At the beginning of the first January 6 Committee hearing, Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) spoke of the link between political extremism in the U.S. and social control, both of which are about a small group of people dominating others, a minority imposing their worldview on the majority. Well, what do you know? That’s something we’re seeing a lot of lately.
I’ve previously expressed my opinion that the Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade is about power and control over women rather than concern for the unborn. I’ve also spoken of America’s gun culture, its fanatical obsession with the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms, based on irrational fears of the “radical left” and the “other.” And like many of you, I worry that American democracy is at risk based on the growing threat to our election process and a lack of respect for the will of the voters (as further exposed by the January 6 Committee hearings). What it all comes down to is a right-wing MAGA minority inflicting their will on the majority. One of the most important principles of democracy is balancing majority rule with minority rights, but this is getting way out of hand!
Some say that giving the laws governing abortion back to the individual states respects the will of the voters, but don’t forget that “state’s rights” were used to justify 100 years of Jim Crow. And don’t forget that MAGA Republicans still want to ban abortion on the national level!
Polls show that approximately two thirds of Americans supported (note the past tense) Roe v. Wade, and a similar number support stricter gun laws (depending on the poll and how the question is asked). As many as 70% now support gay marriage, but Justice Thomas has suggested that the Court should take a look at overturning the ruling that protects that right, along with those that protect contraception and same-sex intercourse. It’s more than the “twilight of democracy” if one group of people is determined to prevent the democratic process from responding to the will of those they disagree with. We know the Republicans have an advantage in the Senate and the Electoral College, but things have gotten so out of whack that our supposedly democratic government is no longer capable of carrying out the will of the people.
What Happened to “Of the People, By the People, and For the People”?
None of this is an accident. I’m not the first to notice that Texas, a state dominated by the fossil fuel industry, has lately been the epicenter of right-wing MAGA activity in our country, most especially spawning an anti-abortion law so extreme that it turns citizens into bounty hunters for women seeking abortions. As the push to address climate change increasingly threatens the industry, its corporate rulers are becoming more and more desperate to maintain control of the electorate in any way they can. Like the rulers of the antebellum “Cotton Kingdom” who in 1861 took the Southern states out of the Union in a bid to maintain their “slave power”—and who convinced poor white men to defend “their country” from invasion—the fossil fuel industry must convince modern-day Americans that they are under attack from the “radical left,” the “other,” and similar convenient boogie men.
I’m sorry to bring up the “Cotton Kingdom” and the “slave power” as often as I do, but please understand they will always be this former Confederate officer’s standard for greed and arrogance—and what can go wrong when the gap between rich and poor is finally too great to manage. Yes, ultimately, it’s all about control to preserve wealth and power. And the minions are, well, the minions.