Voting gains new importance

Cong. Jim Cooper along with supporters

Cong. Jim Cooper along with supporters

You hear it every four years: “This is the most important presidential election of our lifetime.”

Most of the time, folks are blowing smoke. This time, it’s true.

It’s true not just because of our choice: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump (that’s an easy one).

No, this time (for the first time in modern history) the Republican nominee is happily bragging about blocking voters’ path to the polls. He’s proud of his attempts to take away our rights.

Want the proof? Last week, a Bloomberg News report quoted a senior Trump campaign official: “We have three major voter suppression operations under way.”

The article said these operations are aimed at silencing three groups: “idealistic White liberals, young women, and African Americans.”

That’s infuriating on its own, but there’s more: Just like the last presidential race, some states are curtailing early-voting days and otherwise making it harder to vote.

Instead of building bridges to the polls, some Republicans want to block you from your ballot.

We must not let them. Our rights are in the voting booth, and we must claim them on Election Day.

Ballot in hand, the choice is crystal-clear.

Nashville is such a vibrant, friendly, diverse city. America follows our lead.

Yet what has Trump said about our communities?

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs—what the hell do you have to lose?”
It’s not just a speech. It’s policy.

Trump wants to unravel President Obama’s great work. For example, he’s not shy about destroying ‘Obamacare,’ a law that has brought health insurance to the most Americans ever.

No wonder Trump polls at zero percent some places.

Let’s ignore his noise and keep our eyes on the prize: Four more years with a great Democrat in the White House.

If you haven’t already early-voted, make a plan and vote Tuesday.

As Michelle Obama once said: “When they go low, we go high!” More from our magnificent First Lady: “Voting is our high!”

(U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Democrat, represents Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District.)