There’s a really important essay in The Outline, a new online magazine, on the structural barriers that Republicans have erected to maintain a hold on power, often in defiance of the will of voters.
Sean McElwee elegantly shows how the GOP has used voting restrictions, gerrymandering, big money in politics, and attacks on labor unions to rig the electoral playing field.
The Great Suppression covered much of this ground—minus the labor unions angle—but McElwee marshals a slew of academic research to document the impact of these moves. And the problem appears even more urgent now that it’s contributed to the election of Donald Trump.
McElwee, a policy analyst at Demos, frames the central threat we face in stark terms.
“The central contradiction of American politics is simple,” he writes.” The current incarnation of the Republican Party cannot retain power in a fully democratic system. As the party veers right, the only way it can retain power is further voter suppression, more gerrymandering, and an even weaker opposition.”