“Oh, yeah, now I remember what that feels like.”
When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, for a lot of people it felt like turning a corner. Racism was over, we thought, and with it other forms of bigotry, discrimination, misogyny, and downright backward thinking of all kinds. But we were fooling ourselves.
I’ve always been weird. Lots of people disagree with me, and always have. Once upon a time I didn’t have to be in the majority to believe that I was still right. I think in 2008 I forgot that. Now I’m remembering again.
In 1986, our esteemed Supreme Court ruled that states had every right to outlaw homosexuality. Anyone could see that this was the wrong decision, yet there it was. You don’t like what two consenting adults do in private? Outlaw it! The Supreme Court was wrong.
In 1989, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act, making it a crime to go to the store, buy an American Flag, and burn it in protest. Anyone can see that burning a flag is a form of speech and should be protected, yet both Republicans and Democrats voted for this clearly unconstitutional law. The lawmakers were wrong.
In 1998, Democrat Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, and hardly anybody blinked. Again, anyone could see that DOMA was discriminatory on its face. Yet how many people thought it was just fine at the time? Clinton and everyone involved with this act were wrong.
In 2001, George W. Bush promoted faith-based initiatives, which funneled federal money to religious organizations. Anyone can see that this is a clear violation of the First Amendment. Even President Obama failed to completely end this unconstitutional practice, and the current White House monstrosity has brought it roaring back. In time, history will judge this program harshly, because it is wrong.
And now, it appears very likely that in the near future (sooner than you might imagine), women in several states of our country will be compelled by law to carry every pregnancy to term. Anyone can see that this is not the society we want, yet an American public that allowed both the executive and the legislative branches to fall into the hands of right-wing extremists either didn’t believe it could happen or didn’t care. I don’t have to be in the majority to be right about this. History will judge us harshly, as it should.
I forgot while Barack Obama was president that politics isn’t about right and wrong. It’s about who has the votes. Fortunately I’m not a politician. So yeah, a certain segment of society just got what they wanted, because they had the votes. They’re still wrong.