In an act of defiance to what they see as a “fraudulent administration,” some of the country’s largest newspapers seized on the Fourth of July to rip Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission, accusing the White House of fostering voter suppression under the guise of cracking down on a virtually nonexistent problem.
The USA Today’s editorial board had a sharp Independence Day take on Trump’s voter fraud panel:
“In probing potential illegal voting, the president is failing to address a greater threat to American election integrity: Russian meddling,” the paper wrote.
“For the most part, President Trump has been in denial about Russian meddling, as if acknowledging the problem threatens the legitimacy of his election, and has focused instead on unproven allegations of extensive voter fraud,” the newspaper’s editorial reads.
The New York Times’ editorial board wrote:
“As the nation marks 241 years of independence, the most pressing voting issue should be getting those tens of millions of nonparticipating Americans registered and to the polls, so that their voices can be heard.”
“If the paranoid voter-fraud crusaders devoted a fraction of their inquisitorial energy to solving that vexing problem, now that would be something to celebrate,” the paper’s board added.
The Chicago Sun-Times cast the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity as a political tool “looking for any scrap of information that might support Trump’s unfounded claim that millions of people illegally cast ballots in 2016.”
In doing so, the Sun-Times’ editorial board wrote, Trump’s commission “would further efforts to suppress the vote in future elections.”
The Washington Post offered a glance back to a speech delivered by famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1852, less than a decade before Civil War broke out.
In that address, delivered in Rochester, N.Y., a day after Independence Day, Douglass explained that the holiday did not mean to African Americans as it did to white Americans.
But he also emphasized that all Americans held a shared set of beliefs, and expressed hope that the rights outlined by the Declaration of Independence would one day be granted to all.
“Most of the remainder of his speech consisted of an exhortation to comprehend the evils of slavery and the need to abolish it, but there was in it an element of optimism, a faith in the power of republican ideals to someday overcome the evil practices of the day and unite people in a way that no bonds of race, religion or ethnic affinity could do — and to create a nation that would stand as an example to the world.”
The Post added: “Today, 165 years later, we can aspire to be worthy of that clear-eyed but optimistic faith.”
The White House created the voter fraud commission to investigate Trump’s widely debunked claim that millions of illegally cast ballots cost him the popular vote in 2016.
But a letter last week, sent by the commission’s vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, requesting that states provide troves of voter data to the panel was met with widespread defiance.
More than half of the country’s secretaries of state have declined to provide all the information requested by the commission.