Conceptually, everybody is in favor of the right to vote. You will not hear anybody defend thenotion that the law can discriminate against persons because of their color, or their faith, ortheir ethnicity, when it comes to going to cast a ballot. That's huge progress, a normative shiftin how we think about our democracy. Everybody in theory is supposed to be included.
But part of the reason we're here today, part of the reason it's so important for us to focusattention on this right is because in practice, we've still got problems.
On the ground, there are still too many ways in which people are discouraged from voting.Some of the protections that had been enshrined in the Voting Rights Act itself have beenweakened as a consequence of court decisions and interpretations of the law. Statelegislatures have instituted procedures and practices that, although on the surface may appearneutral, have the effect of discouraging people from voting, may have a disproportionaleffect on certain kinds of folks voting.
And if, in fact, those practices, those trends, those tendencies are allowed to continueunanswered, then over time the hard-won battles of 50 years ago erode, and our democracyerodes. And that means that the decisions that are made in the corridors of power all across thiscountry begin to reflect the interests of the few, instead of the interests of the many.
So we've got serious business to attend to here. One order of business is for our Congress topass an updated version of the Voting Rights Act that would correct some of the problems thathave arisen.
Obama's central claim in the passage is that the Voting Rights Act ____
A.strengthens democracy in the United States by ensuring that no person is discouraged fromvoting.
B.was an appropriate response to problems of voter discrimination fifty years ago.
C.is no longer necessary given the progress the country has made in securing voting rights.
D.needs to be revised in response to recent trends that have the effect of restricting votingamong some groups of people.
discriminate [di'skrimineit]vt. 区分，区别对待vi. 辨别，差别对待
shift [ʃift]n. 交换，变化，移动，接班者v. 更替，移
response [ri'spɔns]n. 回答，响应，反应，答复
democracy [di'mɔkrəsi]n. 民主，民主制，民主国家
related [ri'leitid]adj. 相关的，有亲属关系的
consequence ['kɔnsikwəns]n. 结果，后果
defend [di'fend]v. 防护，辩护，防守
discouraging [dis'kʌridʒiŋ]adj. 令人气馁的 动词discourage的现在分词
certain ['sə:tn]adj. 确定的，必然的，特定的
reflect [ri'flekt]v. 反映，反射，归咎
Choice D is the best answer. Obama argues that "we've still got problems" related to voting, and explains what those problems are: the Voting Rights Act has been "weakened," which has "the effect of discouraging people from voting," and this means that "our democracy erodes." These claims all lead up to the passage's central claim: Congress should "pass an updated version of the Voting Rights Act that would correct" these problems.