The Smallest Minority: Slowly, at First. Then Very Fast.

In this post, Kevin at The Smallest Minority talks about voting and bill HR1 – Slowly, at First. Then Very Fast.

Roger Kimball brings the Truth: For US, Gradual Ruin Is About to Become Sudden. (Behind a paywall, but Instapundit has the pertinent portion.)

There is the passage in the house of H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People” bill, which would effectively assure that were was never another fair election in this country.

It would do this by all-but-obliterating voter ID requirements—you need an ID to board a plane but not cast a vote—mandating same-day voter registration and at least two weeks of early voting, and by requiring states to provide unsupervised drop boxes to receive completed ballots.

In other words, H.R. 1 would centralize presidential elections, taking responsibility for oversight away from the states, where the Constitution placed it, and arrogating it to the clutches of the federal government and its sprawling bureaucracy.

If, as seems almost certain, H.R. 1 becomes the law of the land, it would be the final nail in the coffin of electoral integrity

The widespread irregularities (that’s polysyllabic periphrasis for “fraud”) that attended the 2020 election would be codified into law assuring that, for as long as anyone could envision, 2016 would have to be counted as the last free, fair, and open presidential election.

It used to be that American was the land of the free and home of the brave. A robust culture of free speech was every American’s birthright.

We had free and fair elections, unlike the banana republics we were always called upon to bail out or police.

We also had borders, and even politicians eager to increase immigration understood the difference between entering the country legally and opening the floodgates to the hordes massing on our Southern border.

That’s all behind us now, or at least those traditions appear to be on life support—no, the patient was on life support, but someone came to euthanize him and pulled the plug.

The signs and portents are many and they are not encouraging.

Perhaps the most disturbing episode last week was Joe Biden’s alarming performance when he announced the elevation of two women to the status of combat generals.

Biden went on to underscore the “intensity of purpose” with which his administration would be pursuing “body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits, updating their hairstyle requirements.”

This was not from a Saturday Night Live skit: it was the President of the United States live in front of the cameras.

I’ve been on this planet now 59 years. When I was eighteen, I voted for Ronald Reagan – the first and only candidate I ever voted for. I’ve voted in every national and most state elections since, but since then (and even in 1984), I have since voted against. Against whoever was the worse choice. I even cast my ballot for Perot in 1992, being not particularly enamored of either George H.W. Bush or William Jefferson Clinton. I have since concluded that we’ve voted our way into this, but we won’t be voting our way out.

The 2016 election gave me a glimmer of hope, but 2020 ruthlessly stamped out that ember. The Authoritarian Left and its oligarchs in Washington will make sure that their power is never again threatened by the electorate. As someone put it after November 3, 2020, “We knew we had to win by more than the margin of fraud. We just didn’t realize the margin was infinite.”

H.R. 1 legally codifies power grabbing into the future. No more fear of another Bernie or Trump wrecking their plans. The Left controls both houses of Congress, the White House, most of the bureaucracy, and a whole lot of the Justice Department, not to mention the remainder of The Swamp. They can do whatever they want, and they are. Open the border? Done. Raise taxes on the middle cl… I mean, the rich? No problem. Disarm the dangerous “domestic terrorist” publ… I mean, protect the children? On its way!

And anyone who opposes this is a racist and/or a domestic terrorist. A Public Enemy. A Traitor.

I said a while back that I thought all of this insanity had a basis in reality. The Oligarchs aren’t nuts. Well, they may be, but they’re not irrational. They use the irrationality they deliberately created among the general public as a tool, a lever for greater and greater social division so that the chance of any organized opposition of any size is minimized. Why do you think they’re so freaked out about the Capitol riots January 6? Well, they’re not, really. That’s political theater, at which they’re masters. The conditions were set up by them. The Capitol Police were largely stood down and requests for National Guard were refused due to “optics.” Honestly, I think they’re disappointed in the body count. But never mind, it gave them the excuse to clutch their pearls in front of the cameras and claim fear for their lives, and arrest people publicly – the Roger Stone treatment of SWAT teams and armored vehicles, smashed doors and ransacked houses. “This is what happens when you protest wrong.” Turn the thumbscrews one more turn, tighten the ratchet one more click.

In my July 2020 post Endgame I predicted the election outcome. I also wrote:

The wheels come off the train and the train comes off the track in 2021, one way or the other.

The End of America has been predicted by many people for quite some time.  The Progressive Postmodernists appear to have decided that the time is ripe.  The national debt cannot be ignored forever.  The projected entitlement spending is unsupportable.  All their preparation of the battle space through balkanization has brought us to this point.  Black Lives Matter, itself organized and run by self-proclaimed Marxists, is the hinge on which the lid is swinging, but Pandora’s Box is certainly opening.  I don’t think we’re going to stop the greed, envy, hatred, pain, disease, hunger, poverty, war, and death that will come flooding out of it, and there most likely won’t be much around afterward to put them back in.

BLM is no longer the hinge. Post January 6, “Domestic Terrorism” has taken its place. The Anointed have told their followers to Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of their neighbors who are Not Like Them™. But the National Debt currently exceeds 28 trillion dollars. Twenty-eight TRILLION dollars. $28,000,000,000,000. Not quite five times what it was in 2000, and spending hasn’t slowed down a bit. It continues to accelerate.

That which cannot go on, won’t. But the Anointed are getting theirs while the getting is good, and the rest of us are on our own.

How much longer before their gravy train derails? I predicted before the end of 2021, but there’s a lot of ruin in a nation. We may yet hang on a bit, but not forever.

We live in the very best period of history humanity has ever experienced, and we’re about to destroy it nonchalantly, like a child with a Christmas ornament. I’m not sure Billy Beck’s “Endarkenment” is sufficiently descriptive.

R Street: H.R. 1 is a direct attack on free speech and federalism

Today the House of Representatives passed HR1, containing election reforms. R Streets has an article titled H.R. 1 is a direct attack on free speech and federalism. The bill heads to the Senate next where it will face a more difficult battle. President Biden has said that he will sign it if it passes.

H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” is a direct attack on free speech and federalism.

For years, H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” has been advanced as a way to fix our political system. The bill is sweeping in scope, and represents a wish list of ideas from the political left. In the new Congress, the bill will likely take center-stage.

H.R. 1 is likely the most consequential piece of election-related legislation in years and mostly in a bad way. Let’s be clear: it should be easier to participate in elections and easier to talk about elections. Anything that does the opposite is a bad idea.

As an organization, R Street stands strongly for the cause of political reform, and we will always support good policy. H.R. 1 is not good policy. For example:

  • It limits freedom of speech: The first amendment protects public speech and case law accords the most protection to political statements. While the internet does make broad circulation of ideas easier than ever before, reaching a true mass audience almost always requires spending money. Therefore, restricting money spent on political causes, while perhaps well-intentioned, also restricts speech. H.R. 1 only adds to the labyrinth of laws and regulations that govern spending money on political causes and it should be opposed for that reason alone. It’s through political speech that people can make their views known and can debate with each other. Less money for political speech means that whoever has power already is likely to keep it even if they use it in harmful ways.
  • H.R. 1 would weaken organizations that are seeking to impact public policy in positive ways: The first amendment applies to mass media organizations, nonprofits and unions, and is the reason any of these groups can speak without any fear of criminal sanction. Profit-making businesses, the lifeblood of the economy, have political rights too. The right to speak freely also involves the right to speak collectively and anonymously. We believe that limiting speech for people or groups we disagree with eventually could open the door to limiting our own speech. As a non-profit organization, the precedents H.R. 1 would set for groups like us would significantly restrict the ability of numerous organizations to carry out critical policy work.
  • It aims to forbid anonymous speech: Anonymous speech about political matters has played a vital role in America’s history—just ask the authors of The Federalist Papers. Many of those who supported the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s had very legitimate fears of having their identities uncovered. There are many good reasons to speak anonymously and disclosure requirements only harm individuals who support unpopular causes. But sometimes people who support once-unpopular causes turn out to be right. Helping a cause should not require public declarations of support.
  • It federalizes elections unnecessarily: The Constitution and its amendments make two promises that are sometimes at odds: voting rights can’t be abridged and states should run their own elections. While there should be a strong federal role in protecting the right to vote and election security, the specifics of election administration should be left to the states. This helps good policy ideas spread while bad ones die well-deserved deaths. Decentralization makes the overall system stronger—people intent on disruption have to figure out 50 separate systems—and lets states adopt customized practices, preferences and political systems. H.R. 1 would slash these differences and undermine state autonomy, an important strength of our electoral system.

Don’t get us wrong—there are some reforms in H.R. 1 that make a lot of sense. Vote-by-mail, mandatory paper trails for votes, enfranchisement of those with felony records, same-day registration, non-partisan redistricting and federal pre-clearance of changes to voting laws are all ideas worthy of support. But at the federal level, H.R. 1 is a bad bill that would squash political speech.