Sunday, July 1, 2018

Don't Get Mad: Get Going

You knew there was going to be a point at which it gets worse. We might have reached it. The Supreme Court ruled that the president can order the borders closed to certain people because of their religion and that you should be protected by a union contract without having to pay for it. Of course, these were once ideas that were the stuff of bad dreams, mediocre comedy, and cranky uncles. Now rule the day.

And, yes, Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement will almost certainly, no, certainly, result in a more conservative court that will likely return more power to the states when it comes to abortion, marriage equality, and civil and religious rights. That is, when they're not outlawing some of those things and other cherished rights that we thought were fundamental, constitutional and just plain good ideas.

But I also think that we'll be surprised that other events will conspire to frustrate and thwart the conservative minority government. Perhaps the new justice is not as conservative as everybody thinks. Or turns out to be another David Souter. Yes, I know, maybe I'm just being hopeful, but the real mistake most of us make is thinking that things will not change and that once set in motion, the ball will always roll in one direction.

Good things are happening in some states. California remains a hotbed of resistance to the outlandish requests of the federal government. New Jersey will pass a budget that raises revenue from people who can afford to pay more and who should be asked to pay more for the services they receive. But they should also contribute more so that other citizens can reap the benefit of excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, health care and a job that pays them enough on which to live. And in New York, the Democratic machine just received a gut punch in the form of a first-time candidate who had a positive message, a terrific organization, and the energy to carry a progressive message to a majority of the party's voters.

When the Republicans were rebuked in 1964, they began to build an organization that reflected their message carried by their people. The Democrats have begun to do the same. It will take time. It will take money. It will take patience. It must be done non-violently.

But it will be done.

For more, go to or Twitter @rigrundfest

1 comment: