Part of the social contract of living in the United States of America is the tacit assumption that sometimes things aren’t going to go your way, and that when they don’t, you don’t have to go all snakeflag about it, because you’ll always get another chance.
American democracy is built on do-overs and self-correction. It’s designed, in theory, to enact the will of the American public. I suspect very few Americans would tell you they feel it does that effectively, and part of the reason for that is that two key entities specifically subvert the will of individuals:
The Electoral College was put into place because the nation’s founders thought the populace was too stupid to select a competent leader. If you’re reading this, congratulations, because you’ve lived to see the Electoral College ensure the one thing it was designed to prevent. According to Alexander Hamilton, making sure that the peasants who don’t know shit about anything don’t elect an insane monster to the highest office in the land.
Then, of course, there’s the Supreme Court. The existence of the court itself isn’t necessarily terrible. The problem with the Supreme Court is that its members are appointed by the sitting President, who is installed by the Electoral College, which puts the actual power into a small number of wealthy and influential people, and you can quickly see how our highest court becomes a system rather easily gamed by bad faith actors.
Dear readers, we are drowning in bad faith actors.
You watched as Barack Obama’s lawful appointee, Merrick Garland was forestalled as the then-President impotently shrugged, so close to the end of his reign. You watched as, instead, a rapey Brett Kavanaugh grimaced his way through hearings to the scant cheers of a psychotic minority.
The day Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in, I said, “Get used to reading the words, ‘In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled…’ followed by something that makes you feel like the world is ending.”
This was the long game for Republicans and their frenzied, fundamentalist Christian voting base. This is the grand prize. You don’t need 30 or 60 or 100 million people to execute a coup of American democracy. You need 5.
This is the point of the recent spate of abortion bans popping up like acne across America’s southern states. The most recent, and near-total abortion ban in Alabama wasn’t passed because it was popular. Even toxic evangelist Pat Robertson and sentient Ugg boot Tomi Lahren have spoken up to say the ban goes “too far”. They never intended for it to stick. They made it extreme and nutty specifically because they wanted it to be challenged. And appealed. And challenged. And appealed.
All the way to where?
Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg (a.k.a. RGB, a.k.a. The Notorious R.G.B.) is 86 years old, and even though we don’t like to think about it, eventually she is going to ascend into a being of pure light, and if that happens while Donald J. Trump is still in office, the United States will face a nightmare that will echo for hundreds of years that we don’t actually have thanks to climate change, which we’ll do nothing about as a matter of policy.
These bans could be struck down. They could stick. Roe v. Wade could be overturned. In the chaos of this political trashfire hellworld, it’s really hard to look far ahead and see outcomes clearly. So all I can say is this:
If we end up in a scenario in which armed people come to drag women who have had (undoubtedly clandestine, at that point) abortions to face murder charges and a life sentence, we won’t let them take you.
As it happens, we are also Dominionists. Body autonomy is the most sacred and fundamental human condition, and if you are cognizant to make decisions about what happens to your body, then those decisions are of the highest authority, and no earthly authority is sanctioned to violate them. An entity’s ability to do so, in our Dominionist view, extends no further than their ability to compel such through violence.
We won’t let them take you. We can’t. If we won’t protect women, people of color, and vulnerable people from being dragged off to be held as political prisoners as the direct result of a theocratic coup, who the hell will we protect?
We need brave and angry people on our side. We need people who didn’t consent to rule by the least of us. We need people who are terrified. We need people who have had enough.
I can’t tell you how. I can’t tell you what strength and resources we’ll have to commit on that dark day, or where. What I can tell you, is that where you find the Dominion, you will find compassion, protection and safety.
We won’t let them take you.