The Republican Strategy

Republicans in the U.S. are outnumbered by the Democrats. According to Wikipedia, 31 percent of the U.S. population declare themselves to be Democrats while only 25 percent call themselves Republicans. The largest segment of the population declares itself independent, some 41 percent. But when those independents are asked their leaning, 50 percent express a preference for the Democrats; only 39 percent prefer the Republicans. However you count it, Democratic voters greatly outnumber Republicans.

The expected and honorable thing for Republicans to do is to improve their policies and candidates to appeal to more voters. Instead, their strategy is to reduce the number of people voting by making voting more difficult, especially for minorities who most often vote for the Democrats. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “as of March 24, 2021, more than 361 bills that would restrict voting access have been introduced in 47 states, with most aimed at limiting mail-in voting, strengthening voter ID laws, shortening early voting, eliminating automatic and same-day voter registration, curbing the use of ballot drop boxes, and allowing for more aggressive means to remove people from voter rolls.” The Washington Post described the effort as “potentially amounting to the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction.” In sum, the Republican strategy is, as one commentator phrased it, “If you can’t beat them, cheat them.”

Many working-class people sympathize with the Republicans because of the latter’s conservative and religious policies on cultural matters. These same people don’t seem to realize that when they vote for the Republicans, they are voting against their own interests, supporting leaders who want to suppress voting, reduce taxes for the well-to-do while maintaining them for the working class, diminish labor unions’ power, and prevent raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. The Republican’s power base is those with money who want to hold on to it and keep the impecunious riff-raff (ordinary working people) under their thumb and deprived of power.

More next time.

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