“There must be some way outta here, said the Joker to the Thief…” -Bob Dylan
We knew it would be bad back in 2016, sitting there watching the election returns as the worst imaginable person in America was elected without a majority to the presidency. “This is verrry bad…” , murmured Cherie, as the rest of us stared at the screen in shocked silence. The Supreme Court was only in the background of our concerns that night.
Fast forward to June, 2022: three new hyper-conservative and radically partisan Supreme Court appointees, in concert with three other Republican appointees, are wreaking havoc on the nation.
In one week the high court:
- Has have discarded a century of precedent in New York State, of requiring a carry permit for handguns.
- Has discarded fifty-plus years of precedent for a woman’s right to bodily autonomy.
- Has mandated a right for teachers and coaches to openly force religious indoctrination on their students and athletes.
- Has mandated the use of public funds for parochial schools.
- And has severely weakened the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to reduce carbon emissions in our fight to save the planet.
In so doing, they have also:
- Broken the nation’s confidence in the legitimacy of that court.
- Deepened the divisions between states and populaces across the nation.
- Weakened Congress’ and the Executive’s ability to govern.
- And are bringing into question the future of our democracy.
An absence of consensus:
There was no national majority consensus behind the election of the hideous canker who shifted the balance of the court, just as there was no national consensus behind the Republican-controlled Senate which denied an appointment to President Obama, who WAS elected with a national majority consensus.
The Republican electorate, it’s fair to say, has been radicalized to an extent where a majority of them nationwide no longer believe in democracy. At least, they don’t seem to believe in the democracy I was raised to revere.
They do NOT constitute a majority of our citizens, And yet, they have transformed the Republican party into a malignant organism which is now dominating the course of our nation’s culture and history.
The Supreme Court IS the existential crisis causing me angst this morning.