Today is Independence Day, which means remembering our heritage and celebrating what it means to be American. The meaning of being American doesn’t include bowing and scraping before its leaders when its leaders are total pricks bent on destroying everyone to enrich themselves. So, in keeping with that ideal, several newspapers across the country dedicated their Independence Day editorials to Donald Trump.
These weren’t full of glowing praise for a boorish, childish, idiotic rookie who defied all the odds and became President of the Electoral College of the United States, though. These editorial boards took to their pages to blow Trump up for his voter panel, and for other things. The Chicago Sun-Times implored the Illinois state government to refuse to give private information to the “election integrity” commission:
By all appearances, the commission just wants to dig through all that closely held private data to support spurious claims of voter fraud. The commission should withdraw its request.
The White House says the commission’s goals are lofty. But all signs indicate it really is just looking for any scrap of information that might support Trump’s unfounded claim that millions of people illegally cast ballots in 2016, which would further efforts to suppress the vote in future elections. On Saturday, Trump undercut any claim the commission is open-minded by tweeting it is a ‘voter fraud panel.’”
They went on to point out the fact that Kris Kobach’s record on elections in Kansas is not exactly confidence-inspiring, and then directly asked Governor Bruce Rauner to add Illinois to the growing list of states that will not cooperate with the demand:
The commission is entitled to buy public information about voting records from the states. But some of the data it seeks, such as partial Social Security numbers, would be illegal for states to hand over. Many states have said they will not cooperate. Gov. Bruce Rauner should add Illinois to that list.”
USA Today talked about the gaping holes in election security in many states, and lamented the fact that little is being done about that. They even published some ideas for how states could improve the integrity of their own elections without turning private info over to the commission. Then they flat-out blasted the creation of the commission as a distraction from Russia:
Now, in yet another distraction from protecting elections from this Russian assault, a White House commission, created after Trump’s spurious claim that he lost the popular vote only because of millions of fraudulent voters, made a sweeping request for information. Last week, election officials in more than 20 states rejected the commission’s request for voters’ information.”
The New York Times reminded us of Trump’s tweet yelling at the states for not turning over their information and asking what they have to hide. They suggested a dark ulterior motive for why the administration wants our private data (and really, is this at all surprising?):
The better question is what Mr. Trump and his allies so desperately hope to find. Remember that the commission was reverse-engineered to provide a veneer of legitimacy to Mr. Trump’s bogus claims that millions of noncitizens voted in 2016 — his explanation for losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost three million. (One would think that sitting in the Oval Office might have eased his pain.) But the circumstances of its creation are secondary to its real goal — to make voting harder for millions of Americans, on the understanding that Republicans win more elections when fewer people vote.”
The Tampa Bay Times and Washington Post both seemed to call for unity, with Tampa Bay looking to the future and the Post looking to the past. Tampa Bay talks about how difficult it has been to be America for 241 years, but that our fabric is strong enough to weather everything, including the current administration and political climate. The Post quoted Frederick Douglass’ famous Independence Day speech from 1852, in which he praised the founding fathers for their love of country and for their patriotism.
But to be patriotic this 4th of July means to continue to resist what the Republican Party wants to do to us. Remember, they favor big business over regular Americans, despite all their statements to the contrary. They want to make life difficult for brown and black people, and harder for working Americans, so their rich buddies’ lives can become even more gilded than they already are. True patriotism is fighting for true American ideals, not the twisted, self-serving version the right sells us.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images