It’s hard to argue against ensuring that everyone has the right to vote in a democracy. Yet I think there’s a deeper problem here which your analysis overlooks. The reason Republicans resort to cheating is because they can’t win fairly except in dwindling pockets of the country, some of them scarcely populated. The GOP has been reduced to a minority party on the national stage because its policies are savage and outdated.

The democratic solution would be to moderate those policies or to start a third party to give voice to a more responsible form of conservatism (assuming that’s not an oxymoron). Those solutions, though, are only academic. Republican voters have been radicalized by the culture war and would sooner don suicide vests that moderate their libertarian and fundamentalist backlashes. And it’s a two-party system that undercuts third-party challengers.

Therefore, there’s an underlying question here, which is whether total defeat of the GOP, by preventing that party from cheating, would be in the interests of democracy as you suggest. Wouldn’t that make for one-party rule, for a permanent majority for the Democrats (which is what Republicans under Gingrich wanted for themselves)?

That wouldn’t mean the Democrats would represent most Americans, mind you, because of the second factor that should be at the top of every discussion of American politics: around half of Americans don’t vote. The Democrats represent a quarter to a third of Americans, the Trump Party represents another quarter to a third, and the rest are effectively disenfranchised regardless of their technical right to vote. Why bother exercising that right if the government is plutocratic and American culture ignores the interests of the majority who are the losers required by a free-market economy?

So the Democrats face another choice: (1) stick to democratic principles and remove the fig leaf covering the shame of American society, revealing that its democratic system is a joke (half the country doesn’t participate, and only one party has the votes to win nationally in fair, democratic elections, without voter suppression, gerrymandering, or the Electoral College); (2) pretend the system is functional and allow Republicans to cheat to save face, and to prevent the radical GOP supporters from leaving politics, too, and pursuing more militant, insurrectionist goals.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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