Current Events is column of opinion and analysis.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to reverse decades of precedent protecting the right to abortion care, there's a good chance you're seething right now. Not just pissed, but probably feeling helpless and hopeless too.
Understandable. The court's decision has shown it, in no uncertain terms, to be an instrument of minority rule — an institution stacked with ideologues bent on a far-right reshaping of the country.
It's also clear the court's extremist majority is unlikely to stop with the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Consider Justice Clarence Thomas' concurring opinion in which he said he and his colleagues should next "reconsider" access to contraceptives and same-sex relationships and marriages.
Given what's at stake, we cannot allow ourselves to become paralyzed by our rage and despair. We cannot be lulled into thinking we should disengage from our political system simply because it's too broken to fix.
No. Now more than ever before, we must participate. Like we never have before. And before it's too late.
While that participation can and may include volunteering for candidates, contributing monetarily to political campaigns or even running for public office, at the bare minimum, it must include voting and urging others to do so.
Our votes can't reverse the course of the court, at least not in the short term. However, they can, and should, send an irrefutable signal to politicians who favor minority rule that their time is up. If we can't do that — and if can't muster the courage to urge our friends and family members to do the same — the American experiment is doomed to failure.
As voters, we also must channel our anger and dissent not just in national elections but in state and local contests. While it's tempting to view the extreme right's takeover of the U.S. as something playing out in the halls of Congress, the rot runs far deeper. It's infected school boards, city offices and state legislatures.
Just look at the fascistic underpinnings of the Texas GOP's newly adopted platform if you need further convincing that we must fight back in every election. Also remember that the election of a Republican district attorney could spell the difference between the most extreme enforcement of Texas' abortion ban and a degree of protection for women's bodily autonomy.
Perhaps the most compelling signal that voting works is in the palpable fear of those who embrace minority rule. The Republican Party's full-court press for voter suppression in Texas and other red-controlled states reeks of their terror. They know they can't hold power without it.
It's time to become their worst fucking nightmare.
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