The door on the American dream was slammed shut by the Supreme Court with the stripping away of a constitutional right that is a fundamental human right and recognized by many countries. Six judges on the Supreme Court forever have destroyed the reputation, regard and respect for the high court and the Constitution in their reversal of Roe v. Wade and have confirmed that they are the political arm of the right-wing of the Republican Party. As predicted they have demolished the revered role of the Supreme Court as simply interpreting the Constitution, cast aside the rule to adhere to precedent and made a mockery of the conservative complaints deriding so-called judicial activism. The concept that is everyone is created equal is comforting, but in our lifetimes we have learned it is myth and the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization seals the deal.
Conservative judges purport to make decisions premised on the rule of law. They commonly are entrenched in the status quo and deny implicit bias and systemic injustice. They are quick to say that Congress should address a question, although the reality of special interest politics impedes the legislative process. In this case they say that states should decide the issue because it suits their politics. They rule without mercy. This time, in an unmercifully mean and cruel treatment of women, their true colors shine in the decision in Dobbs. It is not legal decision, but a political fiat and one that will create chaos for millions of women. In short they are political hacks delivering payback for anti-abortion zealots.
Since WWII, we have lived through the closing of an era in which government, beginning with the New Deal, worked to promote democracy, level the economic playing field by promoting a standard of living with food and housing programs, electricity, highways, clean air and water across the nation and supporting voting rights and civil rights.
Beginning with the Reagan Presidency promoting the general welfare and democratic values has wound down. The Republican Party has slashed regulations and taxes needed to support social welfare programs, suppressed votes, “flooded the media with propaganda attacking those who like government action as socialists, gerrymandered congressional districts, abused the Senate filibuster to stop all Democratic legislation, and as the popular vote has made it clear their extremist ideology would never again command a majority, they stacked the Supreme Court” with originalists with the goal of making states the centerpiece of our democratic system. That is the same the argument made by southern Democrats before the Civil War. At its heart it is racist and elitist. Originalism is a phony argument to justify a result desired by the right-wing.
The tragedy is made all the worse by the Founders having crafted a Constitution that is based on a premise that has been rendered false by time. The nation is one country, not 50 independent states. The restraint on change built into the Constitution at its inception were a great idea before the telephone, television and the internet, when news only traveled as fast as a stagecoach, and are not mentioned, along with birth control, abortion, or gay marriage, in the Constitution. That should not provide the excuse for a radical exercise of power abusing the right of women to choose.
This is a country of people, not political constructs called “states” which are legal figments of a by gone era. Amending the Constitution, which requires 38 of 50 states to agree, denies the right of majority rule by all Americans. Having a legislative house where 1,085,000 Montanans have two Senators equal to the two representing California with a population of 39,538,000 is equally ridiculous.
As a result of an antiquated government structure, we are forced to contend with a Republican Party that has replaced the idea of democracy by majority rule with governmental power readily abused by the hands of a minority.
Unless the mid-term elections are turned upside-down as a result of voters being energized to support human rights, it is going to get worse before it gets better, but then again, public outrage brought an end to the Vietnam war.
Thank you to Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American whom I quote and liberally paraphrase. I strongly recommend her work.
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