President Obama gave a rousing and passionate call to action where he told Republicans that he will continue to challenge every single attempt to suppress the vote.
The president said:
Opportunity means making the minimum wage a wage you can live on. It means equal pay for equal work. It means overtime pay for workers who have earned it. It means continuing to extend the right of quality, affordable health care for every American in every state, because we’ve got some states that aren’t doing the right thing. We have states who just out of political spite are leaving millions of people uninsured that could be getting health insurance right now. No good reason for it. If you ask them what’s the explanation they can’t really tell you.
The principle of one person, one vote is the single greatest tool we have to redress an unjust status quo. You would think there would not be an argument about this anymore. But the stark, simple truth is this: The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago.
Across the country, Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for people to vote. In some places, women could be turned away from the polls just because they’re registered under their maiden name but their driver’s license has their married name. Senior citizens who have been voting for decades may suddenly be told they can no longer vote until they can come up with the right ID.
And as President, I’m not going to let attacks on these rights go unchallenged. We’re not going to let voter suppression go unchallenged. So earlier this week, you heard from the Attorney General — and there’s a reason the agency he runs is called the Department of Justice. They’ve taken on more than 100 voting rights cases since 2009, and they’ve defended the rights of everybody from African Americans to Spanish speakers to soldiers serving overseas.
What the president was talking about was all part of the same Republican agenda. Denying people access to healthcare while also denying them access to the vote is all part of punishing the “takers” in order to give more to the “makers.”
Republicans deny millions of Americans their fundamental rights, and President Obama isn’t going to tolerate it. President Obama has fought the Republican effort to suppress the vote for years. This president understands that inequality begins with unequal access to the polls.
The Republican governors who refuse to expand Medicaid can’t offer a justification for their actions, but they think that denying people healthcare is good politics. President Obama is the last line of defense for equality, and opportunity. Obama will not be a candidate in another campaign, but he is going fight to make sure that all Americans have access to the polls for years to come.