many other changes that ensure a free and fair electoral process. The Brennan Center has an excellent and very long analysis of the For the People Act.

Why is this important? For decades the Republicans have been trying to suppress voting, commit electoral subversion and gerrymander voting districts so that they can have and maintain a PERMANENT majority or super-majority in all levels (local, state and federal) of government. This gives them complete power even though most of their policy positions are supported by only a minority of Americans. Republicans control the majority of Governorships and state legislatures and are trying to elect more election-denying Republicans into positions such as the Secretaries of State to control the outcomes of elections.

For example, Doug Mastriano (Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor and election denier), previously urged the PA Republican-controlled legislature to throw out the 2020 election results and name their own winner. He also said that if he is elected Governor then he would appoint a Secretary of State who would require all voters to re-register before they vote. If PA is in Republican control, then the 2024 election there is likely to be subverted.

The BOTTOM LINE is that we must win in the November 2022 federal elections. If we do not win a functional congressional majority in November and cannot pass election reforms then 2024 will be a further nightmare with further Republican entrenchment. Also we will not be able to codify Roe and other important legislation and the Republican agenda will advance for the next 2 years and further into the future.

This is what you can do to prevent this catastrophe for American democracy and restore our democratic values of equality (for all including Republicans), fairness, a civil society, etc.

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