How Do You Know if You Are a Progressive?

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ProgressiveIf you believe in the deeper meaning of the Constitution, that it is a living document and not an archaic description of America’s future, you are a progressive.

If the Bill of Rights is taken literally, it has little meaning about how our government is expected to conduct its business in the 21st century. If you believe that it was meant to apply to expected changes over centuries, you are a progressive. If you support the former, you are undoubtedly a regressive, or a “conservative.”

This is important because some of the biggest arguments from both sides of the aisle exist because of this separation of ideas and philosophies. There are “hot button” issues which should not be issues at all if you look at the deeper meaning of the “Law of the Land.” The focus of the Constitution has always been based on personal freedoms which do not infringe on the rights of the majority. Our founding fathers realized it was impossible to list every right intended by their creation. Therefore, they included the ninth amendment.

[“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”]

This is obviously extremely vague, but does it include the following?

Two of the biggest issues which demand deeper discussion are same-sex marriage, and the rights of the LGBTQ community in general, and the rights of women to decide their own reproductive health, commonly referred to as abortion.

Last week’s leak of a decision by members of the Supreme Court, who are supporters of right-wing extremists and the Christian Religious Right, revealed a decision to remove another right guaranteed to women in 1973 in the decision about Roe v Wade. Five justices will exacerbate the severity of the fight between pro-life, and pro-choice Americans. The truth is that this should never have become a political issue: this is a human rights issue. Women have been ignored by the old, white men who have controlled our nation’s future for 246 years. Most males in our society continue to believe in the subjugation of women, and their place as second-class citizens. Abortion is more of an issue related to male, white superiority than a carbon substance imbedded in the uterus of a woman. This has great similarity to the issue of racism in America.

As recently as the 1950’s women were expected to be subservient to their male counterparts. The male was intended to be the “king of his castle,” and the woman his concubine, less than a partner. However, women were a major part of the effort to win WWII, and slowly but surely they formed a movement to obtain equal rights under the law. They possessed abilities previously attributed only to the male population. In a strange and unexpected way, WWII began the existence of the feminist movement.

Leaders who formed groups dedicated to the rights of women emerged in the 1960’s. The Women’s Liberation Movement, procreated the National Organization of Women. Together, with other feminist movements, America’s women became a force in our nation’s politics. Today, they are the most active demographic in our nation’s progressive movement.

“The truth lives here” and women continue to dominate our population with 51 percent. They control the majority of America’s wealth. More women are enrolled in our colleges and universities than men. More women were registered to vote in 2020, and fewer men ran for office in the general election than women. This demonstrates the simple truth than women are no longer asking for equality, they are prepared to take what they deserve. One of those rights is the ability to care for her own reproductive system.

I have no doubt that this current stacked Court’s next target is same-sex marriage. The LGBTQ community should not be treated differently than a group of religious zealots. However, the right-wing is obsessed with homosexuality because sex is “dirty” unless it is between a man and a woman, regardless of that woman’s relationship. She could be married, a prostitute, or even underage, especially if the person was Donald Trump or Matt Gaetz, just as long as it wasn’t another man.

This is similar to the situation with women. Same-sex marriage is a human rights issue and should not be political. The CRR is controlling politicians and this is why it has become a hot button issue for an ignorant group of American voters. Who you love is not a choice, it is the strongest of all emotions.

Finally, let’s not forget an issue which affects everyone in America.

It may not be a right specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, but it should be. Universal healthcare should not be a right reserved for the wealthy. Access to the best doctors and best hospitals should be a right shared by everyone in the richest nation in the world.

To discount the need for the organization, “Black Lives Matter,” racists use the claim that “all lives matter.” This is true, but right-wing politicians don’t believe this is a fact. They are preventing any plan which includes free healthcare for all. In their minds only whites are worthy of receiving the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Although we are the wealthiest nation in the world, our government refuses to join every other developed nation and provide life-saving healthcare for every citizen.

If our country is to experience growth in the future, great change is necessary. First and foremost, we must elect women and men who will prioritize the needs and wishes of our people over the exorbitant profits of the super-rich. America will never be a great nation until its people are the focus of government.

Op-ed by James Turnage

Sources:

Politico: Threat to Roe puts GOP on defense in 2022 battlegrounds
NPR: The leaked abortion decision blew up overnight. In 1973, Roe had a longer fuse

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Ted Eytan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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