Michael Waldman’s The Fight to Vote is an incredibly timely, important look at the history of voting in America. Sadly, Waldman’s work highlights the systematic disenfranchisement of Americans (especially people of color and poor people).
Reading The Fight to Vote days before what I believe is the most consequential midterm election in my lifetime, was a sobering experience. As someone who appreciates history and the law, I was aware of much of what Waldman details; however, confronting it at one time and having someone connect the dots was sometimes infuriating.
As Waldman’s book demonstrates, America has never been and certainly isn’t the democracy many Americans pretend. Throughout American history, wealthy white men, as a collective, have done their level best to make sure people of color, women, and poor people have as little of an opportunity to vote as possible. As the 2018 election approaches, the Republican Party, once the party of Lincoln, is doing its best to make sure people likely to vote Democratic can’t vote or to diminish the value of their votes.
The Fight to Vote isn’t always an easy read. But if you want to get a better understanding of just how undemocratic America has always been, it’s worth a read.