August 14, 2020
August 8, 2020
I believe that the November 2020 election is the most important election in my lifetime. It is probably also the most problematic, given the ongoing pandemic, Republican attempts to restrict voting, and the president’s efforts to discourage mail-in voting.
Here are some important dates you need to keep in mind:
- The last day to register to vote if you are not already registered is October 19, 2020. Most people will be able to register on-line (see above link).
- Applications for mail-in and absentee ballots must be received by your county election office by 5 p.m. on October 27, 2020. You must be registered to submit an application. Most people can apply on-line (see above link).
- Ballots must be received by your county election office by 8 p.m. on election day, that is, November 3, 2020. Having an earlier postmark doesn’t count if your ballot is not received by that time.
- If you are a resident of Pennsylvania and you are not registered, register to vote as soon as possible.
- If you are unsure about your voter registration, you can check it on-line.
- If you are registered, even if you think you will want to vote in person, request a mail-in ballot right away. If you choose not to use it, you may still vote in person.
- If you are going to vote by mail, fill in your ballot as soon as you get it and mail it to your county election office. (It can be hand-delivered if you prefer.) You can hold onto your ballot for a time if you are uncertain how you want to vote, but be keenly aware that your ballot must arrive on time to be counted. Do not rely on the swiftness of the U.S. Postal Service.
Remember: Democracy does not work if people don’t exercise their right to vote.
August 1, 2020
July 30, 2020
- Complete and strengthen the wall on our southern border and begin building a wall on our northern border.
- Deport all people in the country found to be undocumented.
- Eliminate all immigration into the U.S., both permanent and temporary.
- Stop admitting asylum seekers.
- Withdraw from the United Nations, NATO, and other multilateral compacts.
- Add Russia to the G7.
- Add a representative of Russia to the National Security Council.
- Accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
- Remove U.S. troops from Europe, Korea, Syria, and Afghanistan.
- Increase spending on defense.
- Increase arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
- Eliminate the inheritance tax.
- Decrease the corporate income tax.
- Provide additional tax breaks for real estate developers.
- Outlaw all abortions.
- Keep niggers out of white suburbs.
- Eliminate scientists and science advice from government.
- Eliminate spending on science and medicine.
- Eliminate public schools and universities in favor of for-profit education.
- Protect statues of Confederate generals and other monuments to the Confederacy.
- Put the portrait of Robert E. Lee on the $20 bill.
- Outlaw books criticizing the president.
- Strengthen laws against slander and libel.
- Institute new taxes on newspapers and radio and television stations.
- Outlaw mail-in voting.
- Require a government ID for voting throughout the country.
- Privatize postal and weather services, Social Security, and the IRS.
- Begin charging admission for D.C. museums and monuments.
- Make the Justice Department and Federal Reserve answerable only to the president.
- Provide a domestic police force for the sole use of the president.
July 22, 2020
Voting access is the key to equality in our democracy. The size of your wallet, the number on your Zip code shouldn’t matter. The action of government effects every American so every citizen should have an equal voice. … We all count! It doesn’t matter whether you’re black, or white, Latino, Asian-American or Native American. We are one people. We are one family. We all live in the same house—the American house.
— John Lewis, 2019
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.This provision was required by the infamous Dred Scott Decision, which denied that Blacks could be U.S. citizens. Section 2 annuls the notorious provision of Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3, which treated slaves—referred to as “other Persons”—as three-fifths of a person:
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.
is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crimeThis provision has been used to disenfranchise felons in some states. It has never been used to reduce a state’s representation. The provision was largely made moot by the 15th Amendment, Section 1 of which reads
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.Taken together, the 14th and 15th Amendments require that, with minor exceptions, all men aged twenty-one or older may not be prevented from voting based on race, color, or having been a slave. (Apparently, some Southern states tried to prohibit people from voting whose parents or grandparents were slaves.) Nothing is said about prohibiting voting because of religion or sex. Arguably, the First Amendment made using religion to disenfranchise citizens questionable. Some women argued that these amendments should have given them the right to vote. They argued for their suffrage to be provided for explicitly. They did not carry the day.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Section 1. All citizens of the United States who are eighteen years old or older shall have an irrevocable right to vote.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.This amendment, rather than describing who cannot be prevented from voting, simply declares that suffrage is universal among citizens. Moreover, events such as incarceration can have no effect on suffrage. One can lose the right to vote only be losing citizenship, by personal renunciation, for example. States could implement this amendment in various ways or Congress could specify a nationwide implementation. Ideally, voter lists can be done away with. When presenting themselves to vote, whether in person or remotely, people can simply self-certify that they are citizens. As now, severe penalties can be assessed on non-citizens caught trying to vote. (Although Republicans falsely claim that many non-citizens have been allowed to vote, there is no evidence for that belief.)
July 14, 2020