When he heard that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said GOP-backed voter suppression laws really aren’t designed to keep minorities away from the polls, Murray State University historian Bill Mulligan turned to the Good Book.
“Increasingly, the old proverb, derived from one of the Gospels [Matthew 13:13], ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see,’ comes to mind when Sen. McConnell speaks,” said Mulligan.'Increasingly, the old proverb ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see’ comes to mind when Sen. McConnell speaks.' – Historian Bill MulliganClick To Tweet
In a recent press conference, Kentucky’s senior senator said he doubted “any of these efforts at the state level are designed to suppress the vote based upon race.”
Mulligan doesn’t buy it. He says the bills are blatantly racist. “They are not reform; they are retrograde and designed to limit access to voting for the poor and minorities.”
He added, “emails from a now-deceased North Carolina Republican let the cat out the bag – for another cliché. Speaking truth by acknowledging the racism undergirding these laws would offend Trump and his increasingly racist base.”
Critics of the voter bills compare them to Jim Crow laws passed in the late 19th and early 20th century by conservative, white supremacist southern Democratic legislatures to deny the vote to African Americans. Now it’s the Republicans who want to curb minority voting and not just in the South.
“Republican state legislatures are broadly winning their war against voting access and American democracy,” Travis Waldron wrote in Huffington Post, warning, “And stopping them is going to take far more drastic action than many Democrats — especially Democrats in Washington — have been willing to consider.
“Fueled by lies that widespread voter fraud cost Donald Trump the 2020 election, Republicans have passed new voter suppression laws at the fastest pace in a decade. They have advanced legislation— and in some states, passed bills into law — that would make it easier for local officials and legislatures to overturn future elections. Republican officials who questioned the results of the 2020 election are lining up to run for secretary of state positions and other elected positions that would give them more control over elections.”
Mulligan recalled that since McConnell claimed Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, he backtracked and “has been backtracking since.”
Said Mulligan: “McConnell does not want to govern or to help government solve real problems – he is 100 percent committed to opposing Joseph Biden’s programs, many of which Republicans supported when Trump was president.
“He wants to preserve his power and is prepared to sell the country to those who believe in a mythic, wonderful America of a white, hetero-, pseudo-Christian patriarchy. That it never existed does not matter; that the ‘good old days’ oppressed Blacks, Hispanics, gays and lesbians, and women, including white women, must be ignored because it will upset the base and its mindless leader. Rather than lead by speaking the truth and educating, he cowers in fear.”'McConnell wants to preserve his power, and is prepared to sell the country to those who believe in a mythic, wonderful America of a white, hetero-, pseudo-Christian patriarchy. That it never existed does not matter.' – Historian Bill MulliganClick To Tweet
Concluded Mulligan: “He is moving against the tide of our history, which has been driven by embracing diversity — although reluctantly at times — and expanding participation in government and voting.”