Mad Props for Trampling the Constitution?
From a Google Image Search - Creative Light Factory
Democrats are the guardians of the law as it is, as it has evolved. Ours is a living Constitution, one that bears the scars of our troubled times and the victories of our progress in humanism. It is a document molded according to the structures our founders gave us, with bills for new laws hammered out in Congressional committees, argued in the House of Representatives, and pondered in the well of the Senate.
We are a basically two-party system, and our two parties hold different ideologies and (if they read at all) even reference different learned thinkers who have written about government, societies, religion, morals, security/intelligence, economics and science. Technology thinkers are too new to have the cachet of those old European men (and a few women like Ayn Rand) but they are building a body of literature and our two parties must keep up with the digital world.
Republicans have decided to become the guardians of the past, of our documents in their “original” form. Theirs is a static document with one set of directives to govern the United States of America. They claim that they can determine exactly what our founders meant in 1787 and that we must follow these directives and ignore subsequent laws and traditions. They have engineered a branch of law called Originalism which can be applied selectively to bolster right-wing ideology.
Republicans pretend to adhere to our original Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, but those documents separate church and state. Republicans believe that if children say the Pledge of Allegiance in school each day and if prayer is allowed in schools once again, if the only acceptable marriage is one between a man and a woman, and if nuclear families are accepted as the norm and are rewarded, then America children will stop becoming addicted to drugs, they will go to school, be kind, do their homework, do their chores, go to bed at a reasonable hour and all will be well in America. Perhaps they have watched too many episodes of Little House on the Prairie.
They seem to believe that they can force women to have babies, make sure everyone is armed, make video games illegal, force families to conform to their standards, and send everyone back to church, a Christian church. Now they have stuffed the Supreme Court with extreme right-wing justices who claim to be Originalists. They argue that the founders favored states’ rights and that we have been conducting our governmental affairs wrong for all these decades. They advocate a very small federal government, one that manages the military and foreign affairs, maybe foreign trade if there are no restrictions on American businesses.
Republicans apparently got tired of waiting for everyone to see things their way. When they learned that white people would soon be in the minority in America, they believed that all non-white people would skew as Democrats and that they needed to find a way to win control of America before the Democrats got too strong to beat.
We must give Republicans props for the endlessly creative ways they have come up with to skirt American laws. They created a strong web of conservative organizations with equally strong religious ties. Out of Republican think tanks has come a steady stream of alternative views about American governance and even American history. While Talk Radio and Fox played on middle-class fears, print media like The Daily Caller and the Thinker twisted minds by reminding us that Democrats were the party of slavery before and during the Civil War, not Republicans. You need to remember who belonged to the Democratic party in the 1850’s to understand that the people who skewed Democrat then are the people who skew Republican now in many cases. The Dixiecrats were the last vestiges of white supremacy in the Democratic Party, and they finally joined the Republicans in the 60’s when the Civil Rights Bill became law. Strom Thurman and George Wallace said many hateful things from the heart of the Democratic Party, much to the party’s shame.
The Tea Party began around the issues of taxation and finally led to the obscene tax cuts of the Jobs and Tax Cuts Act of 2017, which ended up having nothing to do with jobs and which guaranteed that the gap between the wealthy and the rest of us would become ever wider. This has led to the constant drumbeat for smaller government and ending income taxes altogether. States are being given more and more powers and Republicans are well on their way to accomplishing their small government goals in such a sneaky way that they can make small government happen without much pushback at all. If a Republican wins the Presidency in 2024, agencies will fall like beer cans shot off a wall starting with the Department of Education (so red states can pray and pledge and teach history any way they please, perhaps even restore the glory of the heroes of the Civil War).
So many creative strategies have been implemented to threaten Democratic votes by tuning into the ways Democrats have welcomed more people to the polls with more convenient polling locations, vote-by-mail, Souls to the Polls, drop boxes and simply declaring that these voting conveniences are ways to cover up voter fraud by the Democratic Party. By haranguing their red state base, they have undermined strategies to get more Americans to vote and have demonized them.
They have pursued mad creativity to overturn the right to abortion. The rights of women to control their own bodies and to allow families to plan for the births of their children has been something that has helped men and families as well as women. Republicans have passed Trap laws in states to make it difficult for clinics to offer abortions. They keep changing the number of weeks for fetal viability, even back to conception. They have appointed citizens as vigilantes to tattle on anyone having any role in an abortion, offering financial rewards to the tattler and punishment to the desperate women. By overturning Roe v Wade, Republicans have managed to exercise the will of the few over the many. By accusing Democrats of being too controlling in terms of public health and safety, Republicans have been able to distract from their more far-reaching attempts to seize control of the US government and take the wheel without opposition.
Trump was an unlikely godsend to the Republicans because he had chutzpah and no loyalty to the Constitution or any deep understanding of government. He heard what the Republicans and the Evangelicals wanted, and he set out to get it for them. He loved having his ego stroked and was not put off by the petty moral struggles of lesser men. Republicans wanted lower taxes for the wealthy. He got that for them. They wanted free markets for America, tariffs for everyone else. He did that. They wanted deregulation. He made asbestos legal again and more. They wanted the courts stuffed. Done and done.
So here we are in a place where we can’t help but admire the clever inventions of the Republicans and the ham-handed fascist politics of 45 even as we know that we are in a very dangerous moment with everything depending on one seriously impaired election and millions of twisted minds.
Yesterday, with the end of Roe v Wade, we finally see the reality of where things stand. Now we can fight back. Put those progressive Democrats together in a back room with Bernie Sanders and see what creative methodologies they can come up with for Biden and Congressional Democrats to end the stonewalling in Congress and the manipulations of the right-wing.
We have allowed Republicans to dismantle the Constitution right in front of our eyes with baby steps that seemed too inconsequential to go to “war” over. We relied on our courts to keep Republicans from drawing outside constitutional lines while they stuffed the courts and took away our best defense. Are there any creative ways to fly below the radar and take back our government? Citizens can work on this too. Are we too fastidious to bend laws to do this? If so, we will not like the decades to come.
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