Rep John Lewis, American Hero, 1940-202o   U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis at the U.S. Capitol on June 28, 2017.  Creative commons image via Flickr, image credit Mobilus In Mobili

The John Lewis and Freedom to Vote Acts have been officially stonewalled. Joe Biden must now enact them by Executive Order.

The key historic precedent is the Emancipation Proclamation, approved by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863.

Today’s voting rights bills are essential to beat the uncivil war against democracy being waged by Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and their Jim Crow cult of autocracy.

Bannon says he’ll “take over the election process” and rob voting rights from millions of Americans of youth and color.

He leads an angry, aging cohort that’s lost its grip on the American electorate. By 2045, the US will be half non-white. Half is already born after 1981. In 2016 and again in 2020, Millennial/Zoomers under 30 rejected Donald Trump by more than 60%.

Thanks to America’s grassroots Election Protection movement, 2020 was our fairest, most reliably counted presidential contest. In the time of COVID, vote by mail, paper ballots, scanned ballot images and reliable audit/recount procedures---won by pro-democracy activism—made all the difference.

If it happens in 2022-4, says Trump, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,”

Thus his an all-out blitzkrieg against fair elections. Heavily gerrymandered GOP state legislatures are now passing scores of Jim Crow laws to deny non-millionaire constituencies of youth and color their right to vote.

Bannon is swamping precinct and county election boards with far-right cultists—many with police and military training. Spewing death threats (as at local school boards) they’re seizing the polling places. Trump recently paraphrased Joseph Stalin’s reminder that elections are decided not by those who cast the votes, but by those who count them.

The Bannon-Trump assault also targets the offices of secretary of state, where statewide elections are run.

Georgia’s gerrymandered hard-right legislature is ousting long-standing election officials---mostly of color--- from county and local boards, filling their seats with white GOP insurrectionists.

They want to reduce our 2022 and 2024 to hollow scams... a pre-ordained coup d’etat.

The original Voting Rights Act of 1965 meant to prevent this. But the Supremes’ horrific 2013 Shelby decision (written by John Roberts) let Jim Crow ride free from federal intervention.

The John Lewis Act and the Voting Rights Act of 2022 again mean to stop that sh*t. Had Bill Clinton and Barack Obama approved DC statehood, the Senate would now be 52-50, and this would not be happening.

Amidst this national emergency, Joe Biden needs to show some backbone, to demonstrate to our communities of color and youth that they can count on him…to show the nation as a whole that he will actually fight for the right to equal access to the polling booth.

Abraham Lincoln’s Executive Order helped bury slavery. Joe Biden now needs to bury Jim Crow.

Biden needs America’s communities of youth and color to pursue any kind of progressive agenda. He can choose between dithering or decisiveness, democracy or dictatorship. He has nothing to lose by showing the world he has the inner fire to do what’s right.

If he doesn’t, his party, our republic, our nation and our global-warmed planet have no future.

Harvey Wasserman’s People’s Spiral of US History is at As senior legislative assistant to Rep. Conyers, Joel Segal wrote the Medicare for All Act. Together they co-convene the Grassroots Emergency Election Protection zooms Mondays at 5pm ET (

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.  Original here