Sosa: Tightening control over America’s democracy

Columnist Zoami Calles-Rios Sosa criticizes the Republican party’s attempts to tighten voting restrictions across the nation. 

In response to the loss of the 2020 elections, Republicans have introduced voter restriction bills in at least 43 states. Over 250 laws have been proposed to reduce the number of possible Democratic voters for the next elections. The party of “less government” is going above and beyond to secure their power over America’s democracy for generations to come. 

Hypocritical may be a short word to describe the party that insists on fostering the ideals that government should have little say in our lives. The government should have a role in the elections, and it should be that they are fair and square, that they are free of fraud. The party of Donald Trump keeps making false accusations that the election was stolen when there is no actual proof. 

I know it’s hard to imagine other people holding other views, but it happens. When Trump won in 2016, I was devastated. I couldn’t imagine any person with morals would want someone who talks about women like Trump did. But obviously, plenty of people liked and agreed with him. Fine. 

I don’t agree with everything said in any party, and I don’t even belong to any, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want them to go out and vote to their heart’s content. It never once crossed my mind to limit the times and locations of polls so Trump supporters couldn’t get out to vote. We should make it easier for everyone to execute their constitutional right to vote and partake in this democracy.

Instead, we have a party adamant in securing its grip on power for generations to come. We have a party of believers who feel entitled and determined to destroy every possible way other people, who don’t share their views, may have to vote in an election.

Democracies ebb and flow between the continuum of freedom and oppression. When we oppress or limit or stop or reduce or inhibit or try in any way, shape or form to make the voices of those with whom we disagree less, we move toward the side of oppression and leave the comforts of a true democracy.

Souls to the Polls

“Souls to the Polls” is a concept that Black churches have created. It’s the idea that you go to church on Sundays, and then you go to vote. Transportation does not need to be an issue since the church helps with that. This, of course, is seen as problematic by those trying to stop Black people from voicing their views through votes. Black communities have a history of voting Democratically. Instead of trying to win the support of these communities, Republicans find it easier just to limit their votes. 

Various bills around the country, notably one of the most prominent ones being the Texas one that Democrats stymied recently, was aimed, in part, to limit the “Souls to the Polls” movement. A few of the reasons given to limit voters from having a wide access to polls is that fraud needs to be stopped. 

The Republican Party has yet to prove any fraud. Just thinking that it happens doesn’t make anything true. 

Church views and morals are OK to shove down people’s throats — UNLESS those views and morals are not our own churches’? It is hard to discern the moment religious beliefs of someone supersede those of another when it comes to Republicans’ ways of thinking. I keep trying to put myself in Republican shoes. Would I want to keep all the power and silence my dissenters if I were them? 

Dissent and differences are all part of life. We teach kids that they can’t have their cake and eat it, too. Republicans can either have their restrictions and limitations on citizens regarding who votes when and where or have a democracy. They cannot have both.

Zoami Calles-Rios Sosa is a senior in civil engineering.