Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a leader in the civil rights movement who played a key role in the struggle to end segregation, talks to “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer about Republicans’ efforts to change voting regulations in states across the country, an effort Democrats say is tantamount to voter suppression.
Lewis says that during the civil rights era, many Republicans were more progressive than those in office now. “It is crazy that the leadership of the Republican Party is not standing up and saying, ‘You must not go down that road.’ That in another period, in another time, you had Republican leadership in the United States House of Representatives, in the United States Senate, who fought for civil rights, who fought for voting rights, who stood with us, who met with us on the day we marched on Washington almost 50 years ago,” he says.
Referring to the newly proposed voter ID laws and other similar legislation, Lewis says that “what is so frightening, it’s not just a regional thing, it’s not just the Old South. But it’s all over America. They want to take us back to another period. … It’s not the literacy test. It’s not the poll tax. It’s not people being beaten and trampled, but it reminds people of a bygone period.”