If nothing else, you have to give the Trump administration and the Republican Party credit for thoroughness in their quest to subvert fundamental democratic institutions and ideals. If there’s a foundation stone of our system that they haven’t gotten around to at least attempting to undermine, just give them some time.
That effort is what requires us to talk about the census, which in a different time one might expect not to be manipulated for partisan advantage. But that’s exactly what the administration is trying to do. Not only that, it has been lying about what it’s up to — not just to the public, but under oath.
New information has emerged that deepens what can only be called a scandal. But first, some background.
As you may have heard, the administration decided soon after taking office that it wanted to add a question to the 2020 Census about whether the person filling out the form or those in their household are U.S. citizens — a question that has not appeared on the decennial census for 70 years. As anyone who has conducted interviews for the census will tell you, a great challenge in this monumental effort is getting everyone to answer so as to get a complete count. It is particularly difficult in communities of immigrants because, even when they are here legally, they have a natural suspicion of government representatives knocking on their doors.
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