Commentary

The best editorial of the weekend highlights a massive GOP lie

Thomas Hofeller

In case you missed it, both the Winston-Salem Journal and Greensboro News & Record featured an on-the-mark editorial this weekend highlighting the Trump administration’s recently exposed treachery in seeking to add a question to the Census regarding the citizenship of respondents. As the editorial highlighted, recent revelations in the increasingly infamous Hofeller files have made it clear that the motivation behind the question was clearly to advance Republican political objectives.

In case anyone wondered why the Trump administration is intent on adding a citizenship question to next year’s census, Common Cause North Carolina has brought to light documents that make it clear the move is politically motivated.

The administration has claimed that asking about the citizenship status of everyone in the census is necessary to enforce the Voting Rights Act and prevent discrimination against racial and language minorities. Its lawyers told the U.S. Supreme Court that such protection of minorities would be the “principal benefit” of adding the citizenship question.

That, to put it bluntly, is a lie, and a particularly cynical lie at that. We now have strong evidence that the citizenship question is designed to do the opposite: to suppress minority participation in the census and expand the gerrymandering that helps white Republican candidates unfairly hold onto their power in legislative districts.

After explaining the link between the Census question and deceased Republican mapmaking guru, Thomas Hofeller, the editorial continues:

What the administration is trying to do is wrong on many levels. The attempt to tamper with the census is not only a politically motivated attempt to suppress voting; it is also racist.

The Census Bureau has estimated that adding a citizenship question will lead to about 6.5 million people not responding to the census. Getting wary minorities to participate is a problem under the best of circumstances.

The Bureau also says that the question is unnecessary, that the data is available in existing government records….

The Supreme Court has already heard arguments on the census case and is expected to rule soon.

If the Trump administration is allowed to include the question, it will be a win for the worst kind of partisan politics and a loss for democracy and the country. That much is now clear.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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