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Perspective: Voting Is The Key

Lyndon_Johnson_and_Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._-_Voting_Rights_Act.jpg
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Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
President Lyndon Johnson, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks at the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Joe Biden’s path to the White House was achieved with a focus on consensus and a faith in coalition politics. Wisely, he refused to engage in Trumpian tactics. As president, Biden continues to fight battles he can win and to side-step those he cannot.

Last week, Vice-President Harris announced that the Democratic National Committee will spend 25 million dollars to register voters and fight voter suppression. This money will be used to mobilize voters at the grassroots level and is targeted at the massive legislative and judicial efforts Republicans are making to restrict voting.

Although far from the crippling poll taxes and literacy tests of the Jim Crow era, these new laws are intended to make voting more difficult for many.

One way to see the White House initiative is as an acknowledgement that the For the People Act may not pass this summer. That the filibuster may stand and that the Supreme Court may continue to uphold laws that disproportionately hurt urban, poor and minority voters.

But another way to look at it is that Biden is bypassing the politicians to put his faith in us, the voters. The money will be used to educate and inspire people to turn out and support the party that is enacting policies that are improving people’s lives today. Not the party that is backing yesterday’s sore loser.

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my Perspective.

Deborah Booth retired in Fall 2014 from NIU, where she was the director of External Programs for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.