What's On Our Mind 4-29-2022
Submitted by holliswein on Fri, 04/29/2022 - 12:00am
The GOP has found a new way to suppress the vote. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved the creation of an "election police force" to crackdown on unsubstantiated voter fraud in the Sunshine State. His plan will create an “Office of Election Crimes and Security,” a way to further spread Trump’s “big lie” and cast doubt on elections.
This move poses an even greater threat to our democracy. According the the CATO Institute there are few things more dangerous than a government agency handed cash and resources with a mandate to solve a problem that does not exist. As a rule, they’ll invent it to justify their mandate.
There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Florida — or anywhere else in our country. A Florida judge recently struck down many of the provisions of DeSantis’s earlier “election fraud” law. Nevertheless, DeSantis is instituting on a statewide, taxpayer funded program that amounts to voter intimidation and disenfranchisement.
DeSantis’s move is part of Trump’s greater legacy, including the violence of January 6th. It is part of the GOP's overarching goal to spread disinformation for their own gain regardless of how it threatens our democracy. In an outgrowth of their inability for decades to win on the issues, they are actually changing the rules and laws in order to pick their voters instead of the voters choosing who represents them.
These antidemocratic policies are also aided by social media. Elon Musk, who is buying Twitter, has pledged to return “free speech” to Twitter — giving those from the right wing that have been banned new hope. Election conspiracy theories circulated unchecked on Twitter and Facebook during the last election.
Twitter, along with Facebook, Tik Tok, and others, has faced criticism because their platform acts as a petri dish for spreading lies. The spread of disinformation on social media sites is one of the anti-democracy, pro-authoritarian movement’s biggest asset in their war against voters.
A far-right governor with a state-funded office to spread voter fraud lies with the assistance of unmoderated social media is disastrous for voters. Just as voter suppression laws have swept the nation, it is only a matter of time before DeSantis's cronies do the same in their states and establish similar offices.
Do not take your right to vote for granted. It is more precious than ever before.