Even the U.S. Census, that staple of democracy, is not safe under Donald Trump. After trying to add questions about respondents’ citizenship status and being shut down by the SCOTUS in those efforts, Trump has now ordered the census counting to stop far ahead of the initial timeline for completion. In the middle of a pandemic, that leaves a fair number of people uncounted and, therefore, unrepresented in government. As it turns out, these are specific types of people, and that’s the motive for Trump and the GOP.
The most difficult populations to count during a census are those in poverty, including those who are homeless or transient due to their socioeconomic status. The fewer poor people are counted, the fewer black and brown Americans are represented, since a disproportionate number of people of color live in poverty. That isn’t the only step Trump has taken to undermine democracy for all Americans, though.
According to The Brookings Institute:
‘the Trump administration issued a memorandum seeking to remove undocumented immigrants (“illegal aliens” in the memo’s words) from the census headcount that serves as the basis for reapportioning House of Representatives members among states. Then, on Monday, the Census Bureau announced that they would be cutting short the headcount by a month. In both cases, these changes will result in an undercount of demographic groups that are not part of Trump’s political base.’
These moves to undermine the census are calculated and deliberate, and not just meant to boost Trump’s popularity with the more racist side of his base. They are intended to help Republicans keep power in districts where their bases are smaller.
Twitter expressed its support of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Read some of their comments below: