This is nothing new. For the 10 millennia of human civilization, reactionaries have harnessed fear and bigotry and stupidity to block or reverse progress. They didn't need the Internet or Fox news or talk radio, and trying to connect our current iteration of Leading by Lies to technology is a snipe hunt.
Progress waxes and wanes, but over time stays ahead of Reaction and increases its lead. If it didn't, Reaction wouldn't need to exist.
But Progress never advances by persuading the fearful and bigoted and stupid. Those belong to Reaction always. Progress advances by expanding the ranks of the Human.
Ten thousand years ago, Reaction defined "human" as "people who live in my village." Everyone else was not-human. The Enemy.
Nine thousand eight hundred years later, Progress had expanded the definition of Human citizen-entitled-to-vote to male, wealthy and white.
And while Progress thinks it has since expanded the rights of full humanity to people of color, the poor and women, to Reaction, the non-male, non-white, non-wealthy are still the Enemy.
Reaction always and only appeals to fear, bigotry and stupidity. Progress advances always and only by fighting fear, bigotry and stupidity. Because Progress never has, never can and never will win over Reaction's fear, bigotry and stupidity.
Progress advances only by increasing the ranks of the
Human people who vote.
That means we have two fights:
- Stopping voter suppression and ensuring full access to the polls for everyone - ideally, vote-by-mail. We have to fight this one like rabid ferrets, because this one is literally the life and death of our democracy.
- Turning out the vote. Anyone who is non-white, non-male, non-rich, non-straight and/or non-christian and who does not vote is a traitor to democracy and to every ancestor who fought, bled and died for that right. Once you get the right to vote, it's not a right any more. And it is absolutely fucking not a "privilege." It's a duty.
Or Progress dies.