At campaign rallies, Donald Trump specialized in crafting political slogans whose catchiness obscured the lack of actual policy behind them: lock her up, America First, build the wall, drain the swamp.
But there was one Trump slogan that turned out to have a shocking amount of policy behind it – hundreds of pieces of legislation nationwide in just the last three months, in fact, constituting the most coordinated, organized and determined Republican push on any political issue in recent memory.
The slogan was “stop the steal,” a tendentious reference to Trump’s big lie about the November election result.
And the policy behind it was aggressive voter suppression, targeting people of color, urbanites, low-income communities and other groups whose full participation in future elections is seen by Republicans as a threat.
For decades, conservatives have made limited government, lower taxes, “family” values, religious freedom, public safety, national security and restrictions on abortion the centerpiece of their pitch to voters.
In 2021, those issues have been joined on the party platform by – and sometimes seem to be eclipsed by – a bold new policy proposal: prevent voting.
Since the November election, Republican state legislatures across the country have introduced more than 250 bills creating barriers to voting, cutting early voting, purging voter rolls, limiting absentee options and now, in Georgia, outlawing giving someone stuck in a 10-hour line a bottle of water.