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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/11/22

Wannabee Strongman DeSantis Deploys Election Police

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Reprinted from hartmannreport.com

Florida is putting into effect the first "election police" in the nation - expect other GOP-run states to jump onboard soon, as the Republican War on Democracy continues apace

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"There's a famous statement: Sometimes the vote counter is more important than the candidate."
-Donald Trump

They used to go by the name Ku Klux Klan, those guys who'd show up every election day to "police" the ballot boxes and make sure only "authorized" people had a chance to vote.

By the 1960s, when William Rehnquist got into the game and would stand outside polling places near Phoenix challenging the credentials of every Black, Hispanic or Native American, they'd changed the name to the infamous Operation Eagle Eye.

Now Governor Ron DeSantis is bringing to the game millions of taxpayer dollars and the power, held solely by government, to imprison people.

Florida is putting into effect the first "election police" in the nation. Expect other GOP-run states to jump onboard soon, as the Republican War on Democracy continues apace.

In my new book The Hidden History of Big Brother in America: How the Death of Privacy and the Rise of Surveillance Threaten Us and Our Democracy, I detail the times in America's past when democracy died and was replaced by regional police states that depended on the equivalent of "thought police."

There was the theocratic period in New England throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, and the complete collapse of democracy in the southern Confederate states in the 1840s. There have also been multiple instances over the years of smaller venues - typically small and remote towns - where a local oligarch ("company towns") or corrupt sheriff commenced a reign of terror for a generation or more.

In every case, controlling the vote is job one. It's the foundation of every autocratic or dictatorial government in history.

The entire concept of republican democracy is predicated on the idea that everybody affected by a vote has the right to vote. Without easy and uncomplicated access to the ballot, no nation can survive as a democratic republic.

Which is exactly why today's Republican Party, having most recently embraced Trump and his fanboys Putin, MBS, and Kim Jong Un, is doing everything it can to make voting complicated, difficult, and even dangerous.

Multiple efforts by Democrats in Congress to put into place laws protecting election workers were defeated by Republicans, most famously when sellout Democrats Kirsten Sinema and Joe Manchin joined every single Republican in the Senate to vote against passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom To Vote Act.

When election workers were being threatened across the nation in the wake of Trump's lies about the election he lost by 7 million votes, the GOP yawned. People got death threats, had their homes and children targeted, and were doxed all across the internet, but Republicans refused to make threats of violence to try to change election outcomes a crime.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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