Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Protesters gather during a rally held by the group Common Cause in front of the U.S. Supreme Court January 10, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Two Weeks Before Midterms, Trump Attacks Democracy With 'One of the Most Naked Attempts to Promote Voter Suppression' in Modern Times

"This is nothing more than an open and brazen attempt to use the threat of criminal prosecution to intimidate minority voters, an old and familiar tactic that dates back to the Jim Crow era."

Jake Johnson

After President Donald Trump fired off a hysterical tweet this weekend warning of mass "voter fraud"—a right-wing bogeyman for which there is virtually zero evidence—and threatening violators with severe punishment, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law condemned the president for deploying Jim Crow-era scare tactics to suppress minority voter turnout just two weeks before the midterm elections.

"President Trump's statement regarding vote fraud is one of the most naked attempts to promote voter suppression that we have seen in modern time,"  Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee, said in a statement following Trump's tweet, in which he declared that "all levels of government and law enforcement are watching carefully" for violations.

Clarke argued that the president's tweet is clearly part of an ongoing right-wing effort to "promote fear and incite law enforcement to action in ways that could chill voter participation this midterm election cycle."

"Meanwhile this administration and the Justice Department's silence regarding widespread voter suppression has been deafening. To date, this Justice Department has failed to file a single case to enforce the Voting Rights Act and has failed to take any action to protect the rights of minority voters," Clarke said. "Instead, we see the president using his platform to promote unsubstantiated and false claims about vote fraud."

"What is most dangerous about the president's statement is the suggestion that government and law enforcement across the country are activating to prosecute voters," Clarke concluded. "This is nothing more than an open and brazen attempt to use the threat of criminal prosecution to intimidate minority voters, an old and familiar tactic that dates back to the Jim Crow era."

Clarke's strong denunciation of Trump's latest effort to suppress minority voter turnout was echoed by civil rights groups and progressive lawmakers.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is currently on a get-out-the-vote tour spanning nine states, wrote on Twitter that Trump and the GOP "know that they have to lie about voter fraud" in order to win elections.

"Don't let them get away with it!" Sanders wrote.

Trump's fearmongering tweet comes as the GOP is waging an aggressive war on voting rights throughout the U.S. ahead of the crucial Nov. 6 midterms.

As Common Dreams reported, Georgia's Republican Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp—who Trump has enthusiastically endorsed—has purged hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls in the weeks leading up to next month's election.

"It's clear they're going to try to steal the midterms to whatever extent they can," writer David Klion argued in a tweet on Sunday. "If it works I'm not sure what can legally be done about it. SCOTUS killed the Voting Rights Act five years ago, pre-Gorsuch, pre-Kav[anaugh]."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Political Malpractice': House Democrats' Bill Wouldn't Add Dental to Medicare Until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

Jake Johnson ·


'How Many More Deaths Must It Take?' Barbados Leader Rips Rich Nations in Fierce UN Speech

"How many more variants of Covid-19 must arrive, how many more, before a worldwide plan for vaccinations will be implemented?"

Jake Johnson ·


To Avert Debt Ceiling Calamity, Democrats Urged to Finally Kill the Filibuster

"The solution is to blow up the filibuster at least for debt limit votes, just as Mitch blew it up to pack the Supreme Court for his big donors."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo