We always hear that. Every single election is “the most important election of your lifetime”. That’s almost always hyperbole, but not this time. This time, we’re voting for a four or eight year term for the next president and a twenty to thirty year term for the next Supreme Court Justice. This really is the most important election of your lifetime because the balance of the Supreme Court is in play.
Now that Antonin Scalia has moved on to the big Klan meeting in the sky, we have the opportunity to move the court from the far right to the center. I’m going to pause my train of thought for a moment to articulate that Klan comment I just made. I meant it, and I’m sick of people trotting out the old “respect for the dead” line today. I believe that you die as you lived. Here’s how Antonin Scalia lived (these are all direct quotes).
“Of course it is our moral heritage that one should not hate any human being or class of human beings. But I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible—murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals—and could exhibit even ‘animus’ toward such conduct. Surely that is the only sort of ‘animus’ at issue here: moral disapproval of homosexual conduct[.] It’s true that people generally disapprove of murder, but there’s more going on in laws banning murder than mere disfavor—the rights of the person being murdered, for example.”
“[The Texas anti-sodomy statute] undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty. So do laws prohibiting prostitution, recreational use of heroin, and, for that matter, working more than 60 hours per week in a bakery. State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity,” along with any other law “based on moral choices,” are now “called into question” by the court’s decision.”
“This Court has no business imposing upon all Americans the resolution favored by the elite class from which the Members of this institution are selected, pronouncing that “animosity” toward homosexuality is evil. I vigorously dissent…Coloradans are, as I say, entitled to be hostile toward homosexual conduct, the fact is that the degree of hostility reflected by Amendment 2 is the smallest conceivable”
On the second amendment:
“It doesn’t apply to cannons—but I suppose there are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided.”
On a woman’s right to choose:
“The right to abort, we are told, inheres in “liberty” because it is among “a person’s most basic decisions,”…it involves a “most intimate and personal choic[e],”; it is “central to personal dignity and autonomy,”; it “originate[s] within the zone of conscience and belief,”; it is “too intimate and personal” for state interference; it reflects “intimate views” of a “deep, personal character,”; it involves “intimate relationships,” and notions of “personal autonomy and bodily integrity,”; and it concerns a particularly “important decision”. But it is obvious to anyone applying “reasoned judgment” that the same adjectives can be applied to many forms of conduct that this Court has held are not entitled to constitutional protection–because, like abortion, they are forms of conduct that have long been criminalized in American society. Those adjectives might be applied, for example, to homosexual sodomy, polygamy, adult incest, and suicide, all of which are equally “intimate” and “deep[ly] personal” decisions involving “personal autonomy and bodily integrity,” and all of which can constitutionally be proscribed because it is our unquestionable constitutional tradition that they are proscribable. (citations omitted)”
“I write separately to reiterate my view that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, has no basis in the Constitution.”
On equal protection:
“Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don’t need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don’t like the death penalty anymore, that’s fine. You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.”
And finally, Scalia’s blatant racism:
“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well.”
“Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes. I don’t think there is anything to be gained by any Senator to vote against continuation of this act. And I am fairly confident it will be reenacted in perpetuity unless — unless a court can say it does not comport with the Constitution. You have to show, when you are treating different States differently, that there’s a good reason for it.
That’s the — that’s the concern that those of us who — who have some questions about this statute have. It’s — it’s a concern that this is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress. There are certain districts in the House that are black districts by law just about now. And even the Virginia Senators, they have no interest in voting against this. The State government is not their government, and they are going to lose — they are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the Voting Rights Act.”
I won’t even go into his disdain for democracy with Bush v Gore, Citizens United or McKutcheon. Anton Scalia does not deserve any respect from me, and he won’t get it.
Back to my point. This really is the most important election of your lifetime. I’m talking to you, democrats. I know that the primaries aren’t over yet, but you all need to start wrapping your minds around embracing whoever the democratic nominee is going to be. I know, I know….you can’t ever see yourself voting for Bernie or Hillary. Well guess what? It’s time to get your vision checked so that you can see it.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m on team Bernie. But I’ve also made it very clear that I will go out and vote for Hillary if she’s the nominee. I’ve defended (you should click on that link) Hillary when she’s been falsely accused, and I’ve stood up for Bernie when he speaks the objective truth. I have also criticized both when they’re wrong. Politics isn’t emotional for me, and it shouldn’t be for you.
You need to start focusing on your own self interest. That self interest is stopping a lunatic republican from putting a young, spry Scalia clone on the Supreme Court.
Republicans in the senate are going to do their damnedest to make sure that President Obama doesn’t make this Supreme Court appointment, as is his right per our constitution. That means they’re going to punt this nomination until after inauguration day. That also means that their biggest donors are about to pick who the republican nominee is. They’re going to have to coalesce around one candidate. And they’re going to throw every smear they can on Hillary and Bernie.
You shouldn’t help them.
At this point, I would like to get into the difference between a smear and an objective truth. Here are some examples to help illustrate:
“Hillary broke the law when she used her private email server to orchestrate an attack on Benghazi.”
That would be a smear, since using her private server broke no laws, and investigation after investigation has found nothing untoward in regard to Hillary’s actions pertaining to Benghazi.
“Bill and Hillary Clinton are completely corrupt.”
That would also be a smear, since no one in the history of our country have been more investigated than the Clintons. Those investigations have resulted in finding precisely no illegal activity.
“The financial industry are among Hillary’s top donors, and they’re expecting a return on their investment.”
That would be an objective truth, and over 80% of us agree that corporate money is corrupting our politics. That would also be an objective truth that you won’t be hearing in the general election, should Hillary become the nominee because her opponent will be significantly more guilty of participating in this particular form of legalized corruption than she has been.
“Hillary is much more qualified to be president than Bernie.”
That would also be an objective truth, which I laid out in the post I linked to above. Bernie is pretty weak on foreign policy. That’s just a fact, but so was President Obama. Getting corporate money out of politics is my primary policy concern, so Bernie is my candidate. That doesn’t mean that I have to retool this particular objective truth in order to make the choice I’ve made.
“Bernie has taken money from Wall Street too.”
That would be a smear. Bernie has received a tiny fraction of his total fundraising efforts from the democratic party apparatchik over the course of his career. Some (or most) of that money may have come from Wall Street. This is not the same as accepting donations from Wall Street, who clearly despise him. If you want to use this smear, you’re going to have to start talking about Elizabeth Warren’s Wall Street contributions too. It’s just not an intellectually honest point.
“[Bernie] [Hillary] can’t win the general election.”
That one is not a smear, but it’s also objectively false. This one is simply projection. We have a mountain of polls demonstrating that either Hillary or Bernie can resoundingly beat any republican who may end up being the nominee if we all support our nominee.
That’s precisely what we all have to do. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t support your chosen candidate in the primary. We all should, and I’m with Bernie for as long as Bernie is in the race. But I am saying that you need to start getting used to the idea of supporting whoever the democratic nominee is going to be.
So maybe, instead of putting up posts against either Bernie or Hillary, we can focus on posting for the one we support? We can support our chosen candidate without tearing down the one we’re not voting for in the primary. I know that’s hard, and I know that some people are so emotionally invested in this election that they can’t see the difference between posting an objective truth and a smear.
So let’s make a deal: how about we all agree to post an 80/20 ratio of positive posts supporting our candidate? And how about we use the same ratio for our comments? Why am I proposing this? Because I believe that focusing on the positive will make it easier for everyone to do what needs to be done in the general election. If you’re constantly making vitriolic comments about a candidate, your emotions are more likely to get in the way of your pragmatism.
Let’s all try and advocate our primary positions with more positivity than what’s been happening on our side of the primary so far. The next thirty years worth of Supreme Court decisions is dependent on decisions that democrats make over the next nine months. Let’s make smart choices that are in our own self interest.