Living in Society

A Suppressing Rain

Seedlings in the greenhouse.

It rained overnight, just as the man at the fertilizer place in Monticello predicted yesterday. We had a long conversation about rain, as rural folk often do. It’s something to talk about, something to which we can all relate. I asked him to load the two bags of fertilizer in the back seat so he wouldn’t notice my Biden for president bumper sticker that read “Build Back Better.” I went there for fertilizer and for weather talk, not for a political conversation.

The other kind of rain is figurative. It’s raining Republican legislation to suppress voters going forward. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 47 states have filed more than 361 bills to restrict access to voting. Any state that signs such a bill into law will be sued, Democratic attorney Marc E. Elias said. Lawsuits are already pending in Iowa, Georgia, Montana and Florida. Republicans have determined they can’t win elections at the ballot box and are rigging the system to retain power anyway.

It was bad enough President Trump was impeached for fanning the flames of insurrection when the Congress was tallying electoral votes from the November election. Under normal circumstances, a president with as poor a record as Trump would be fading from view. Democrats gained control of both chambers of the legislature and the presidency on his watch. He is not fading. Republicans have a different agenda, though. It has to do with gaining and retaining power, no matter what. Any jamoke with autocratic tendencies will do, I suppose.

It’s not just me who thinks this. Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney had this to say:

Trump is seeking to unravel… confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this. The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process.

Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, May 5, 2021.

Cheney voted with Trump 93 percent of the time, so she is no liberal. Her punishment for making such statements and mounting a campaign for a return to law and order centered on the U.S. Constitution is expected to be removing her from her Republican leadership position in the House of Representatives. She’s in a minority of Republican colleagues regarding the future of the party.

The days after my retirement from outside work were supposed to be a time to take it easy. When it’s raining voter suppression, how could I? America is in dangerous times, with our Democracy at stake. Every person will be needed for the struggle against taking away the right to vote from so many.

I’d rather talk about the weather and our need for literal rain. That’s not the task that presents itself.