When the worm turns

The attack (a word used in political discourse to describe the other party’s actions) upon the voting rights of minorities in the red states (states where Republicans hold political power) received support by the recent Supreme Court decision striking down, in essence, the Voting Rights Act of 1964. The “attack” takes the form of additional voting requirements covertly aimed at minorities like voter ID cards and limitations on voting opportunity, like eliminating early voting and restricting polling stations in areas dominated by minorities, making them wait extremely long times to cast their votes.

In the short term the crusty old white guys may get their way, but soon, within a few decades, roles will reverse: the minorities will collectively become the majority and whites the minority. This means that, if America remains a democracy, eventually blacks and Latinos will come to hold political power. When in power, they will either forgive all of the Republican’s nasty little tricks or they will employ similar means to limit his rights. Humans being the revenge-loving creatures that we are, my bet is on the latter scenario.

So, sometime fairly soon, black and Latino politicians will be considering methods to keep whites from voting. A requirement, for example, like requiring all voters to be able to dance the Bugaloo would eliminate rhythmically challenged white male voters. Fewer polling stations in white areas would also be effective because white people are not going to wait eight hours simply to vote. That would cut too deeply into mall time and online shopping.

In the interim, to retain voting rights in red states, blacks and Latinos will have to resort to the same actions which originally secured those rights: sit-ins, marches and other forms of, hopefully, nonviolent protest. But, they will have the comfort of knowing that soon the worm will turn, provided we still have a democracy, not a certain bet given that there are a few million white guys armed with a hundred million guns who are preparing to do battle with the government.

Patrick Radcliff