Sanders Throws Some Serious Shade at Trump
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders threw some epic shade at Donald Trump in light of the president's claim that voter fraud caused him to lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in November's presidential election.
In his written message to Trump, Sanders suggested that if the president is so concerned about voter fraud, he should look no further than his own family members and advisors, many of whom are registered to vote in several states.
Sanders then went on to specifically list individuals with whom Trump is closely associated, like his daughter Ivanka, and his press secretary, Sean Spicer, and delineate how many states in which each person is registered.
Of course, Sanders does not believe that having voter registrations in several states constitutes fraud; however, he used the list to both seemingly give Trump a "taste of his own medicine" as well as to illustrate a larger point about a voting issue which concerns Sander very deeply — voter suppression, specifically reportedly active suppression by Trump and other Republicans.
Sanders transitions seamlessly from mocking Trump's claims of voter fraud to to condemning what he perceives as Trump's and other Republicans' acts of vote suppression that have seemingly limited, especially in regards to economic and racial diversity and the number of people who turn out to vote.
In his Facebook statement, Sanders said,
The truth is, of course, that none of this [registration in multiple states] is 'voter fraud.' People are not voting more than once and they are citizens entitled to vote. But stopping real voter fraud, which rarely occurs in the United States, is not Mr. Trump’s goal. Voter suppression is. His goal is to confuse the American people, lie about the issue and make it harder for poor people, people of color, young people and senior citizens to vote. Sadly this has been a long term goal of the Republican Party.
Sanders is absolutely on-point in his assertion. Indeed, 2016 constituted a year of fairly epic and sadly largely successful voter suppression measures. According to an article from ThinkProgress, in 2016 "millions of people who were eligible to vote but could not do so because they faced an array of newly-enacted barriers to the ballot box. ... Their systematic disenfranchisement was intentional and politically motivated. In the years leading up to 2016, Republican governors and state legislatures implemented new laws restricting when, where, and how people could vote ."
Voter suppression of certain groups of people is an enormous and increasing problem and, indeed, could have had an influence on the outcome of the 2016 election, unlike voter "fraud," which Trump erroneously claims altered election results (it did not, as voter fraud is incredibly rare).
In calling out President Trump, Sanders not only very adeptly pointed out the absurdity of Trump's voter fraud claims, but also highlighted Trump's hypocrisy in discussing the concept of voter fraud in the first place. When Republicans play an active role in silencing the vote of those they feel may disagree with party views, they have no leg to stand on — they, indeed, become the perpetuators of voter fraud through suppression, as Sanders so aptly points out.