FRNJ: Stop The Steal!

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media/Opinion

Stop the Steal indeed.

It makes for a truly “laugh out loud” moment in this country to see a group of people who have never been disenfranchised from voting, never had laws erected by government to keep them from voting and never been physically blocked from voting scream at those who have to “Stop the Steal” in terms of an election.

Yet, that is what we have come to this election season around the country.

Make no mistake, there is an effort to steal November’s presidential election, but the effort has nothing to do with mail-in ballots, signature verifications, rule changes or voting machines. The effort to steal this election has been played out in courtroom (unsuccessfully) and strong-arm tactics by the one person who should be defending democracy, not trying to tear it down.

Stop the Steal

The saddest part of all of these effort, the attacks have been lodged against majority African-American cities across in battleground states. If you think that is coincidental, I’ve got Dominion Voting Machine Stock I want to sell you.

From Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Madison in Wisconsin, Detroit and Atlantic, President Donald Trump’s election fraud lawyers have been zeroing in on trying to get votes thrown out in these areas in an effort to give the president another four years in office.

In nearly every case, these efforts have failed in the court. This column will not go into details about why they failed. Great reporting has been done in those cases. The focus on trying to overturn votes in majority African-American parts of theses areas should disturb everyone, regardless of race.

First, there is a perception being created by Trump team that fraud only happens in these areas. It was Trump who said in the first presidential debate that “bad things happen in Philadelphia” in regard to voting, without offering an ounce of evidence.

Secondly, even though when states changed their mail-in ballot rules to make it easier to do because of the coronavirus pandemic, those rules were applied statewide, and not just in Detroit and Milwaukee. You mean there was fraud there and not in the Upper Peninsula or Green Bay? No investigations there? C’mon.

Stop the Steal

How can anyone take these challenges seriously? Fortunately, the courts – al the way to the U.S. Supreme Court – have not.

For a group that cries about following the Constitution, they should try reading it. One of the most unconstitutional action today was when Texas sued Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia over voting rule changes. The 10th Amendment in the Bill of Rights gives the states the power to conduct their own affairs, including voting. If you have just passing knowledge of the Constitution, you know this. The Texas lawsuit never had a chance on this amendment alone.

So, why in the heck does one state get to dictate how other states conduct their elections. Those states all ran their own audits, done their own investigations and certified their own results. Where does Texas get off saying all of those efforts should be null and void?

The sad thing about this is that 17 other states – all headed by Republican attorneys general yet – signed on to this “dead duck” of a lawsuit that the Supreme Court swiftly dismissed. I cannot imagine all of those attorneys simply lost their minds at the same time, but simply showing favor to a defeated president who got 74.2 million votes.

Now we get to what this is REALLY all about. Regardless of what you think about Trump, 74.2 million votes is awfully impressive in a losing effort and any other time would have been enough to win a presidential election. There is no current Republican politician at this time that can command 74.2 million votes.

These election lawsuits simply don’t make sense legally, at all. They do make perfect sense if you’re spying four years into the future and you’re looking to motivate those same 74.2 million voters to go to the polls because it was “stolen” from you last time.

Stop the Steal

The incredible injustices done to African Americans in voter registration, elections and the ballot box in this country are the whole reason for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. One would think that those screaming “Stop the Steal” could find solidarity with a group that have had elections literally stolen from them historically to the point that laws had to be put in place to stop it. Trump’s attorneys, though, chose to attack and strip away votes from those who have been historically disenfranchised.

Venezuela and Belarus must really be enjoying this, not to mention Russia and China.

We cannot get into the head of Trump and his attorneys, so we won’t fall into name calling here. We can point out, though, that the targeting of these communities of color indeed harkens back to the 1960s before the Voting Rights Act and we should all be disturbed by it.

On Jan. 6, Congress will certify the Electoral College vote, which historically has been routine. We expect the “Stop the Steal” crowd will make one last effort to nullify the will of the voters with the help of Vice President Mike Pence.

Now, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, the human version of the loose cannon, has filed yet another meaningless, gobbledygook of a lawsuit that would supposedly give Pence the power to ignore all Electoral votes for Biden and only count those for Trump.

What? Why even have elections if that’s even remotely legal? Maybe that’s the point for Gohmert and those who are clinging to power by any desperate measure.

It’s time for the rest of us to standup and scream “Stop the Steal” as well. For African American, we’re used to these illegal, outlandish, and yes, grossly unconstitutional efforts. Stop the steal and let’s put this last embarrassing election episode behind us.

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