Viewpoint: Independence Day 2023: Patriotism, Liberty and the New Tyranny

Viewpoint: Independence Day 2023: Patriotism, Liberty and the New Tyranny
Karen Rubin, Columnist

Last year at this time, I expressed little to celebrate Independence Day after the White Christo Fascist Supermajority on the Supreme Court declared women less than full, sentient adult citizens with agency over their body, their life, or their future.

This year, the SCOTUS6 repeated their shameful, shameless crusade to overturn diversity, inclusion, equality and progress toward the revolutionary American ideal of “freedom and justice for all” with their decisions declaring gender nonbinary humans less entitled to human rights or decency, and affirmative action in college admissions and Biden’s effort to help those struggling to get into the middle class through student debt relief after generations of systemic discrimination “unconstitutional.”

They perversely cited “equal protection” and “First Amendment” rights, when in fact, they are undermining the hard-won progress toward equal protection while giving supremacy to some over others in exercising rights to speech and religion.

“I am disgusted that the assault on human rights by the Supreme Court continues,” declared Gov. Kathy Hochul. “This decision — released on the final day of Pride Month — to roll back the rights of LGBTQ+ couples will be devastating to people across the country who are simply looking to love the person they choose. Here in New York, the birthplace of the modern movement for LGBTQ+ equality, we remain committed to implementing laws and policies that protect this community. We will never stop fighting for equality.”

Now the SCOTUS6 are stepping up their misogyny and contempt for women and children having equal opportunity to survive, let alone thrive and live in freedom, in announcing they will consider overturning a law that keeps firearms out of the hands of domestic violence abusers and protects survivors.

This comes one year after the Court recklessly overturned a century-old law that established common-sense gun safety regulations in New York (at the same time overturning state’s rights, while handing the abortion issue over to states), with mass shootings now at a rate of two a day, 120 killed and 200 injured each and every day, and guns the leading cause of death for those under 18.

How does this square with the Declaration of Independence’s statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

July 4th is supposed to celebrate “freedom” from tyranny, but this Supreme Court majority that holds itself unaccountable – shielded from accountability for corrupt influence and conflicts of interest – has assumed monarchal power.

We saw it in overturning Voting Rights (passed by Congress), the COVID mandates (negating the concept of “public health” and a government’s obligation to secure the welfare of its people), and climate action (overturning the Clean Water, Clean Air and Environmental Protection acts).

The SCOTUS6 have basically said they have the authority to make, change or repeal law, not the Congress, and repeal any policy or action by the executive branch (that is, except when a Republican is in office, then the Unitary Executive theory of the Federalist Society prevails), and their decisions, no matter how contorted or contrived, cannot be questioned (and yet they have no problem reversing generations-long precedent when it suits, essentially questioning the decisions of prior justices).

What all these laws that the SCOTUS6 have overturned have in common is that they move the nation closer to its ideal of the right to life, liberty and happiness for all, not just the privileged and powerful.

So much for checks and balances which have preserved a government “by the people” for 247 years. These justices have said they are immune, untouchable and unaccountable by ethics or laws that govern other public officials including judges.

They have the unmitigated gall to suggest the fabulous riches, luxuries and favors taken from wealthy and powerful political and ideological activists have not bought their access and favor – that smacks of how thecChurch sold indulgences to erase the sins of wealthy parishioners.

I give the Supreme Court no credit for its 6-3 ruling against North Carolina Republicans in Moore v. Harper, which centered around the fringe Independent State Legislature Theory – a fabricated doctrine that asserts state legislatures have sole authority to establish federal election laws without review by state courts or governors. (Three of the SCOTUS6 were fine with that egregious theory which basically would allow the state legislature to overrule popular vote and state constitution: Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito.)

That’s not the only tyranny that we Americans are being subjected to, who, like frogs in a gradually heating pot, naively believe in the inevitability, endurability of the “Land of the Free” (much as in the oxymoron, “American Exceptionalism”).

Besides the tyranny of the Supreme Court monarchists, we are ruled by a tyranny of the Minority enabled by the antiquated Electoral College (established in order to preserve the hierarchal power of rich land and slave owners); Senate apportionment (Wyoming has two Senators and 40x the voting power of California while the District of Columbia with more population has no voting rights at all), the filibuster and absurd rules that allow a single Senator to put the kibosh on anything/everything in order to extort and hold government hostage (Sen. Tuberville is holding up military promotions to extort an end to access to reproductive care in the military); and congressional gerrymandering which has made a mockery of “one person, one vote” and the very notion of “equal protection.”

“Independence Day is a prominent reminder that the great State of New York remains committed to the founding principles our great country was built upon – equality, freedom and justice for all,” declared Gov. Hochul. “New York State stands firm in our continued commitment to upholding and safeguarding the democracy that was stood up 247 years ago.”

Here is what it means to be a “Patriot”: pay your fair share of taxes; serve on a jury when summoned; respect the equality, humanity and democratic rights of others; help your neighbor and your community; defend your country against enemies foreign and domestic; stand up for the rule of law, “justice for all”, and free and fair elections; and most of all, exercise your sacred right and obligation to vote.

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