The United States of Dystopia – The Ukiah Daily Journal
For the editor:
On July 4, instead of celebrating the 235th anniversary of our nation’s declaration of independence from a tyrannical king, Americans mourned the loss of our most cherished freedoms stripped from us by a illegitimate, extremist, right-wing super majority in the United States Supreme Court. To research. During the term that just ended, six extremist judges, five of whom were appointed by presidents who did not win the popular vote of the people, ruled that we Americans were no longer free to control our own body, to live free from religious coercion by the state, or to live free from fear in a safe and clean environment.
The Court overturned the 49-year-old precedent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized the right to abortion for women and girls. The new court ruling allows state legislatures to pass laws prohibiting abortion, making pregnant women and girls who have abortions and their abortion providers criminals. Right now, 26 states with Republican-majority legislatures are working feverishly to enact and implement laws that compel pregnant women and girls to give birth. Indeed, these anti-abortion laws make every woman and girl capable of becoming pregnant a potential suspect whose menstrual cycle and sex life are subject to surveillance by law enforcement. This state control over female bodies is the dream of Catholics and evangelical Christians who worked to overthrow Roe v. Wade since its inception based on their religious belief that life begins at conception. With this Supreme Court ruling, all people living in anti-abortion states will now be forced to abide by the strict religious edicts of these fanatical fundamentalist Christian sects. While Republicans claim to be the party of small government and individual liberty, they are actually using big brother power to control the most intimate decisions of our lives.
The Court overturned a longstanding precedent of church-state separation when it ruled that a Washington state public high school football coach had the right to coach his team in the Christian prayer in the field. The six hardliner judges concluded that the public school official’s free speech rights outweighed the rights of public school students to be free from religious coercion by the state. . Under this decision, taxpayers are forced to pay for the religious indoctrination of their children in a religion they have not chosen. The move will open the floodgates to public school officials who use public schools as a recruiting ground for their army of Christian soldiers.
The court struck down a more than century-old New York state gun law that placed restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun outside the home. The six hardline judges concluded that because the state only issued public transportation licenses to applicants who could demonstrate a special need for self-defense, the law violated the Second Amendment people’s right to bear arms. This decision is based on a gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment that completely ignores the intent of the founders of weapons born by “a well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state”, not carried in public spaces where people have a right to live free from the fear that deadly gunshots could erupt at any moment by a malcontent with a small grievance. This Supreme Court decision sends a nod of approval to self-proclaimed vigilantes.
The Court restricted the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, severely limiting the federal government’s ability to deal with climate change at a time when climate scientists are warning us that we must act now to save our planet for the habitation of future generations. The six hardline judges believe that the fossil fuel companies’ “right” to make a profit trumps the people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Going forward, this decision will be cited by all companies to limit the federal government’s ability to make regulations that protect the public interest.
All of these Supreme Court rulings are the culmination of a long-term Republican project to transform America into a dystopian state where government agents are empowered to surveil the privacy of citizens, where religious fanatics run the public school system, where brownshirts armed with guns patrol the streets, and soulless corporations turn our planet into a hellish landscape. Welcome to the United States of Dystopia.
–Jon Spitz, Laytonville