So a word to the wise for future American generations:
There may be some right that you take for granted and believe is bulletproof even as the creeping fascists in the US show every intention of getting it taken away.
Maybe you’ll start to notice that through elections, strategic judge appointments, and the occasional spate of violence, these terrible people seem to be getting closer and closer to achieving that supposedly impossible goal.
Maybe you’ll start mentioning your unease to people. And someone, maybe lots of someones, will assure you that oh, don’t be a silly billy, nobody would EVER actually overturn that law. Most of the country doesn’t want that. It’d be political suicide.
Don’t fucking listen.
That’s what I was told about Roe v. Wade since I was old enough to know what it was and why some people wanted it gone. It was enacted not long after I was born. The creeping fascists have been chipping away at it for my entire adult life. In recent years it became apparent that this thing that would never happen was getting very close to actually happening.
As far as I’m concerned, the point of no return for Roe v. Wade was November 2016. Justice Scalia was dead. The ideological split on the Supreme Court was 4-4. The Republicans were refusing to allow President Obama to appoint his successor. One person stood between Roe v. Wade and a Supreme Court that could strike it down.
But she was Hillary Clinton, and some people hated her more than they like reproductive freedom. Never, ever bet against misogyny, especially not in 21st century America. When I begged people to please vote for her anyhow because the Supreme Court was in the balance and that would affect people’s lives for generations, I was told to stop using fear to try to make people vote.
I’ve never understood people who say this. What’s wrong with fear as a motivator? In school, we were shown ghastly videos of drunk driving accidents to instill the fear of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Fear is a very reasonable motivator. And I was terrified of what a President Trump might do to the Supreme Court. I didn’t, and still don’t, understand why more people weren’t. Here’s hoping they understand now, even if it’s far too late to matter.
And let the record show I was right to be afraid. What happened next was even worse than what I’d feared: Trump got to appoint THREE Supreme Court justices. They’re all relatively young. They could be there for a long time. And this Court is going to continue to make judgments that are out of step with most of the country, and we’re going to have to deal with whatever that leaves us.
Unless President Biden does something he’s said he won’t do and balances out the Court by adding more justices, the Supreme Court is lost for generations. So is Roe v. Wade. Same-sex marriage is very likely to be the next law to fall.
So never, ever, EVER turn your back on the loud minority coming for the laws you consider untouchable. Never assume a long-established law is safe. Don’t sit out elections. Don’t assume that because you’re safe now, things are going to stay that way. Wake the fuck up.