When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Senate Democrats’ New Year’s resolution to abolish the filibuster and ram through a partisan federal takeover of election administration, he framed it as an attempt to protect “free and fair elections,” the “foundation of our democracy,” from state governments. In reality, it is the leftist elites and their corporate allies, not the states, that pose the greatest threat to our constitutional system.
Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy, but the Democrats’ concerns about election rights are totally baseless. Progressives from all over the country — from President Joe Biden to Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Schumer — claim that Republicans are passing “voter suppression laws” to exclude their political opponents from the vote.
In reality, it is easier to vote in 2022 than it ever has been. Voter registration has been streamlined, and record turnouts show that Americans of all backgrounds are freely exercising their rights.
The left’s proposed reforms would restrict Americans’ freedom, not expand it. Legalizing ballot harvesting, for instance, would present more opportunities for corruption.
More generally, taking election administration powers away from the states and handing them to the federal government would not eliminate the potential for abusing those powers, it would just make it easier for officials in Washington, D.C., to abuse them — and it would further undermine our system of federalism.
In 2020, when election integrity fears swept other parts of the country, the state of Florida conducted its elections with peace, security from interference, and respect for all citizens, all in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. This is proof that with strong leadership, state governments are perfectly capable of holding the responsibility of election administration. Ironically, this year will be the first time that the president’s home state of Delaware allows in-person early voting, whereas Florida has had it for years.
Left’s Broader Effort to Consolidate Power
Democrats’ campaign to centralize elections is part of a broader effort to consolidate power in the hands of a leftist elite class. This class wants to use that power to silence and disempower anyone who dissents from their radical progressive agenda.
Case in point: the very same people who said in 2005 that restricting the filibuster would mean losing to “the passions of the moment” and spell “doomsday for democracy” — Biden and Schumer — want to eliminate the rule now that they are in power.
This power grab masquerading as democracy reform is bigger than just what goes on in the Senate. In 2020, leftist politicians closed churches and restricted in-home religious services while they let political protests, and eventually full-scale riots, go unnoticed. In 2021, critical race theory advocates indoctrinated our children and tried to remove parents from our schools. And this year, the Biden administration will begin forcing millions of Americans to get a Covid-19 vaccine to keep their jobs.
Collaboration from Communists and Corporations
In this movement, the political left has been aided by social media giants and mega-corporations. To gain favor with the Marxists in Washington, D.C., Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter censor dissenting voices, labeling unpopular views as “misinformation.” Amazon blacklists conservative authors. And banks that taxpayers bailed out in 2008 cancel accounts based on Orwellian “reputational risk.”
Of course, behind closed doors many of these same companies are in bed with a genocidal regime, the Chinese Communist Party. While they are eager to appear human rights champions, they lobby for trading goods made with slave labor and protect communist propaganda from negative customer reviews. It makes sense that corporations comfortable with totalitarianism abroad would be happy to silence dissent in the United States.
Those of us who are not on board with the progressive agenda should take note. America is still a free nation, and it will take some time before the situation here begins to resemble the dystopia that is communist China. But if it can happen anywhere, it can happen here, and censorship and consolidation of power are two important steps on the road to tyranny.
Americans need to remember where the greatest threats to our democracy really lie. If we focus our attention on exaggerated problems and imaginary fears, rather than the leftist elite power grab unfolding before our very eyes, we do so at our own peril.
Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator from Florida.