Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Elections are Relics of the Past

There was a time when outcomes mattered, when truth mattered, when integrity, fair play, mattered. Not anymore.

Now, it’s all about winning, and power, especially for white folks. Otherwise, they would be embarrassed at the way other white folks behave. How else can you explain widespread, popular support for a philandering, twice-impeached, often bankrupted, one-term, son of a klansman who reigns like a vice lord down in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Liberal or conservative, wacky or profane, that putrid human being is too much of a lowlife to be the leader of any cause, and yet here we are, half of the U.S. Congress shamelessly defending him. Him. Loathsome him.

There was a time when truth, integrity, reputation mattered. Not anymore.

In recent weeks, dozens of outraged people, including members of Congress, were arrested at the U.S. Capitol and Reagan National Airport, protesting for the right to vote, and sadly, we hardly noticed. Our attention instead, is spent on forest fires out of control, early in the season. Oh, the rumors are extant. There will be an imminent return to the presidency by The Flawed One, Donald J. Trump, himself. He will be reinstated. His supporters have increased their calls for violence if Dude isn’t back in the White House soon.

“Some conspiracy theories associated with reinstating former President Trump have included calls for violence if desired outcomes are not realized,” the DHS bulletin, obtained by ABC News, said. Hundreds of like-minded people are facing prosecution while thousands more are hiding from the law for their “Lord of the Flies” maypole at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

They are no longer hiding, campaigning in secret. Even certain doomsday-shelter ideas are fodder for reality TV. The language used on all sides has gotten coarse, grim.

“I never expected to say I’d be scared sh-tless on CNN, but that’s how I feel,” election law expert Richard Hasen said on CNN’s “New Day” on Aug. 5. “I think that we dodged a bullet in 2020, but the way things are lining up, I’m very concerned about our elections going forward, especially 2024 and the possibility that we’re not going to have an election where the official results reflect what voters actually want.”

Put another way: The United States is on the verge of collapsing into a minority-ruled, apartheid state, with white Republicans openly ruling on behalf of their interests alone, and there is very little that can be done to prevent the future domination of the society by right-wing forces.

“I think that we are amidst right now a full-blown crisis of minority rule and the avenue by which Americans have to defeat this are shrinking rapidly,” David Daley, author of “Ratf**ked…The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy,” told me in an interview on WPFW-FM’s “Monday Morning QB.”

It’s irrefutable, from the Electoral College to the Senate, the white, conservative minority has wielded political power, far beyond its numbers throughout U.S. history. And now, all over the country — such as in Texas where only a walkout by Democratic state legislators has prevented their approval — Republican-dominated state governments have already passed hundreds of laws to tighten their grip on political power by making it harder for those who disagree with them to vote, so they won’t be voted out.

“Democrats need to understand this might be the last chance they have to do anything about this for a decade,” said Daley, who is a senior fellow at FairVote and former editor of Salon. “And that our democracy demands that they act now to fix these problems and to attempt to inject some fairness and responsiveness back into our democracy before it’s too late.” Too late.

The principles of this country’s representative democracy have become much less fair and responsive and equitable according to many government critics. It’s plain to see. For the governor of Texas to jam through a new draconian suppression of voting rights is designed to guarantee that Republicans will never lose another election. It’s simple.

Minority government. White minority government. You have an Electoral College system that twice in the past 20 years has made the winner of the presidency the person who won fewer votes. Say it ain’t so!

What matters is what matters to white folks. Right? Well, some white folks tryna steal y’all’s democratic electoral system, right before your very eyes. Will anyone stop that runaway express? Can anyone stop them?

Truth matters. Integrity matters. Honor. Word. Bond.

Some may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. One Love. Black August.

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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