Some Republicans commit voter fraud by saying they’re simply maintaining election security… in ways that make it harder for young people or people of color to vote.
And some Republicans commit voter fraud by actively talking about why they must make it harder for Americans to vote — out loud, where others can hear them — because if more people vote, Republicans will lose.
That second approach was the one taken by right-wing commentator Josh Bernstein, who recently called for the execution of a congresswoman.
Reacting to Donald Trump‘s CPAC speech, Bernstein said Trump didn’t go far enough in calling for voter suppression:
“We cannot have early voting,” Bernstein declared. “We should have one day to vote, and no, it should not be [a day] off, OK? You either go before work, you either go on your lunch break, or you go after work. That’s it. If you can’t get there in that one day, then it wasn’t important enough for you, and to be quite frank, I don’t want you to vote. If you can’t make it in that one day, stay home.”
Bernstein said that only those in the military or who are sick should be allowed to use mail-in voting, but it should only be available the week before the election. He also called for the Constitution to be amended to outlaw the use of mail-in voting for any other reason.
“I’ll admit it,” Bernstein concluded. “I want to make it harder to vote in America, not easier.”
Take a guess as to which populations are more likely to use mail-in voting.
Take a guess as to who can’t take an hours-long lunch break to vote.
Take a guess as to who can’t vote after work because they need to get to a second job or back home to their families.
It’s one thing for someone on the fringe of politics to say this stuff explicitly. But Bernstein’s ideas here aren’t on the fringe. He’s basically parroting the Republican Party’s wishlist. Republicans don’t want you to vote if there’s a good chance you’re going to vote against them. Instead of adapting their ideas to make them more electable, they’re punishing voters who disagree.
And then, because those ideas weren’t enough, Bernstein added that the voting age should be increased to 21 and all voters have to provide “proof of income” — because apparently if you don’t have a job, he doesn’t want you to vote either.
I would say that’s a slippery slope to just allowing white landowners to vote, but it doesn’t even need to be slippery at this point. History hasn’t looked kindly upon those who spend their time debating who is and isn’t eligible to vote instead of modifying their politics to adapt to what the people need. It doesn’t mean voting rights is guaranteed; it means we’ve seen this play out before. Bernstein is no different from the racists of the past. His party is right there with him.
(via Right Wing Watch)