by Ray Keating
The Keating Files – April 3, 2021
When it comes to advancing one’s agenda via cynical political manipulation, Democrats take a back seat to no one. Certainly not to Republicans – a political party that seems bent on perfecting the self-inflicted wound.
Consider what’s going on with Georgia’s new voting law. Democrats and the Left have presented it as a Republican effort to suppress the black vote. But as a variety of sober assessments have made clear, this is largely a measure that expands early voting, and cleans up the process so that local election officials are better able to manage the process. (For example, see Henry Olsen’s Washington Post piece, and a rundown on the law by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).)
One can, and of course, should, debate the measure, but classifying this as some kind of Jim Crow law is simply dead wrong. President Biden actually asserted, “It’s sick … deciding that you’re going to end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off work.” It’s not clear who would benefit from having polls closing at 5 p.m., but I guess Biden has some ideas? However, it doesn’t matter anyway because that’s not what the law says. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as noted by GPB: “One of the biggest changes in the bill would expand early voting access for most counties, adding an additional mandatory Saturday and formally codifying Sunday voting hours as optional. Counties can have early voting open as long as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at minimum.” (Emphasis added.) Hey, Joe, the polls don’t close at five, instead, they have to stay open until at least five.
Well, why then the widespread backlash against this law, including, for example, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announcing that the All-Star Game would be moved out of Georgia?
Most obvious, people don’t do their own research on issues; they take their cues from certain groups or voices; and then they assert their own expertise and make decisions accordingly. That is, they serve as fertile ground for political manipulation. This is increasingly the case across the political party spectrum and our nation.
Second, the Left and the Democrats have seized on an issue to work to their own advantage, from ginning up their base to pressuring individuals, groups and organizations to get in line.
Meanwhile, Republicans made it easier for Democrats to do so. How? With so many Republican politicians, officials and rank-and-file members backing Donald Trump’s lunacy and lies about a stolen election, it’s pretty easy for Democrats to raise all kinds of questions about Republican intentions when it comes to voting laws.
Never mind that Republican leaders in the state of Georgia followed state law, as opposed to what Trump pressured them to do, during this past presidential election. Democrats have decided, for their own political advantage, to paint with a broad brush, hurling baseless accusations and trying to cover all Republicans in Georgia with the taint of Trump. Republicans simply made it far easier to do so because they refuse to wash off the Trump grime and muck.
Republicans will catch on. Well, not really. They’ll probably double-down for Trump, thereby, making it even easier for Democrats to launch both legitimate and baseless attacks. And America’s divide of distrust will persist.
Republican political dimness is not a new problem, but the party seems to have sunk deeper into political ignorance. Thinking that a cranky, narrow, victim-centric, anger-driven, fear-embracing populism was, and still is, a foundation upon which to sustain a political party rates as a model of political ineptitude.
I recall a moment in time when Republicans were pretty smart, that is, when they got on board with an optimistic, freedom-loving, free-enterprise-embracing, confident conservative named Ronald Reagan, and followed him to victory and influence beyond his years. But that is not today’s GOP, and I certainly have no idea what tomorrow’s GOP will look like, or if it will even exist. Indeed, the most that the Republican Party has going for it now is that a significant chunk of Americans reject the Democrats’ ongoing journey leftward, and some are still able to spot and oppose the Left’s cynicism.
Ray Keating is a columnist, novelist, economist, podcaster and entrepreneur. Keating has two new books out. Vatican Shadows: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel is the 13ththriller/mystery in the Pastor Stephen Grant series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed books at www.raykeatingonline.com. Past Lives: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story is the 14th book in the series. Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon, or signed book at www.raykeatingonline.com.
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