We need to put the choice of a Supreme Court Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg in perspective. It is not about constitutional concerns, presidential obligations or prerogatives, or precedent.
The truth behind the push is infinitely simpler, and more sinister.
The rush to force a vote is driven by evangelical pressure to reverse Roe V. Wade, to drag America back into the dark ages of male-dominated, Christian-centric, theologically tainted government, and to reassert the once absolute dominance of white men.
Therein lies the real danger.
Ginsburg’s entire career focused on broadening equal rights, equal access, and sharing of power for women. She was the irresistible force that overcame what was once considered unchangeable, working on some of the most important cases for women’s rights.
This is one example. Her work led to women being able to open a bank account, get a mortgage, or get a credit card without a man’s signature. (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/420/636/)
Now think about that for a moment. Until 1974, with the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the case cited above argued by Ginsburg before the United States Supreme Court in 1975, a woman, regardless of her financial position, education, or professional credentials, could not open a bank account without the signature of a man, nor enjoy most of the other financial rights of men.
This was in the United States of America in 1975, not 1575.
And let’s be perfectly clear about something, the evangelicals’ claiming the moral high ground on issues like abortion, LGBTQ rights, and religious freedom is a smokescreen. Reclaiming dominance of white heterosexual males is their true goal. Their vision of making America Great Again is not one of inclusivity.
You can spin this anyway you like, but all one has to do is look, not even an in-depth look, at their savior for reclaiming a moral America, Mr. Trump, to see the incongruities.
The Christian Right, pummeled by Roe V. Wade (which was about equal access, never about abortion. The wealthy always had access, leaving the poor to dark alleys), distraught over Gay rights and equal opportunity, and horrified that science and rationality were gaining dominance over philosophies formulated in the dark ages, is fighting for its life.
Their intransigence, and duplicity, is an effrontery to those religious adherents who embrace tolerance and understanding. Their actions are in direct contradiction to the words in the Bibles they clutch to their chests or wave in the air as evidence of the righteousness of their cause.
There actions are a mockery of Christian philosophy. They do not seek religious freedom, the seek religious dominance by their self-serving interpretation of evangelical doctrine and the suppression of those who follow other paths.
They see in Mr. Trump their opportunity to reclaim their once firm grasp on power and control over those who are different or follow a different path. That anyone could see Mr. Trump as a moral savior is an example of willful ignorance at best or total psychotic illusion at worst.
As long as he promotes their party line, his lack of character is unimportant. This is not a Republican party line; it is the party line of intolerance and domination.
In a debate stimulated by an earlier piece I wrote (https://joebroadmeadowblog.com/2020/09/18/a-simple-straightforward-question/) someone who supports Mr. Trump posted this article as illustrative of all the “good” Mr. Trump has done for black Americans.
Read the case yourself and draw your own conclusions.
My reading of the case would suggest the writer argues that Mr. Trump’s implicit racism, pandering to white supremacists, and misconstruing the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement has brought the issue of racism to the forefront.
A rather strange way to sing Mr. Trump’s praises.
There is a common misconception in America that widespread racism and discrimination is a thing of the past. Indeed, Justice Ginsburg spent much of her career shining a light into those dark corners of America where it still flourished, and flourishes to this day.
I recall a story told to me by a friend from the FBI. As a young agent he was sent to a rural county in Alabama to investigate a civil rights violation by a Sheriff and two deputies in the arrest of a black man.
During an interview with one of the deputies, the agent asked if race played a part in the violent arrest of the man. The deputy’s answer stuck with the agent for the rest of his career.
The deputy said, “I didn’t beat that man because he was black, sir. I beat him because he forgot he was black.”
This was in 1985. 120 years after the end of slavery. Thirty years after Brown V Board of Education. Twenty years after the Civil Rights Act. Racism may not be as overt as it was in 1865, or even 1965, but make no mistake about it, it still permeates much of our society.
And we have a President who either intentionally or out of ignorance encourages such attitudes. Or maybe he just doesn’t care.
Then, as if what amounts to promoting white supremacy isn’t enough, Mr. Trump takes it down another notch by saying the shooting of an MSNBC reporter covering a protest was “beautiful.” And the saddest part is many in the audience laughed and cheered.
The President of the United States jokes about a member of the media being wounded. This is about as dystopian as the world can get.
The Free Press, the cornerstone of American freedom, the institution that in my lifetime help end the war in Vietnam and brought down a corrupt and criminal Presidency by focusing attention on government lies, is not something we should laugh at when they suffer injuries doing their job.
But not this President.
Leaving aside for the moment the argument about whether a Supreme Court nomination should take place in an election year, this is a critical turning point in America.
To paraphrase a line from Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, If Christ could see America today, he’d puke.
Those who would force us into the past are pointing a loaded gun at the heart of America and threatening to pull the trigger. If we lose focus in the fog of all the noise and distractions, they just might be emboldened enough to do it.
There is much in America’s past of which we can be proud, and equally as much for which we need be constantly vigilant against its re-emergence. But the path to American greatness does not reside in our past, it beckons from our future. A future that hangs in the balance this November.
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