I do not comment much about politics as it is considered the third rail for a reason. So little is gained by talking about politics or religion at work or with extended family. These topics are central to peoples’ identities, and I liken it to debating with a drunk. It is impossible to win, and the best you can hope for is a bad headache the following day and mumbled promises never to do that again.
With that being said, the big news and social media frenzy right now is the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Jane ROE, et al., Appellants, v. Henry WADE. As a husband and father of three girls, this topic has been up for discussion in our house. Our daughters are very concerned about the decision but are comforted that we live in California. Unfortunately, this attitude is where I get uncomfortable quickly. Here are some thoughts on sharing the blame and lessons learned from our discussions this week.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and will never be.Thomas Jefferson
First, we disagree with the Court’s decision, but Congress should own its failure here. This is something that I have not heard much about, as the standard political method is to point fingers. A later Court may overturn any right established by another Court, so relying on it is never stable. Blame the Court, but make sure that Congress gets just as much blame for the outcome. Congress had 50 years to enact federal legislation to codify a women’s right to choose, and the Senate confirms justices to the highest Court.
Second, I shared with the girls that just because California has certain views today does not mean it will have the same ideas in the future – the current case in point. Unfortunately, this happens when people do not stay active in the political process and deffer that responsibility to others. Elections matter, and while there is no perfect candidate, the citizenry must hold them accountable to represent their constituents’ views through the ballot box. As a people, if we keep our heads buried in the sand, do not be surprised by adverse outcomes.
Lastly, Politicians often listen to the loudest voices, so don’t be part of the silent majority. Instead, get involved with the political process and go beyond just voting. Find the candidates or incumbents that you believe in and volunteer. The more active, the better, but so long as you do not lose yourself. Being involved in the political process is where you must bring your whole self each day by staying true to your values.
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.Abraham Lincoln
This will not be a one-time discussion in our house. I owe it to my children to educate them about the political process. Get them active, and not just because of this decision. Our elected officials directly impact our lives through the legislation they pass. We have many issues to face as a people, from climate change, racism, and geopolitics to local ordinances and everything conceivable in between. We are busy living our lives, but we cannot take our freedoms and liberties for granted.