Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Reader-supported independent news for ABQ

Opinion: Ginsberg’s Simple Admonition Confronts Power


Within hours of the passing of The Honorable Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, people with power moved to consolidate their grip on it. 

Three years ago Senate Majority Leader McConnell said the “vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” McConnell abused his position of power to stop the confirmation of then President Obama’s nominee for a Supreme Court vacancy - until Trump took office.  

McConnell’s 2015 move was about power pure and simple –established principles of government be damned.  Now, McConnel (and State Republican Chair Pearce) insist an appointment needs to be fast-tracked and not given the usual time for review and debate.   Power over Principle. 

But wait – there is more! 

Trump might not leave office even if he loses the November election.  He says so himself. 

Of course, there is no legitimate power in the constitution for a President to block a peaceful transfer of power.  A lack of legitimacy under “the Law” is no obstacle when it comes to keeping old white men in power.*

For months Trump has been leading up to possibly holding his grip on power.  He issues false claims that Democrats will try to steal the vote through mail-in-ballots. While the pandemic has many people scared to vote in person, his Postal Service removed equipment that would have helped handle ballots.  Trump’s campaign is suing in many states to block voting practices to expand democracy such as, counting ballots that arrive after election day, and even using ballot drop boxes. 

Fortunately, New Mexico’s election system is sound, providing many safe ways to vote.

The “Law and Order” refrain, seems to not apply to Trump and his allies.   Is this how he is making “America Great Again?”  

Is the Trump vision of a “Great America” one where old white men* do whatever the hell they please? It seems so.  So much for “law and order!”  

Venturing out of my own “bubble,” I engaged about politics through a certain Neighborhood app.  Based on where one lives geographically, the app has me in the same “group” as neighbors whose world views on what “makes America great,” would have us in different “groups” in other social media.  Engaging with some of my neighbors about Black Lives Matter has each of each wondering about the other “how  the hell can they think that!”  

In this world where I get different options from the same search engine than do my neighbors who follow Trump or local Republicans, it’s no wonder our nation is extremely fractured.  Name calling, expletives, and fifth grade-level taunts are the norm. “All protestors should be arrested” received a bunch of “likes.”  Never mind doing so is outside the law and would lead to a much larger break-down of “order.”  

I hope Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s admonition that “you can disagree without being disagreeable,” gains traction along with her pithier quotes. The loss of respectful disagreement is the deeper challenge Trump poses for American society.  

Let’s hope a massive voter turnout will be rebuild an America based on civility, a deep respect and appreciation for differing views, and most of all true law and order where a President steps aside without keeping his grip on power.  Principles over power – that’s the America I hope emerges from this era! 

*At 61,and being of Jewish descent, I’m admittedly an “old white man” too. We’re a mixed bag just like other “groups.”  It’s old white men who hold power to the detriment of the vast majority of other humans and life on earth itself that I speak of here.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here