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OPINION: Jan. 6 was just the warmup act to the GOP’s attempts to subvert the will of the people. In statehouses across the country, Republicans are doing everything they can to overturn voters’ decisions.
Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
The Republican Party is no friend of democracy. When they don’t have the votes to support their unpopular policies, they try to force them on us anyway. When the GOP doesn’t get its way, the MAGA agenda wins, and democracy be damned.
For all of their claims that they love democracy and care about the Constitution, Republicans show us that this is not the case. We only need to look at the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, when the Trumpian faithful decided that when their candidate did not win reelection, they would choose violence and take matters into their own hands. One of those would-be lynch mob members, the “QAnon Shaman,” is fresh out of federal prison and running for Congress, no doubt to replace George Santos as the most absurdly criminal lawmaker in Washington. Because why not?
And speaking of criminals, Trump — who has caught more cases than a mob boss — is running for the White House once again, promising to go full fascist with mass deportation raids, a purge of thousands of federal employees, end birthright citizenship, and a return to the Muslim travel ban. This, as the Heritage Foundation and sketchy conservative groups who stole the Supreme Court are pouring money into Project 2025, a “government-in-waiting” for the next GOP White House, also known as a fascist takeover of the U.S. government.   
On the state level, the GOP is working hard to subvert the public will and do its own thing. For example, in Alabama, after the Supreme Court threw out the Republican-drawn state electoral map and ordered the creation of a second district of Black folks, state lawmakers simply ignored the court. Now, a federal court is intervening and drawing the district. For all their talk about following the law, Republicans will break the law if following the law means giving Black people the voting power they deserve.  
After Ohio voters enshrined abortion rights in their constitution in the last election, state Republicans began scheming to override the will of the majority of their voters. Citing what they call “mischief by pro-abortion courts” and claiming the measure passed due to “foreign election interference,” Ohio Republican lawmakers want to strip state courts of their jurisdiction and their duties. Judges would be impeached for simply doing their job and upholding the state Constitution.   
In a blatant power grab in Michigan, the Republicans filed a lawsuit to try to overturn voting rights after voters approved the changes. With support of at least 60%, voters in 2018 and 2022 approved constitutional amendments to expand voting rights with absentee voting, same-day registration, nine days of early voting and other major reforms. Republicans in Michigan and other states throughout the nation know that when more people vote, fewer Republicans are elected. So, why would the GOP want people to exercise their democratic rights?
Wisconsin Republicans have only recently backed down from talks to impeach Justice Janet Protasiewicz, a liberal judge who was elected earlier this year with Democratic support. Robin Vos, the Republican speaker of the State Assembly said in a recent press conference that they wait to see what she does while “in office” and that impeachment remains “on the table.”
And in the Sunshine State, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — Trump with all the racism and cruelty but none of the charisma, or height — schemed with state Republicans and robbed felons of their voting rights. This, even after the Florida voters passed Amendment 4, a law restoring voting rights to most people with a felony record in 2018. That measure, a remedy for Jim Crow-era laws that deprived Black people of their right to vote, received overwhelming support.
However, that was not enough for DeSantis, who signed a law requiring all felons to pay back restitution to restore their voting rights, yet put no state system in place to determine if people are eligible and track whether they have paid. Then DeSantis had 20 people with felony records arrested for allegedly voting illegally, a stunt to show he was cracking down on alleged voter fraud that does not exist. The DeSantis administration is challenging a federal lawsuit claiming Florida’s implementation of Amendment 4 violates the Voting Rights Act and has blocked people from voting or finding out if they are eligible. Florida claims the suit’s plaintiffs want an “unprecedented judicial takeover” of the state’s voter registration process.
But DeSantis didn’t stop there. Not only did he prevent voters from exercising the franchise, but he also eliminated elected Democratic prosecutors. DeSantis removed Orange County state attorney Monique Worrell, a Black woman, for “prosecuting their cops,” as she describes it. Last year, DeSantis removed Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren for saying he would not enforce an abortion ban.
Meanwhile, other states have attempted to stop democracy in its tracks by going after Black elected officials. Some Georgia Republicans wanted to come for Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis for her prosecution of Trump in the attempted theft of the 2020 election. And Jim Crow Republicans in the Blackest state of Mississippi have tried to take over a whole Black city, the state capital of Jackson, by colonizing the city’s court system.  
All of this is proof that when democracy does not work for the Republican Party, they will simply throw it in the trash and throw out the rights of Black people in the process. The so-called party of Lincoln really is the party of the neo-confederates and the neo-Dixiecrats, and their goal is to keep our numbers down if they want to have any remote chance of winning elections on their offensive policies. As more voters reject the GOP assault on voting rights, abortion rights and other basic rights — especially if Republicans retake the White House and Congress — expect more of this foolishness.
David A. Love is a journalist and commentator who writes investigative stories and op-eds on a variety of issues, including politics, social justice, human rights, race, criminal justice and inequality. Love is also an instructor at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information, where he trains students in a social justice journalism lab. In addition to his journalism career, Love has worked as an advocate and leader in the nonprofit sector, served as a legislative aide, and as a law clerk to two federal judges. He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also completed the Joint Programme in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. His portfolio website is davidalove.com.
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