American romantic poet, philosopher, and diplomat once referred to the U.S. Constitution, in an address to the Reform Club of New York in 1888, as “a machine that would go of itself.” More precisely, in using this phrase, he meant to diagnose a dangerous complacency infecting American political life, one born of the misguided belief that the Constitution itself provided a powerful enough governing framework to keep the American democratic system from ever derailing.
One can find in the media many important analyses and accounts of the way the coronavirus pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the myriad inequities plaguing U.S. society.
The most opulent among us can shelter in place and not have to worry about their next paycheck, about being evicted, about having enough food. They don’t have to choose between staying safe and risking their lives by going to work.
The Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations merited certain rights of personhood. The decision in this case became crystallized in the notorious phrase, “Corporations are people.”
This year’s events insistently raise the question of which Americans enjoy the basic rights of personhood in America.
How are we doing when it comes to achieving our nation’s putative hallmark ideal of equality?
A reading of U.S. history we often hear tells the story of a nation that has thus far imperfectly realized its founding premise that “all men are created equal” but that has nonetheless been on an ongoing quest to achieve a fully egalitarian culture for all people, even and perhaps especially those that the initial formulation did not include in its reference to “all men.”
The cherished founding principle that “all men are created equal” animating the American experiment has obviously been vexed by realities of our national life and history, which stand undeniably in stark contradiction to that principle. The racism informing the practices of slavery and genocide present in U.S. history since the nation’s inception highlight the unrealized status of this value of equality.
But “we” the people still believe in it, right? We’re still just trying to figure it out, right?
It’s just that it is so hard to figure out, right?
While we could ask many constituencies, particularly people of color, how they are faring when it comes to equal rights, let’s take a quick look at women and transgender people might assess the national terrain in this regard.
In last November’s election, Democrats in Virginia flipped the state Senate and House of Delegates to gain full control of the state government for the first time since 1993. These election results have inspired hope that the state government will now become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which passed the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in 1972 and was quickly ratified by 22 states. Any constitutional amendment requires ratification by 38 states. The crawl toward reaching this number has been a slow one, with Nevada becoming the 36th state to ratify in 2017, followed shortly thereafter by Illinois. Last February, efforts in Virginia fell short by one vote in the House of Delegates. The votes now seem to be there.
But let’s also step back and get a little perspective. Here we are in 2019 still asking whether or not women—some half of our population—should enjoy equal rights or continue to be relegated to the status of second-class citizen.
Isn’t it strange, for a nation pretending to value equality, that we still ask this question, deferring equal rights to women?
Here’s the statement in the ERA this nation trembles to validate:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.”
"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
Sandoval opposes solar energy, gun safety laws, thinks Obamacare is unconstitutional and will uphold Vatican-5’s anti-women bloc for decades
The mainstream media must identify the real American government and Supreme Court “hostage takers;” the Koch brothers
It took only moments for Justice Scalia's death to trigger the worst of conservative thinking on Twitter and Breitbart and elsewhere
Despite the Civil Rights Movement, racism is as rampant in America as it was when Dr. King marched and revealed his dream.
Scalia may have surpassed charlatans like David Barton in an attempt to "establish Christianity" as the nation's state religion
It may come as a shock to Kim Davis that in America there is no higher authority than the Constitution, no matter that she believes
Conservatives have proffered every possible scenario to justify torture, including Supreme Court Justice Scalia invoking a fictional television counter-terrorism agent, Jack Bauer, torturing alleged terror suspects to stop a fictional attack on America.
It is astonishing, but the extremist Christian fundamentalists are basing their punitive power on the religious freedom guarantee in the First Amendment; with Supreme Court approval.
Not only did the prosecutor succeed in acquitting the murderer Darren Wilson, he convinced the grand jury to indict, try, and convict the unarmed murder victim Michael Brown.
Jody Hice's new "Big Idea" is that state-sponsored religion, forbidden by the First Amendment, will put an end to government tyranny.
Koch and Vatican surrogate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia delivered a judicial sermon at Colorado Christian University and informed 400 faithful Christians that the separation of church and state "doesn't mean the government cannot favor religion over non-religion."
The Catholics on the High Court made a serious error in ruling that any government prayers were constitutional.
When whites decide racism is over ... that's "whitewishing"
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is now actively calling for disobeying the government, as during a recent speech he told students that if taxes get too high, they should revolt.
This abomination masquerading as legislation is precisely what the religious right and career criminals have dreamt of throughout their pathetic lives.
Besides wasting taxpayer time, money, and violating the First Amendment's prohibition that Congress shall "make no law respecting the establishment of religion," Ted Cruz's bill is an extreme case of conservative hypocrisy.