Members of the Bandera County Democratic Club gathered earlier this month for their monthly meeting to hear from fellow member and senior paralegal for a criminal justice attorney Billy Sinclair on “Democracy Dies in Broad Daylight.”
Sinclair’s talk covered the January 6 event at the capitol, the power of the vote, and the status of the two-party system in America.
“In a lot of ways, January 6th personifies how easy it is for democracy to come under assault and how easy it is to lose democracy,” said Sinclair in his opening. “It’s a very precious gift, held together by one central thing and that’s the right to vote. If you do not have the right to vote, or if judges can overrule the outcome of an election on a whim, then you do not have a democracy.”
Taking a cue from the tagline used by the Washington Post, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” Sinclair posited one single bullet fired by a law enforcement officer on January 6 was the turning point that slowed the assault on democracy and prevented the capture of the electoral ballots by the terrorists.
According to Sinclair, stealing those ballots would have triggered a declaration of martial law by a rejected president who would have set up a new election run by the military where his pentagon appointees were ready to respond.
“What I believe happened on January 6th was an attempted coup d’état,” he said. “We had people in our government going back to June of 2020 who told the former president that he was going to lose the election.”
“In August of that year, he began to promote the big lie that the election was rigged against him. He lost the election by seven million votes, and despite 62 court cases saying there was not any credible fraud in any state election, Republican leaders conspired to subvert the will of the people to try and keep the former president in power. This culminated in the violent insurrection of January 6.”
Sinclair asked, “What does the vote mean to us as Americans? What does the threat of losing the vote tell us as a people, and as a nation? The only way we can survive, the only way we can maintain the rule of law and the democratic process is through the power of the vote. Since January 11, we have had 489 laws passed in GOP-dominated state legislatures curtailing the right to vote, especially for minorities and people with disabilities.
“The former president has said plainly that if everyone in America were able to vote, no Republican would be elected again. What could not be done through the mob on January 6, is now being done through the legislative process. What we see is that the Republican Party is behind this movement to take away the power of the vote. If we lose the power to vote, then we have lost everything we have built and sacrificed for over the past almost 300 years.”
Sinclair added, “During the Trump years, I watched as Republicans of conscience and decency stood up and spoke up for America. They were called anti-Trump, but they were pro-democracy. They were Republicans. I am a Democrat. But those labels don’t mean much today.”
“There are no longer two healthy parties in America,” he continued.
“The catastrophic mistake for our nation is to continue to see the fight as Democrats vs. Republicans, left vs. right. We are at war with an authoritarian movement fueled by former President Donald Trump. It includes many of the 147 Republicans, led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and others, who signed on to treason with their January 6 votes objecting to Joe Biden’s win, and it has grown since then,” Sinclair concluded.
The Bandera County Democratic Club meets on the second Saturday of each month. The August meeting will be held at Silver Sage. Doors open at 11 am for a covered dish luncheon; the meeting begins at noon and the public is invited to attend.