The Republican Conspiracy Model
If HR. 1 is about voting rights, “HR. 1A” could be about Election Reform (1)
HR 1 “For the People Act,” passed the House on March 3 and is “currently being considered by the US Senate.”
‘Putting your mouth where your money is’ has been the mantra of the conspiratorial politician for decades. Social movements in American history have occasionally percolated to reform the voting process. Think Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights. HR 1 is one of these moments.
Fighting meaningful transformation post-Trump, the Republican Party — aka the party of conspiracy, theoretical and perpetual — has seized on the oldest form of holding onto power: holding onto power. Power sharing has been eclipsed by “political career” ending.
One could question what a life in politics is really about for today’s Republican.
The logical next step to passing HR1 is passing “HR1A” election funding reform. Without reforming elections, “getting money out of politics,” voter suppression will re-emerge in another form — a simulated “poll tax.” This simulated “tax,” as in the Jim Crow era, would be levied on people “out of power.” As one Republican voter in Arizona sniffed recently, “Your candidate (Biden) didn’t win, you don’t deserve it.” Conspiracy begets suppression, is funded by more conspiracy mongering, begetting more suppression ad nauseum.
Once in the Senate, the chance of HR1 passing intact will not reflect the overwhelming sentiment of the nation for free and fair elections. One can argue, this is because voting is part of a process. Call it “investing in democracy.”
“For the People Act could be followed by “For the Nation Act.” Before divisions can be bridged, their perpetuation must be addressed.
Is there an alternative to election reform and if so what does it look like?
Is our electoral process broken?
Conspiratorial minded Republicans would argue, no and yes, at the same time, with the same spittle. The rationalist side of “we, the people,” flinch at this nonsense: the “conspiracy” doesn’t end. This moment is akin to Dr. Fauci’s appeal yesterday, March 23 to Sen. Rand Paul during a Senate Committee Hearing, “(You) Stop the (political) theater.” He was discussing therapies, primarily mask wearing, to curtail the spread of the virus, post-vaccination. Paul was shamelessly challenging the nation’s chief epidemiologist on the “theater” of wearing masks.
On the same day as the Fauci-Rand Paul dust-up, Michael Steele, former RNC Chair and MSNBC contributor, proposed his “conspiracy” analysis: Speaking to the Sen. Ron Johnson Capitol Assault Garbage, Steele offered, “They are doing this (theater) to raise money.”
One senses that theater and politics fly in the same orbit. Accepted. But without transforming the election process, we perpetuate the question, what is the price of admission?
1- Section A of HR1 is entitled “Voting.” Apparently lots of people, myself included, didn’t get to Section B, “Campaign Finance,” and Section C, “Ethics.” However, burying the election process issues behind “Voting,” highlights my argument for a successor, stand-alone bill on Election Reform.