Michael Moore has a newsletter on Substack.com to which you can subscribe. Because yesterday was the ninth year since twenty five and six-year-old children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a troubled young shooter whose mother, probably unable to deal with her teenaged son, decided that they could bond if she bought him the gun, the gun that he had probably been demanding in what became an increasingly escalating tone intended to intimidate his mother, so, because it was November 14, Michael Moore wrote to remind us of our sorrowful memories and moved us all to think once more about our national shame. Michael Moore discussed both Sandy Hook and our national shame, but he did not discuss Adam Lanza and his mother. However, he did discuss the recent 15-year-old shooter whose parents bought him a gun for Christmas and were probably intimidated into giving it to him early. Perhaps it was a bribe to moderate his behavior, or a reward because he had seemed to moderate his behavior. The mother’s affect was strange, however. It was almost as if she was thrilled that her son had arrived at this “rite of passage.” Michael Moore, in his newsletter, reminds us that America is the only country where mass shooters regularly stop citizens from completing their journey through life. Other countries don’t make gun ownership as easy as we do.
Clearly many Americans want gun regulation or reform, but the gun lobby is strong and keeps accusing the reformers of violating the Constitution. They contend that the Second Amendment gives everyone the right to own as many guns as s/he wishes to own, and they insist this is so even though we all know that the Second Amendment is not easy to interpret and can be read in several ways. There is a strange emotional “wall” built by gun lovers that stops us in our tracks. And of course, right now we don’t have the votes to make gun laws or rewrite the Second Amendment.
This exact same emotional wall is operating in almost every area that Democrats would like to legislate in. We are watching the erosion of voting rights as states compete to be awarded kudos from the Republican Party and their overlord, Trump. Republicans delight in going that one step further that will put them beyond the pale. They did the gerrymandering and made it as extreme as possible, but both parties have done that. It is time to outlaw gerrymandering. They did the purges of voter rolls, sometimes legitimate, sometimes not. They have taken away polling places in districts where minorities vote, forcing them to find public transportation if they can to inconvenient polling places. They have demonized paper ballots, and now ballots counted by computers. They have demonized absentee voting and mail-in voting although there has been little evidence of abuse in either case. They don’t like drop boxes because of possible tampering. The only voters tempted to tamper with voting drop boxes are their own Republican activists. The rest of us just vote, because the system always worked until this disinformation campaign about voting made people have doubts. Now Republicans have made laws in several “Red States” that allow partisan Republicans, extremists, into the vote counting process at local boards of election where counts are tabulated. We know that if these laws stand, we can never trust another American election. We will be an illiberal democracy, we will be, for all intents and purposes, no longer a democracy.
Despite these attacks on voting, we no longer have a Congress that will combat the forces against free and fair elections. Democrats have the thinnest of majorities in the Senate. Republicans will not vote with Democrats because their party is the one corrupting voting in America. Even though a few Republicans see the damage that this will cause; they feel unable to vote freely because they will lose their seat in Congress, or they fear their family will face threats of violence. They fear the next step after threats of violence is actual violence.
Democrats could “carve out” another exception to the filibuster as they did for raising the debt ceiling, but this will not be allowed by Republicans, not for voting rights which they are in the process of dismantling. Democrats could vote to end the filibuster, but this takes sixty votes, and they do not have sixty votes. In fact, Joe Manchin loves the filibuster and wants to keep it, so Democrats do not even have 50 votes. Democrats around the country are telling Biden that they want Voting Rights handled before the Build Back Better Bill and Biden is listening. I am waiting to see if anyone in the Democratic Party has any tricks up their sleeve, any tools left in the toolbox that haven’t been used. The use of such a strategy would insure a more trustworthy result to the 2022 elections. If we don’t pass a law protecting voting rights it will be the first election in America which may not be a free and fair election.
That’s two seemingly impossible things to do that are favored by a vast majority of Americans, but not by Republicans. Michael Moore’s numbers about gun owners are quite interesting. I did not save the “url”, but I’m thinking michaelmoore/substack.com might get you there. As for polls on how many Americans feel that we need to pass a law to protect voting rights there are charts available at google.com/images if you search for the right terms. Asking ourselves, as we do, why Republicans don’t want to see if some gun laws help stop mass shootings; asking ourselves, as we do, why Republicans want to “fix” voting to favor their party even though they know that it will destroy our democracy – these questions don’t help us. Even though these policies are being pursued right in front of our eyes, the forces against the Democrats have too much power and money, they have stacked the deck out in the states and with some Americans through their own media so well that we can’t seem to stop negative politics even though it is done in totally transparent, in-your-face, ways.
We can’t protect women’s right to an abortion right now either. I hear pundits asking why we aren’t fighting. Two years of a pandemic that won’t go away might explain our reluctance to leave our homes. Or it may be that we have decided to let Republicans have their way with us hoping that when people see how bad things will get, they will fight together and fight harder to get back to what we once had, however flawed that may have been. Of course, it may be too late then. I keep thinking that nations will have to become representatives in a global government like the UN on steroids (although this certainly did not work out well in Star Wars) in order to solve the existential problems that are going to keep arising from climate change. See the stunning article in the Washington Post today about how we will all be affected by peat-cutting operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A suggestion like this could be so hateful that it might unite Republicans and Democrats against it, but that is just chauvinism, and it will solve nothing. We are fighting in a war against physics, against universal laws and rules, against science with only pitchforks and pride. We will lose if we don’t agree to some significant changes very soon. The world’s nations must do this together because some are too poor to help, and some are too rich to want to.
Here’s the Michael Moore url: