Today we bury the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In life, he was a radical, Right-wing activist judge. A hero to Conservatives across the country. A warrior against social justice in all it’s forms. The Conservative Movement (CM) he belonged to has been grinding for decades to dilute progress. They never sleep. They have undermined our political discourse through well-funded think tanks, government, media & religion. They are always steps ahead.
The truth is that Antonin Scalia was an overrated conservative hack. Originalism-as-clairvoyance was his chosen tool to circumvent stare decisis and logic. The maintenance of White Privilege for straight, Christian males and undergirding corporate plunder were his only guiding “principles.” He scoffed at the plight of the poor, imprisoned and downtrodden. His writings and public statements are full of thinly veiled racism and ignorance. Dog whistles to kindred spirits. Clarification of his goals and positions to the rest of us.
“Originalism-as-clairvoyance was his chosen tool to circumvent stare decisis and logic.”
He and his ilk have out-spent, out-thought & out-hustled Liberals and Progressives. They have used the White House to make us fear Brown people, hate Islam & love war. They convinced us that the “public good” is a thing of the past. The CM has concluded that the poor & minorities have no value through policy and practice. They have used their control of the Supreme Court to recast the role of the criminal justice system, unleashed the global horror that was the Cheney/Bush administration, allowed money to flood our politics, gave corporations more rights than humans, effectively nullified the right to vote, etc. The Kochs, their allies, are buying local, state & Federal politicians as if they’re sitting in the bargain bin at Walmart. We’re being dragged to the right, as a nation, every single day. Whether we see it or not.
We have a real world example of how for from the Left we have come: The biggest Democratic legislative achievement in decades- the ACA/Obamacare. While it is a great victory, it is still a giveaway to the nearly unchecked insurance industry and leaves millions uninsured. It started as a proposal from the right wing Heritage Foundation. It still got watered down by Republicans and weak Dems in the House & Senate. Scalia’s vote helped SCOTUS strike down mandatory Medicaid expansion at the state level. This enabled Conservative governors & state legislatures to endanger the lives of millions of poor & working class Americans. Scalia himself wanted the entire law eliminated. That is how far to the right we have come.
The pending Presidential election & replacing Scalia offers the opportunity for a leap to the left. If you think this is incorrect, please review the immediate Right Wing reaction to his death- they know. You should, too. Incrementalism & the status quo are not the answer. The type of change we need doesn’t originate from the same thinking that got us here. We must go hard left & hope these forces can’t catch up. We cannot depend on complacent and compliant class. This is the challenge we face.
Scalia & others like him want us silent & defeated. We have to fight for what is right. Not what is easy or expedient. Even if you have to compromise, you are closer to what you seek than if you capitulate before coming to the table. If you lose, your opponent must recalibrate for the next fight. If you WIN, everything changes. The CM has more money & power than most humans can fathom. The impacts of this well-funded zealotry are profoundly evil- climate change, war, displacement, sickness, terrorism, and death.
We the People can beat them. We have to. It starts like any other fight. Put your hands up & steel yourself for combat. Just fight.