Ruth Bader Ginsburg: We Are Living On A Pendulum
Updated: Sep 6
Ann: Justice Ginsburg?
Justice Ginsburg: Yes, Ann. I can hear your questions over space and time without your giving them words. I also feel your rage and impotency that women’s authority over their own bodies should once again be taken away by men.
It is, however, the age old way. The “weaker“ sex has always been the scapegoat, the servant class, the means to ends determined by a patriarchal system out of step with human decency.
It is not surprising really that, when power is perceived to be leaching from the hands of the dominant class, they will take whatever steps are available to reinforce that power and repair its failing buttresses.
Ah, but one cannot put air back in the bottle one it has been released. It has spread through the atmosphere infusing everything it touches with the knowledge of freedom and equality. The parallels with the women of Afghanistan are inescapable – and no less serious. Fear of societal surrender of the old patriarchal norms has loosened the last restraints on those who cannot imagine a viable life without their hold on dominant power.
And indeed, they have reason to fear because their dominance is based on oppression of the liberties guaranteed by a Higher Authority and codified in the Constitution - even though the drafters did not really grasp the scope of what they had begun to create.
And yes, it may be that some of those serving on the High Court would if they could look with favor on returning the right to vote to the original concept, i.e., that it be determined by individual states and granted only to white males owning land.
However, because that ship has sailed, jurists with these inclinations do what they can with what they have to hand, i.e., support states efforts at voter suppression in order to make the world safe for democracy the way it used to be.
But my dears, they are several generations too late. They can no longer hide their reality beneath a façade of benevolent patriarchy. They are revealed as who they are for all the world to see, and though the pendulum has swung back in their favor, it will do so just long enough to terrify the rest of the populace into taking action.
Ann: You said that the Court would uphold voting rights in the last resort, i.e., not let the vote be determined by the politically controlled state legislatures. A majority of the Supreme Court has just tossed precedent to the winds with the Roe v. Wade decision. Why would they stop there? Why not gut the one man one vote down to the ground and let the populist legislatures install their own presidential choices?
Justice Ginsburg: Because, Ann, even this court will find it difficult to give credence to claims of fraud which have no evidence behind them other than the naked power grab of the soon to be disempowered. There are tremendous changes coming – for the courts as well as for all elements of our government and society. The disruptions occurring now will make all of us reassess, and structural changes will be made.
We are all living on a swinging pendulum now. Let us ride it to the end before we make any pronouncements of doom. Change is in the air, ideas and counter-ideas struggle to find purchase and legitimacy. We are in the process of reinventing our government and our ways of relating with each other and our gods. The more dire the consequences, the more impetus there will be to generate a system more in line with our evolving consciousness of our place and purpose on this planet.
Stay true, keep working. Your voices will be heard.
September 3, 2021
Free Image Credit: Pixabay, Maklay62.