Thoughts

That Gnawing Feeling

Well, what a craptastic last week, eh?

Chris and I escaped to New Mexico last week to celebrate our anniversary and while we had some wifi we were mostly off in lala land and not paying much attention to the news. I had even taken Twitter off of my phone earlier in the week so I wasn’t constantly tethered to the latest breaking story. We left our cabin in Pecos Friday morning to drive to Las Vegas for lunch and do a little shopping in their town center, when a few miles outside of town on I-25 the hosts for 98.1 Radio Free Santa Fe came on to break the news of the Roe v. Wade ruling being overturned. We knew it was coming with the leak a few months ago but I had kind of put it to the back of my mind. Suffice to say I was a news junky the rest of the weekend and well, the hits just kept coming all week.

All of the naysayers in 2016 or the “I’m Republican but he won’t be that bad” people can get double middle fingers from me. We told you. I know some of y’all wanted this (not just Roe being overturned but a radical conservative court and beyond). Some wanted part of it but had zero implications of seeing beyond punishing other people and not how it could affect them or their family and friends. Hi, you have an ectopic pregnancy and need it terminated? Hahaha, jokes on you, they will make sure you are actively dying and your life is in danger-danger before starting an abortion. Need some particular medicine to keep your condition in control but the medication in question is known to cause miscarriage or fetal abnormalities? Doctors will just stop prescribing it if you are in your prime fertile years as a woman. Your fetus is dying or has died? No D&C for you! You must pass it yourself over the course of weeks, while you are in extreme emotional and physical pain and with the possibility of hemorrhaging. Yes, these scenarios and many, many more are actually happening now and some have been happening before this as states have throttled down their abortion laws and doctors are in fear of prosecution (frankly, they should buck the fuck up and stand up to amoral and bad laws but that only happens in movies). So many people are like “But, don’t have they have laws for exclusion of these items?” No, many states implementing these laws don’t and the legal ramifications are so muddy in many instances that hospital and doctor’s legal teams are stuck in limbo figuring things out. Listening to some of these conservative asshats talk, it is clear to me they have NO CLUE—NO CLUE any actual medical information on how this affects people. At all. It’s all targeted at some hypothetical person who gets abortions as birth control on the regular, which sure, might happen sometimes but isn’t the prevalent cause of abortions and for that matter, IT ISN’T YOUR BUSINESS WHY SOMEONE HAS AN ABORTION! Or those idiots who think people are going in for 8 month abortions of healthy fetuses when that’s not the case. This country is full of people who can’t critically think, are blinded by religious zealotry, and are stuck in group-think without doing one iota of research—and frankly have a huge lack of empathy.

And that’s just for Roe. Not to mention the other many cases that were brought last week that were significant blows to social progression in this country. And it won’t end there unless we can balance the court again or take away some of the court’s power and balance the three branches of government again. It’s happened before. We can do it again.

A lot is on the line. Justice Thomas mentioned specific cases that he hoped to tackle that would overturn rulings regarding the usage of contraception, marriage equality, and other privacy related issues related to both of these topics. Don’t think if given the chance a 6-3 conservative court wouldn’t come for it. So many of us warned you what would come and we were told “nah, that won’t happen.” Pay more attention. Read some books. Look at the like 50 years of conservatives saying they are coming for this or that and realize, they aren’t making it up. They mean it. If given the chance they will do it.

Now, I know a lot of conservatives will say they are conservative fiscally (LOL, have you seen the Republicans running your local, state, and federal agencies and how much they spend? Ok, ok, I know this really means they don’t want to pay taxes and such…but yeah, maybe think a little bit harder on that conservative fiscal stuff) but are socially liberal. Guess what, trying to save money on taxes is gonna get your progressive freedoms and social equality taken away (unless you are a white man, but then again, hopefully you’ll be considering your female family members and friends who aren’t white or male). If you want to be a Republican for those fiscal reasons, maybe clean house and get rid of the people who have trashed your party and stop blaming Democrats for your woes.

I started reading Jane Mayer’s Dark Money this week which I’ve been meaning to do for years. Seemed like an appropriate time. I’m only 17% into it and some of it I already knew (the Kochs, Mercers, etc) but the depths at which these ultra-conservative and anarcho-libertarian people have been itching to get done what has been done these last six years—they’ve been waiting since the 1930s for this. Many of these families even worked with Hitler and Stalin and have deep ties to fascism.

As to that gnawing feeling—it’s that feeling I felt the morning after the election in November 2016 and what stayed with me through the insurrection in January 2020 and finally abated a bit after Biden was sworn in. We had a little reprieve and I think we hoped maybe the swing of norms would balance out but now we know that isn’t the case and that gnawing feeling is back. As many people have mentioned, there are so many local and state elections that go up unchallenged, with only Republicans running for office. It’s why sites like Run for Something are so important. Will I be running for office? Not likely. I do not have the personality for it. I’m much better firing off a blog post than standing in front of people and talking to crowds. But I know who is great at talking to crowds and listening to constituents—Beto O’Rourke. Don’t let Greg Abbott get re-elected in November here in Texas. Make sure you are registered to vote and actually go vote for Beto and any down ballot races. Make sure you are voting in runoffs and local elections, especially school boards. School boards are supposed to be non-partisan but they are clearly partisan most of the time and even I held my nose and voted for some clearly Republican people who I don’t like much but their challengers were even more looney than they were. Those elections matter.

I’m not sure what else to say except that I’m angry. I’m angry we are here.

Oh, and if you happen to have some kind of narrow viewpoint on abortion or birth control (unless you subscribe to Great Replacement Theory, well, then hi, you are racist!) I highly recommend you watch all seasons of Call the Midwife on PBS and get some education on what life was like before birth control and safe abortions.

RATIFY THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMMENDMENT NOW!

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