Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Spells the Death of American Democracy - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Spells the Death of American Democracy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Official Portrait)

Let’s be very clear about the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her death is exactly what the GOP hoped for. Republican leaders waited years for such an opportunity. Master politician and strategist Mitch McConnell has nearly absolute power over the Senate. President Trump has nearly absolute power over the United States Government. Here is exactly what will happen with a couple ifs.

What Will Happen

President Trump will hastily pick a Justice from his previous list that will solidify a minority conservative agenda and will solidify that agenda for generations of Americans. Most Americans do not want this agenda. For show, a few GOP senators will say they won’t vote until after the election, but they will vote before a President is sworn into office. There is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. McConnell, more than Trump, holds all the cards.

What Might Happen

If Trump loses the election, the Supreme Court will determine the result, and that will absolutely be in favor of President Trump regardless. Even if President Trump clearly loses the election, the Supreme Court will “appoint” him President due to loyalty for a job well done. A president does not need the majority of votes to win, right, just the Electoral College, which is made up of a privileged few. Some rhetorical gymnastics here, a bit there, and President Trump stays on. Loyalty is key in the GOP, and this is how McConnell manages his senatorial hens. If they say they won’t vote, he threatens them. They must be loyal. He plays the private dictator in our larger democratic myth. On the democratic side, it does not work that way. Appointees are divvied out in a fairer process, something conservatives hate. Trump is all about loyalty to himself, so the relationships with this self-serving demagogue works.

If President Trump wins the election, suddenly there will be no voting problem; it will all be lies that the liberals created, just like they created COVID and any other lie. The public will buy it as long as the President repeats it three times, something like this, “It’s all lies, I tell you, lies. The socialist democrats’ dangerous lies.”

In 2021, we all will lay witness to this: conservative, independent, liberal, socialist, green or any other, will see the death of our Democratic Republic. President Trump will have succeeded where no other president in history has in defeating the United States and providing the final blow to democracies everywhere. But he could not do that without the powers of Lindsay Graham that often betrays his “good friend” the late Senator John McCain. As noted, McConnell plays the greatest role and will go down in history as the one that killed the system of checks and balances. There will be no peaceful transition of power, a key to maintaining democracies.

Would Liberals be Different?

Liberals would likely do the same thing because at the core of being human is in being selfish in providing our own security. Yet, individual democrats, I would argue, have a bit more power. Because appointments are given through seniority, we’ve often seen democrats fight one another. For the conservatives, such is weakness, but for democrats, such is democracy in process. Being quick and effective is seldom free, but such an approach does dominate the world sadly enough.

For years, many conservatives saw abortion as pure evil, the killing of innocent babies, and RBJ’s death is God’s reward to them and God’s vengeance on liberals and all those “baby killers.” For the liberals, these past few years have been, indeed, hell. They have seen a man in office that exhibits every single aspect of bad human nature, who has never and will never be held accountable for a single thing. He slept with a porn star when married, degrades his own daughter, calls women that disagree with him ‘Nasty” and those that accuse him with sexual misconduct, something he fully admitted to on tape, too ugly to “assault. We see a GOP that is steamrolling due process and checks and balances because such an agenda comes with donors with deep pockets. Those donors are forcing their views on the rest of us.

Yet, something is very wrong beyond that. Sure, I’d be less upset if liberals could appoint a judge last minute. The difference is people that have integrity and decency admit to their biases, their prejudices. We don’t try to explain them away. If the late Senator McCain were alive, I doubt he’d ever vote for a new justice during an ongoing election because principles used to matter, even occasionally in Washington. Do we remember McCain’s vote on Obamacare? McCain had every reason to dislike President Obama, but he understood that killing such a program would leave millions unprotected. This was an honorable and responsible thing for a Republican Senator to do. But in GOP circles, he is simply a traitor.

If I were president, I would not appoint a justice during my term. Out of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comment that asked me to wait. But, alas, I was trained as a social worker, not a politician, so people don’t matter in new American politics. Neither do dead friends in McCain or Justices in RBG. The Nation’s handling of the COVID pandemic is a clear example of new American politics: call anything truth and then it is. Our leaders just nap through pandemics.

Welcome to the ugliness of DC politics. You all have a front-row seat.

The Real Argument

I have never doubted the brilliance with which Senate Majority Leader McConnell operates. I see no other politician that can touch his strategic prowess. In this way, he stands front and center as the perfect politician that is most likely the second most powerful person in the world, or at least the United States. Yet for all his political brilliance, his Achilles Heel will be patience. He may be a master in the Chess of politics, but he is failing to think intelligently.

Great leaders need to see the present moment, but greater leaders know that moments are ebbs and flows, waves, that come and go. The slight majority of people in the United States are liberal, and such a move could cost the GOP seriously down the road as new liberals get very energized and dedicate their lives to fighting the GOP. We can argue the same thing happened during the Reagan era, where Republicans everywhere united under, “Get all we want and give nothing back to our enemies.”

But such thinking cannot coexist with democratic ideals and nationhood. One cannot claim victory, liberal or conservative, when one suppresses the voices of more than half the nation.

There are some things that should trump politics and should trump Trump: the last words of a dying Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  RBG made the “right to pursue happiness” possible for millions of people. Leaders can lean toward their constituents. Such does not mean shutting out the other 50%. In reality, we’ve always been a divided nation, and we need to accept that. The key to governing effectively is in keeping most everyone content. In our present state, we are not so far off in poisoning our opposition in the name of moral propriety and democracy. If Russia is poisoning those Russian politicians that oppose it, is not Russia’s moral stance the same as the GOP’s? Only loyalty to the powerful matters. Is not McConnell following the same path?


About the author

Earl Yarington

Earl Yarington is a social worker (LMSW) and an associate professor in literature, writing, and cultural studies (PhD) at Prince Georges Community College and adjunct professor at Indiana University East. He is the author of many publications under his name and under pen name Justin Forest. Earl's focus areas are the representations of girlhood in media,, eroticism, and child pornography law, paraphilia, sex offending and criminal justice. He is especially interested in the treatment of those with sexual challenges such as minor-attraction (pedophilia, hebepedophilia) to help prevent child sexual abuse while providing humane support for individuals seeking help. His book Lolita in the Lion's Den challenges readers to address what is so often hidden and misunderstood about minor-attraction, sex offending, and the child emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse. Earl provides sex therapy under supervision for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Earl writes about sexual issues, education, and occasionally politics. His writing is based on his expertise and knowledge, and such does not represent the opinions or positions of agencies, universities, and colleges that employ him, nor that of the Baltimore Post-Examiner. Contact the author.
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