If anyone ever doubted that elections and passive governance have consequence, that naive view must have been shook to the core this past week. While some who align with the Democratic Party seem to view elections as some sort of sporting contest or perhaps a place to protest the imperfections of the party, by voting for third parties or trashing Hillary Clinton more than any Republican, they were shocked to find this past week, these elections have deadly serious consequences. The GOP means what they have said for decades – they do not at a fundamental level, respect a women’s right to manage her own reproductive health. Rockefeller Republicans are long gone, and today it is a party laser-focused on this issue.
So basically, the cracks which have split the center, center-left and left in the US should be cemented over now in the wake of the Roe overturn leak. Unity should prevail for the next few election cycles while efforts to codify Roe, protect women’s reproductive rights and remake the court system.
It is after all this issue that has kept the right together. Constitutional conservatives, tax-cutters, religious extremists and crazed right-wing populists have remained united, determined to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive freedom and reimpose the societal norms of the 1950’s. Absolutely nothing about the GOP’s disparate electoral coalition makes sense, beyond this very basic reality.
So will the left and center unite? Despite all that divides those who vote for Democrats on foreign policy, economics, identity, geography (a big part of the problem with the Democratic Party currently is the elitism of those in the party who are not working class and are from large urban areas in the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast), importance of protecting democracy (I firmly believe some prominent progressives don’t care about this, and this is based on personal conversations with them, not a wild assumption) and world view, something must unite those who vote for the party – the desire to not see a fundamental right guaranteed at the federal level rolled back for the first time in the history of a western liberal democracy.
You see, while some of us are very concerned about reproductive freedom, we should ALL be concerned about a fundamental right being scaled back by the Federal Government. Previous encroachment of rights took place because of state governments or a lack of will at the Federal level – never before with the possible exception of the Dred Scott decision in 1857, have we seen such a brazen decision from the Supreme Court – even the Plessy v Ferguson decision of 1896, which reinforced racial segregation, while onerous, wasn’t a scale-back of rights of this nature – in fact, many southern states had already codified segregation and the undermining of voting rights.
Quite frankly, this is it. The game should have changed for the foreseeable future this past week. And it felt for 48 hours after the SCOTUS leak it had.
But since, I’ve observed the usual infighting, with many progressives taking to Twitter to attack(oe even mock) Joe Biden, while ignoring Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump. Meanwhile, many neoliberals return to a narrative about foreign policy, economics and issues not related to the dial-back of fundamental rights.
We can have these fights on principle, but let’s unite behind candidates in 2022 who pledge to protect women’s reproductive health. And make sure everyone knows, this is about fundamental rights – the slippery slope if Roe is repealed and reproductive freedom is curtailed is too painful to contemplate – but will be a reality if we don’t fight back and unite.