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Living in Society

Fences in Washington

Enchiladas just out of the oven.

I heard this morning security officials have begun to install non-scalable fencing around the U.S. Supreme Court. Lines are being drawn as the future of Supreme Court decisions with three Trump appointees on the bench clarifies. I agree with my Blog for Iowa colleague, Trish Nelson, who wrote today, We Are Going Back.

In this tumultuous time I’m reading C. Bradley Thompson’s America’s Revolutionary Mind: A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration that Defined It. The founders were concerned with a tyranny of the majority. These days it is the tyranny of a minority of voters that gives us pause.

Nothing about the coming changes is new. On Aug. 17, 2016 I wrote:

What makes August part of the summer of weird normal is the lack of political talk about almost anything but the Republican nominee for president. It is normal that a lot of voters activate during presidential election years. What is weird is a combination of things including regular people cozying up to Donald Trump; people who would bleed Democratic if cut saying they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton no matter what; and controversial issues, including climate change, abortion, school funding, incarceration rates, water quality and government spending, being sidelined to watch the national political show.

Journey Home, Aug. 17, 2016.

With Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett on the high court, there seems no limit to what fundamental parts of our lives in common can be rolled back. Key issues that matter in millions of American lives are no longer being sidelined. The whole thing seems likely to be dismantled. It is unsettling.

The undoing of modern society began with Citizens United v. FEC and Shelby County v. Holder. The court is expected to be supercharged to toss aside decades of precedent and decisions to get us to a form of the society The Federalist Society, who recommended Trump’s justices, envisions for us. Instead of being governed by “We the people,” the few have taken over the joystick of power in society.

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether our grievances are sufficient cause to revolt against our government. We can either vote Republicans out of office or do something else. My sense is we are not at the “something else” phase yet.

Changes at the Supreme Court took place in front of our eyes. The rejection of Hillary Clinton by some Democrats marked the onset of what we are seeing today, even if the roots of it lay further back. There are no quick or easy fixes. Posting such grievances I have on this blog or in social media does little to effect the change we need to stop the bleeding of our rights and privileges. We need to stop the bleeding.

We also need to rise up, although it’s not clear what that means in 2022. It is time to figure it out. Let’s hope the fence around the Supreme Court is temporary.

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