Democracy’s death knell or overreaction?

To hear some politicians talk, if Congress doesn’t pass proposed election laws, to negate voting legislation approved in a number of states, it will be the death of democracy.

Yes, a number of states in the past year passed legislation tightening up some voting and election requirements.

But changing such requirements as allowing Election Day voter registration to requiring that registrations be allowed up to the day before an election, or requiring voters to show identification before they can vote in person is hardly going to spell democracy’s death knell.

While expressing their – in many instances –exaggerated claims, these same politicians fail to mention the states that have passed bills that make voting easier or removing restrictions such as allowing those convicted of felonies to vote.

What’s upsetting and frustrating these progressives and their media supporters is that while Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House, passing favored laws is proving difficult.

In a desperate attempt to gain public support for their positions, they make claims such as “democracy as we know it will die” if national election standards are not established.

News flash: This nation has endured and survived over its history much more serious threats to democracy than whether or not national election standards and requirements are established.

And the American public is not exactly clamoring for national election and voting laws, perhaps recognizing that the doomsday claims are an overreaction to the actual issue.

Finding a compromise may not be possible given present divisions between the parties, but then neither is the American public buying the strident claims that “the sky is falling, democracy will die” rhetoric that’s being thrown out either.

Virus hits new peaks                                     

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. there have been over 62.5 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, along with over 840,000 deaths.

Also according to the CDC, about two-thirds of the U.S. population older than age 5 are fully vaccinated against the virus and 79 percent have received at least one dose. Of those who are fully vaccinated over the age of 18, about 40 percent have received a booster dose.

Now coming up on two years since the virus first took hold in the U.S. in March 2020, there’s no sign that the illness is easing up, much less run its course.

In the county, less than two weeks into the month of January, virus cases number 457, well beyond the previous high of 434 set in November. And the month is not even half over.

At 2,915, total county virus cases are approaching 3,000, with 56 recorded Thursday, 302 the past week and 457 over two weeks.

Many area residents are voluntarily wearing face masks when in public in an effort to avoid contracting the disease and its latest highly contagious Omicron variant. At the same time many are avoiding as much as possible public gatherings, to limit their potential exposure.

Officials have said the current virus wave is expected to decrease in the next week or two. And health officials continue to urge those who are not vaccinated to get the shots, and those who have been vaccinated to get a booster.

Vaccination may not prevent someone from getting the virus, but it does reduce its seriousness and those needing hospital care.

— MJB