All of these threats challenge the very basis of American elections, Clinton said, which starts with exercising the right to vote. But Republican Party leaders won't place the national interest ahead of their party and its tactics to retain power. At the federal level, both McConnell and Trump were "abdicating their responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution," she said, citing their oath of office.
A Deepening Crisis
Today's Republican Party leaders remind Clinton of history's authoritarians, whose legacy she encountered as President Obama's secretary of state.
"We used to have a phrase about authoritarian leaders who would be originally elected or appointed pursuant to the rules of election, like [Benito] Mussolini, like [Adolf] Hitler," she said. "We would say about them that they believed in elections, all right -- that they believed, 'One and you're done.' Get in. Change the rules to perpetuate your own power, to grow your own authoritarian rule."
The only response to these threats was reasserting the right to vote and taking back representative political power through voting, she said. While the task is formidable, Clinton said she feels encouraged because many people clearly saw the stakes.
"The right to vote powers every change we seek, every future we envision," Clinton said. "Because the ability to choose who represents us, getting the accurate information we need to be informed, and protecting us from the weaponization of information and misinformation, they're all critical to making sure we can get things done to make progress together."
"I think it means everything," she said of the right to vote and casting a ballot that is counted. "It's why the forces of corruption and power, ideology, and dominance at home and abroad are trying to distort and undermine our values, our trust, and confidence in ourselves and in each other."
This article was produced by Voting Booth , a project of the Independent Media Institute.