As we gear up for the 2016 election -- the first presidential election since the Supreme Court crippled the VRA's protections -- we need, as President Johnson said, a new triumph for freedom to match any won on a battlefield. On the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, it is time to legislate, not just commemorate.
The experience of witnessing the first black President in the history of the United States has indeed been a wonderment to behold. As it turned out, the grand old white establishment revealed itself to be petty, obstructionist, vindictive, and incompetent. History will remember them as such, to the extent history will remember them at all.
The idea that the majority is under attack is reinforcing to anyone who stands on the brink of losing unearned privileges they have long taken for granted. It hurts to be taken down a peg, to discover you're no better, no more deserving, than anyone else. Better to lash out, mobilize the masses. Misdirect them at an imagined enemy. Anything to maintain that privilege.