After the U.S. Senate failed to pass the House’s For the People Act (FPA), Democrats in the upper chamber unveiled the Freedom to Vote Act (FVA), a bill that still accomplishes the objectives of the House bill: nationalize elections and destroy free speech.
Nationalizing elections first got its legs when then-President Obama suggested using the Department of Homeland Security to “monitor” voting systems. In August 2016, Obama’s DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson, ran with the idea using the catch-all phrase “critical infrastructure” to justify creating “one federal election system.”
“We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is political infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid. There’s a vital national interest in our process, so I do think we need to consider whether it should be considered by my department and others as critical infrastructure.”
By the way, Biden and the progressives in both parties are using “critical infrastructure” to justify spending trillions of dollars in the upcoming budget negotiations. Strange, huh?
Congress didn’t address the issue at the time, but Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan picked up where Obama and Johnson left off in 2018 when they reauthorized and “reformed” DHS.
The reform part of the Republican plan included House amendments addressing cybersecurity. And in the Senate, it included amendments co-sponsored by then-Senator Kamala Harris and Republican Senator James Lankford that would bolster cybersecurity of voting systems.
Following the 2018 midterms, the Democrat-controlled House passed a bill to nationalize elections and destroy free speech called the “For the People Act” (H.R. 1), a bill intended to “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.” (emphasis mine)
The For the People Act failed to advance in 2018, but with Democrats controlling all of Washington after the 2020 election, an expanded version of the bill passed in the House in March 2021.
The latest edition of the FPA included new and improved ways to nationalize elections while simultaneously destroying the free speech rights of citizens by expanding government access to the personal information of everyone who donates to a candidate or political organization.
Specifically, the For the People Act required expanding disclosure rules pertaining to organizations spending money during elections, campaign advertisements, and online platforms; and revising disclaimer requirements for political advertising.
“Expanding disclosure rules” is political doublespeak. FPA requires any political organization that collects and spends money to provide donor information to a new commission created by the For the People Act — not just donor names, but their personal information as well — thus making political donations (i.e. free speech) subject to the approval/disapproval of the Republican/Democrat duopoly in Washington.
Unfortunately for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, FPA lacked enough Democrat support to have any chance of overcoming a filibuster in the Senate, so it failed. But not to be deterred from their desire to nationalize elections and destroy free speech, Senate Democrats have unveiled the Freedom to Vote Act as a “compromise” to appease opponents of FPA (via TheHill.com):
A group of Senate Democrats unveiled new voting rights legislation on Tuesday in another attempt by the party to pass sweeping changes to federal elections in the face of a GOP filibuster.
The new bill, called the Freedom to Vote Act, was released by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and several co-sponsors, builds on a framework proposed earlier this year by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) as well as the sweeping For the People Act, which Senate Republicans blocked in June.
Though narrower than previous iterations, the 592 page bill would still enact major reforms to America’s voting systems, including efforts to make it easier to register to vote and set a 15-day minimum early voting window that states must meet. It would also make Election Day a federal holiday.
The legislation would also mandate that each state offer same-day voter registration at all polling locations by 2024, and calls for a broad range of cards and documents to qualify as proof of identification for in-person voting.
“Following the 2020 elections in which more Americans voted than ever before, we have seen unprecedented attacks on our democracy in states across the country,” Klobuchar, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, said on Tuesday.
“These attacks demand an immediate federal response,” she added, noting that the bill “will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them, regardless of what zip code they live in.”
Though Klobuchar, Manchin, and crew would have you believe that the Freedom to Vote Act is different than the For the People Act, they are essentially the same. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Greenpeace had to say about FVA in an official press release:
“It appears the Freedom to Vote Act contains the main pillars of the For the People Act, like getting polluters’ money out of politics, setting national standards for us to safely and freely cast our ballots, ensuring every vote is counted, and protecting Black voters and voters of color from racist voter suppression. Today’s announcement is a major step in fixing what is broken in our democracy. (emphasis mine)
How does the bill get polluter’s money out of politics? Under the anti-free speech disclosure rules in FPA, if donor names and personal information are required to be provided to the government, government can use that information to squeeze donors who give money to causes and candidates opposed to the far-left agenda.
And as far as “national standards” are concerned, that’s just another way of saying nationalized elections. And there simply isn’t any “racist voter suppression.” Census.gov reports that turnout rates in 2020 were higher than in the 2016 election for non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic race and origin groups.
The First Amendment protects our God-given right to lawful free speech, and it prevents the government from interfering with that right. And since political donations are a form of free speech, the government has no right to pass any law preventing or endorsing political donations.
The Freedom to Vote Act also allegedly targets gerrymandering by barring states from drawing political boundaries that has the “intent or effect of materially favoring or disfavoring any political party.” But this is another doublespeak moment.
Democrats don’t oppose gerrymandering; they oppose Republican gerrymandering.
Barack Obama and Eric Holder have been working since 2017 on a plan to abuse the redistricting process by electing large numbers of Democrats at the state and local levels of government to position the party with enough control to determine the outcome of the congressional redistricting following the 2020 census.
Obama has been a big supporter of the For the People Act because it provides him with addition cover to advance his redistricting scheme by eliminating states’ rights.
Republicans want you and me to believe that voting rights legislation is another step in the direction of the far-left’s goal to seize complete control over us; they want us to believe that Democrats are out to destroy liberty while Republicans are out to save it; and they want us to believe that Democrats (not Republicans) want to silence and censor us if we dare to take a stand against blatant attempts to nationalize elections silence free speech.
However, Republicans are just like their Democrat counterparts, which means their objections to such legislation is nothing more than political posturing ahead of upcoming elections.
Election integrity and security remains a major talking point of the Trump cult because when your side loses, it can only be due to a “rigged” system (see pre-election comments of Donald Trump and “conservative” talk show host Larry Elder about the California recall).
Election integrity and security has also become another kind of Orwellian doublespeak adopted by Democrats to provide enough cover to pass legislation like the “For the People Act” and the “Freedom to Vote Act” — two bills that give the federal government permanent and unconstitutional power to nationalize elections and destroy free speech.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.