Op Ed

Scott Walker and Voter Suppression

The new GOP maxim: if they think you’re uninformed, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

By - Mar 22nd, 2021 04:17 pm
Scott Walker. File photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Scott Walker. File photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Conservative Paul Weyrich gave a speech in 1980 in which he proudly affirmed, “I don’t want people to vote….In fact, our leverage goes up as the voting populace goes down.” Weyrich was the founder of the American Legislative Exchange Council, The Heritage Foundation, and the Moral Majority. His voter suppression ideology has remained a powerful plank of conservative policy to this day.

CNN reported on March 11, 2021, that Republican Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh stated, “Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”

But wait, there’s more. Kavanagh went on to say, “Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues,” Kavanagh said. “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.”

Quality? Uninformed? Don’t get me started.

What is the Republican reaction to losing the most secure election in American history and how do they intend to stop that from happening in the future? Well, it’s the standard conservative go-to: voter suppression. One should not be surprised given their history and the fact that this is now the party of the fascist coup attempt and The Big Lie.

What does it say about the character of a person or party whose reflective reaction to the challenges of maintaining their political power is to limit the ability of their perceived opponents to engage in the right to self-governance through the electoral process by creating barriers to voting? There is no self-reflection to evolve on positions to bring them in line with today’s reality and attract more voters. They blame the electorate. They attack the people.

Not to be outdone, enter Scott Walker. Now President of the right-wing Young America’s Foundation, he is the latest in a string of GQP members whining about the ‘For The People Act’ which passed the House and is now in the Senate as bill S.1. Walker’s attempt at snark and lust for virality inspired him to deride the bill as the “Crooked Politician’s Act” in an opinion piece. If anyone knows about crooked politicians, it is Scott Walker.  

I did a Google search for ‘scott walker corrupt politician act’ and the first item was a link to a New York Times article from October 23, 2015 entitled ‘Wisconsin Governor Signs Bill Limiting Political Corruption Inquiries’ which reports:

“Prosecutors will no longer be allowed to use the John Doe law to investigate crimes that include bribery and misconduct in office. The legislation will also limit proceedings to six months and lift an order that barred subjects of an investigation from discussing it publicly…Six of Mr. Walker’s aides or allies were convicted as a result of a John Doe investigation. Mr. Walker’s former government office and, later, his campaign were the focus of John Doe investigations of campaign activities and fund-raising, but he was never charged.”

But I digress. My current grievance with the former Wisconsin governor is not just the expected mischaracterization of the ‘For The People Act’, but his disregard for the rights of all American voters. His assumptions and projections are telling.

Now before you reject my commentary as the nonsensical ravings of a leftist mind, consider the following: I voted for Scott Walker in the 2012 recall election after voting for Tom Barrett in the general election. In 2016, I was the Master of Ceremonies for the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin’s State Convention. And all the while a co-host of the greatest radio show ever, The Devil’s Advocates, originating on Madison’s progressive Devil Radio 92.7 FM. My objection is apolitical.

An opinion of the Editorial Board at the Washington Post says, “Conservatives complain that the bill would mandate early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, provisional ballots for people who accidentally vote out-of-precinct, same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration. So?” Exactly. So what? This can only concern those who truly believe these efforts to make voting easier are detrimental to their cause. Conservatives like Walker are willing to martyr voters, even their own voters, if it helps them remain in office.

Walker criticizes, “The left puts their faith in the government — and they want to transfer power further away from the people.”

We the People ARE the government. I think I saw a reference to that on some document conservatives claim to revere. The more people who engage in the process, free from procedural burdens, purposeful roadblocks and voter suppression, the more the government is reflective of the will of the people. That can only be alarming to those who fear the will of the people. And it explains their efforts to limit that will from being duly exercised.

Walker dismisses the very government of which he and his cohorts so desperately try to be a part and further control. He is so eager to own the libs and secure procedural advantages for his diminished and disgraced political party, he casually degrades the concept of self-governance by the People, for the People.

When We the People do not participate in the electoral process, whether by suppression or apathy, it does increase the Republicans’ leverage. And when conservatives like Weyrich, Kavanagh and Walker tell you they don’t want you to vote, believe them.  

Dominic Salvia is the cohost of “The Devil’s Advocates” You can contact him at dom@darnwi.com or follow him @devilradio and @dominicsalvia

Categories: Murphy's Law, Politics

2 thoughts on “Op Ed: Scott Walker and Voter Suppression”

  1. Keith Schmitz says:

    That’s Rich Dom.

    Voting for Walker was the ultimate sign of being misinformed.

    And of course, you have learned from events.

    So if the left puts its faith in government, what does the right put their faith in?

    Corporations. All of which are led by those who do not stand for election by people.

  2. Douglas Johnson says:

    Why this is a surprise to anyone, at this point in time, is beyond me. Voter suppression has been extensively investigated, evaluated, and written about. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t continue to be investigated, evaluated, and written about but at the same time more effort should also be put into strategies and efforts to counteract voter suppression. It also means that just because Biden won the last election we can now sit back. It also means that those populations and constituents who made his election possible, along with those voters who were successful in electing two democratic senators in Georgia that their votes and support are no longer taken for granted.

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