We have a bad habit in this country of ignoring the suffering of others if we think it will not affect us. Our response to COVID, how we let thousands die from air pollution each year with barely a peep about it in the media, societal choices like child poverty, etc. There are a lot of examples, too many to list here.
So if you are thinking “well, I’m not a woman in her child-bearing years, why should I care about the news this week about Roe,” I have news for you. They are not going to stop at abortion rights.
"At the start of their two-day biannual convention, 1,800 delegates for the Maine Republican Party adopted a platform that opposes abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and sex education for children."https://t.co/6oUwSvEZUZ
— Jeffrey Sachs (@JeffreyASachs) May 5, 2022
I am not surprised by this one bit, but some people in the Grand Online Discourse seem to be quite dismissive of those who are worried about Republicans going after Obergfell, Loving, etc. But the Republicans themselves are telling us that is their intention!
Being dismissive about these painfully obvious threats is maddening enough. But among the most frustrating things about all of this is how easy it is to tear down our system and threaten our rights, and how hard it is to make changes that improve the system (or even save it from total collapse).
I think the Mueller Report having next to no effect on Trump should have been evidence that the view of our nation as The Glorious Glory of Our Glorious System *angelic choir* was gilded at best. We can’t do things that are “radical” (like expand the court, reform the Senate, etc.) because either The System won’t allow it or it’s not “politically popular.” A sad and deep irony is all such a stance has done is enable things that are…radical. And prior to this, McConnell proved that a system based on unwritten ethics and mores need only someone to dare overstep those gentlemen’s agreements to throw the whole thing into flux (correct me if I’m wrong but McConnell didn’t break any rules with his Garland chicanery).
I don’t know what the answer is, but it is giving a lot of people a feeling of being trapped and helpless that is absolutely legitimate. Yes, voting helps, but we need more from our politicians, and from our media. Increasingly, it is feeling like we are experiencing an American version of Martin Niemöller’s First They Came poem.
None of this hyperbole, just like the fear of Trump winning wasn’t hyperbole, nor was thinking that his supporters could become violent when they lose. Many of the same centrist writers telling the libs to calm down about Roe were the same ones telling us these things about Trump. Too much of our political discourse is lecturing frightened people that their fears are unfounded, and when the fears are proven to be valid, it shifts to lectures that it won’t be as bad as we think.
I really hope that this triggers people to vote and volunteer and we don’t lose the momentum like what happened after January 6. The usual suspects in the media will work their gaslighting angles, write “well actually losing Roe wouldn’t be all that bad” pieces, and work hard at “both-siding” the shit out of this. They have done it before. But we can’t forget what happened this week.
Because the only thing that could possibly be good about this is there is a fire lit right now that won’t fade, and we get a turnout like the 2018 midterms. I’ll say this, I know some people who were “yeah but both sides are as bad, The Real Problem remains divisiveness” prior to this week seemed to be shaken out of that fantasy by all this. Fingers crossed that holds.
Finally, I’ll offer up the last word on a bit different note, and in a non-song format…
A year and one day ago, writer Emma Green and The Atlantic published a piece titled “The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown” criticizing those who still practiced COVID precautions as politically motivated.
Since that time, as per Johns Hopkins, 418,496 Americans have died of COVID.
We must do better, in everything.