It is fifty years ago today that President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And it only took conservatives 49 years to destroy it. Scott Lemieux wrote a great article on the subject, John Roberts Has Been Trying to Gut the Voting Rights Act for Decades. Never imagine that conservatives really believe in democracy or freedom or any of the other things that are normally considered obvious ideals of the United States. These guys are authoritarians and anything it takes to get power is fine. This is why they have no trouble believe that Obama is planning to take over Texas with Jade Helm 15. They know the way they think.
Of course, the Voting Rights Act is still in effect. And it still does good. What Roberts managed to do was to make it far less powerful. And the moment he did that, Republican controlled legislatures all over the nation just happened to have new laws to pass. It isn’t a coincidence. Nor is it just that these localities are filled with a bunch of bigots (although they generally are). It is that this is part of a grand scheme. It’s not a conspiracy, exactly. That’s because they all think the same. Rush Limbaugh picked a perfect name for his followers, “Dittoheads.”
Passage of the Voting Rights Act was a great accomplishment. And it remains a great law. And maybe the Democrats can eventually get control of Washington and fix it. But I suspect if they do, the Republicans will use this as an excuse to then vote against it every time it comes up. You know, because, “Well, the Democrats have turned it into a partisan issue.” Well, since about 1968, it has been a partisan issue. All I can say is that all those conservative Christians in the Republican Party had better hope that they are wrong about God. Because they are going to burn.
Happy birthday Voting Rights Act!