Hiking Because Murder Is Wrong Shirt, hoodie, tank top

Hiking Because Murder Is Wrong Shirt, hoodie, tank top

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Hiking Because Murder Is Wrong Shirt, hoodie, tank top

If Republican legislators get their way, Arizona’s system will be less free and less fair, and voting will be much more difficult.

This eruption of legislation should worry anyone who believes that the ultimate authority in this nation rests with the people and not the politicians.

Members of Congress now have a choice. They can see what Republican state legislatures are doing and consider using their power under the Elections Clause to do something about it. Republican members can put principle over party, recognizing that it may harm their electoral chances in the short term.

In a democratic nation, the vote ensures that we engage in politics, not war. It gives us a voice: one vote to cast as we please, plus the right to speak freely and convince others to also cast their ballots for particular candidates or causes. It gives us the ability to privilege the ballot box over the cartridge box when things get real. The winner today may not be the winner next election. The self-corrective process of elections allows for the peaceful transfer of power—a historical miracle that, after the Capitol riot, we might not want to take for granted.

As the internecine bloodbath of the Civil War came to a close, Frederick Douglass addressed the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in Boston. His speech, “What the Black Man Wants,” is a reminder of the importance of the franchise to self-government and individual freedom.

“Without this, his liberty is a mockery,” Douglass said. “Without this, you might as well almost retain the old name of slavery for his condition; for in fact, if he is not the slave of the individual master, he is the slave of society, and holds his liberty as a privilege, not as a right.”

The same truth holds today. Discriminatory laws and practices that create long lines and make casting a vote as difficult as possible deter people from voting. By doing so, they attack Americans’ liberty and their equality before the law. A right made onerous is, in many respects, a right denied.

 

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