On Wednesday, former attorney general Eric Holder sat down with Dean Obeidallah on SiriusXM Progress to discuss the future of voting rights — and a message for voters who fear that the current GOP-crafted electoral system will shut them out of the democratic process.
"On my show, people talked about voting suppression, way before it became a national issue for the last couple years," said Obeidallah. "What do you say to those who feel like, nothing's changed, it's getting worse, and my vote doesn't count, I might not vote in 2020 because I feel like my vote has been suppressed, or partisan gerrymandering, which we've covered a great deal and you've been fighting against, has also made my vote useless?"
"I would agree with that first part: things have gotten worse," said Holder. "The gerrymandering is worse than it has been, voter suppression is worse than it has been. But our response can't simply be to give up. Our response has to be to fight. These people are trying to take our vote away. They're trying to take away that which is most precious to us as American citizens, that which defines our nation as great: the right to vote."
"We have to do what people did back in the 60s," said Holder, holding up the 1965 Voting Rights Act as the "crown jewel" of the civil rights movement. "It's time for a new Civil Rights Movement to push back, and to make sure people are guaranteed the right to vote, that gerrymandering is done away with, and that we simply have a fair system."
Holder heads up the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a legal organization dedicated to fighting Republican gerrymanders around the country, both through lawsuits and through campaigning to flip critical state legislatures and governorships.
"If we have a fair system," Holder said, "progressives and Democrats will beat the hell out of Republicans and conservatives, in a fair system. They only win by cheating. And so we have to be prepared to fight."
"There's a place for civility," Holder continued. "This is a place to be civil, but this is also a place where we've just got to be prepared to fight."
"Our response has to be to fight! These people are trying to take our vote away." Former US AG @EricHolder tells… https://t.co/vFZEUbh0Nf— SiriusXM Progress (@SiriusXM Progress)1554326929.0