The actions of extremist Republicans and the Supreme Court are a recipe for fascism



By Carlton Joseph

Carlton Joseph

The Republican extreme right, and white conservative Evangelical Christians are going “down the rabbit hole” that would lead to disastrous consequences for America: Opposition to Abortion, although 61 percent believe it should be legal, opposition to gun control, although 58 percent of Americans believe that stricter gun control would reduce the number of gun-related deaths in the country. 

This is America’s Taliban, who believe that they must impose their beliefs on the rest of America, although they represent only 14 percent of America’s population.  Unfortunately, they are succeeding; conservatives prevailed in 62 percent of Supreme Court’s decisions.  They overturned Roe v. Wade erasing fifty years of court precedents, and eliminating the constitutional right to abortion.  Recently, they ruled that there is a constitutional right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense, making it difficult to regulate guns.  This “Taliban” Supreme Court has decided that they will legislate for the country.

Texas Judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, ruled that the Food and Drug Administration’s 23-year-old approval of the leading abortion drug mifepristone violates the law; he cited the 1873 Comstock Act.  This anti-vice Federal law prohibits the mailing or distribution of “obscene materials” and has been dormant for half a century, and essentially criminalized anything having to do with sex, and that includes instruments that could be used for the prevention of conception or to procure abortion.

One lone conservative activist judge should not be able to take away access to medical care from 50% of the country.  Democratic governors of New York, Massachusetts, California, Washington and other states have pledged to continue providing medication abortions.  Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban into law, the ban would make exceptions for rape, incest and human trafficking.  In such cases, survivors could get an abortion up to 15 weeks into pregnancy, but only if they are able to provide official documentation such as a police report or medical records. 

Americans must oppose these extremists, because their decisions cumulatively have sent a signal to conservative judges across the country, that they can behave in any manner they choose when it comes to restricting reproductive autonomy.  The implications are far reaching for other medications and research as well, including cancer drugs and stem cell research. If these decisions are allowed to stand, it would negate FDA’s expert judgement, which relies on evidence and rigor, for approving drugs, and to determining the implications of these drugs for the public health of the country. 

Mass shootings and a sustained rise in gun violence across America in 2022 have forced law enforcement officials and lawmakers to push for gun control measures.  In June, President Biden signed into law the first major gun safety legislation passed in decades. The measure failed to ban any weapons, but it includes funding for school safety and state crisis intervention programs. Other states have passed new laws to help curb gun violence, such as regulating untraceable ghost guns and strengthening background check systems. 

This year, there have been more than 140 mass shootings in the US, and Republican legislators have refused to deal with the problem.  House Speaker, McCarthy said he wanted to see “all the facts” before discussing it, and Tennessee lawmaker Burchett, who has sponsored bills to expand gun rights, said it was tragic, but there was no role for Congress to play in solving the problem.

A study, published by Everytown for Gun Safety, reports that there is a direct correlation in states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidental killings.  Yet, the Taliban Court struck down a New York (NY) gun law that placed restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun outside the home.  In response, New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul, signed legislation to strengthen the states’ gun laws and bolster restrictions on concealed weapons. 

Interestingly, the same Republicans, who want to force women to have babies, even when they have been raped, are the same people who have no problem with people having guns and shooting children in their schools.  These same people want to weaken child labor laws, and refuse to support maternity leave for pregnant women.  Although, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report found that poverty is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease, cancer and smoking, they don’t want to retain the extended child tax credit, a subsidy to low- and moderate-income families with kids, initiated during the pandemic, that lifted 2.1 million children out of poverty. 

Today, 38 million people live below the poverty level, that’s just one million less than the total population of Canada.  It appears that these Republicans want people to have children so that these children would grow up uneducated, unskilled and poor, and be ideal candidates for the private prison industry system, in order to supply cheap labor and revenue for the red states, where most of the prison systems are located.        

The Supreme “Taliban” Court has decided to review the most polarizing issues of our times, especially the ones we thought were settled such as rules for federal elections, with the plan of giving state legislators control over voting rules and the drawing of congressional districts. They have initiated additional reviews of the Voting Rights Act, which they recently gutted, with the goal of weakening or eliminating protection for minorities like Affirmative action in school admission and in employment, the rights of LGBTQ people; the content of history taught in public schools, and even book banning in public libraries. 

Americans should brace for a long, hot, and restless summer, because the ruling on these issues will pit the young against the old, rural against urban, intensify the racial issues, and probably result in more gun violence.  These Christian evangelicals, and the Supreme “Taliban” Court is leading the country into fascism or a sectarian democracy, where the minority evangelical Christians run the government. 

America spent 20 years fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, it is time to confront the “Taliban” at home.

(Trinidad-born Carlton Joseph who lives in Washington D.C., is a close observer of political developments in the United States.)