Photos: YouTube\Keith Magee
Recent years have seen considerable attacks on democracy in the United States, with Republican led state legislatures targeting the ability of Black people to vote.
In this Q&A the Reverend Professor Keith Magee looks at how voting rights in the US became so vulnerable, and how a new 28th Amendment to the US Constitution establishing every American’s right to vote in free, fair, and transparent elections would protect these rights.
Why are equal voting rights so important for the future of the US and for global stability?
As the world veers worryingly towards a situation in which western democracies are pitted against a burgeoning anti-democratic Sino-Russian alliance, it is the worst possible time for US democracy to appear to be in decline. And yet the equal voting rights that should have been enshrined by the 15th Amendment and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and are fundamental to the functioning of democracy in our country, are still tragically unprotected and under ongoing attack by some of our own citizens.
It’s not just international security that is threatened if democracy is allowed to falter in America. In a concerted effort to stop Black people from voting, several Republican state legislatures are actively targeting flexible voting hours, voter registration and mail-in voting. Such tactics could result in harm to others as well – other minorities, the elderly, the young, and poor Whites in urban and rural areas alike may also see their right to vote stolen from them.
This is occurring against a background of deepening polarisation, the 2021 assault on the Capitol building and the enduring potency of Donald Trump’s Big Lie about electoral fraud and the 2020 election.
The disenfranchised might soon find themselves watching on, powerless to intervene, as our democratic system is destroyed from within.
We would all do well to remember that the alternative to democracy is autocracy and the loss of the freedoms America fought so hard to win from Britain more than two centuries ago. Read more.