What is the saying? Evil triumphs when good men do nothing? Something like that.
And that is why I think Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not wrong to criticize Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump, even though she later walked it back, saying her remarks were ill advised.
She was just doing what Trump is always mistakenly credited with doing: telling it like it is.
True, supreme court justices should not meddle in politics. They need to stay within their limits so as not to do damage to our constitutional separation of powers, and likewise the other branches (executive and legislative) must respect the court in its domain. But we are in uncharted waters.
A totally unprepared man has used his celebrity to demagogue his way into the presidential race and even hijack one of our two major political parties. I mean we depend upon these two parties in our system to provide our leadership — but Trump has turned the whole election process into some kind of reality TV (which of course is the misnomer for something that is phony) spectacle.
He has no sense of civics, good government, democratic (small d) principles, or even civility.
Now if he loses in a landslide I can relax. But the thought that the masses would rise up and put someone like that in office makes me wonder if all people should be allowed to vote. It could be that an apathetic and ignorant public is its own worst enemy.
Unfortunately, Trump is just taking advantage of the void not being filled by true and inspiring leaders who actually listen to and try to in the best way they can represent the interests of all their constituents, not just the big money donors and special interests. Sure a politician cannot ignore his or her supporters, but there is also a solemn duty to represent all.
During most of my adult life I think one flaw in our politics at the national level is that it often comes down to tweedle dum or tweedle dee (elites stick together). Not so much so this time around. There seems to be a clear contrast between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
With Hillary Clinton we are presented with the stability and predictability of a mainstream elite, professional politician. And, despite her reputation for mendacity (but don’t most politicians have that?), she does seem to support progressive ideals for a multi-ethnic, multi-racial society, while not being anti business or capitalist.
With Trump we get someone who changes his tune from day to day and minute to minute and who insults people based on race and sex and who threatens freedom of the press (calling for a tightening of libel laws). He’d like to overturn the high court’s Sullivan v. New York Times decision so if he were to become president he could have more control over the media by being able to sue anyone who said anything unflattering about him. We can’t have true democracy without an unfettered free press that can report on and expose the doings of our leaders. Or would you just be more comfortable if the government ran the news?
(In Sullivan v. New York Times the high court basically held that in order for a public figure to successfully prove libel he or she must prove that there was malice.)
I’m with you Ruth, tell it like it is. Don’t apologize.