It’s Just a Matter of Time

4 mins read
Photo by noor Younis on Unsplash

There is confusion about this so called “ideological role reversal:”

The “conservative” party was the “law and order” party when “law and order” basically meant putting black men in jail. You can begin reading about the history of prisons after the Civil War here. Here’s the abstract:

Thurgood Marshall spent decades (from the 1930s through the 1950s) combatting the racism in the criminal justice system.

Since the mid-1950s, when the US began transitioning to a true liberal democracy (and as women became prosecutors and lawmakers) law enforcement agencies, too, began changing.

People noticed the inherent racism in the criminal justice system.

I remember when Joe Walsh asked this

What happened as we began the transition was that law enforcement began taking seriously “white collar crime” (nonviolent, mostly financial). 

You know, the kind of thing the Trumps do. 

Wealthy white men who got rich cheating didn’t like it.

The bellyaching about FISA abuses comes from wealthy white horrified by the audacity of law enforcement looking into the activity of wealth white men.

They say it curtails their personal liberty. Did they complain that all-black prison chain gangs curtailed liberty? Nooo.

Remember that MAGA means “take us back to the days when wealthy white men could do as they pleased.”

New followers, click here for a history of how the Trump’s got rich and the meaning of MAGA.

We’re currently going through a difficult transition. Before about 1950, wealthy white men could do as they pleased. Slave owners lived like kings.

Now that law enforcement agencies are looking at crimes of wealthy white men, they’re perfectly willing to destroy those agencies. 

We can repair the damage, after they’re removed from power. (If you’re tempted to launch into doomsaying, see my FAQs.

Steven Levitsky (co-author of How Democracies Die) explains that it’s best to treat this transition like an earthquake. His lecture is here.

It’s worth listening to. There is much rattling and shaking as a minority tries to hold onto power by attacking the very institutions of democracy.

But the GOP demographics are shrinking and aging. 

Yes, they’re fighting tooth and nail, but as Taylor Swift sings “it’s just a matter of time.”

We must quickly move to strengthen the institutions and keep them as intact as possible so there’ll be less rebuilding later. That means that we must all become institutionalist. We have to fall back in love with democratic institutions, with all of their imperfections.

OK, I’m in love with this song:

The future belongs to the young. In time, it will be in their hands. 

Swift is from Tennessee. I imagine the “bad man” is Trump, or maybe another Southerner like McConnell.

I hear the song and think: She will outlive them.

Originally posted on Musing about Law, Books, and Politics.
Re-posted with permission.


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Teri has written novels, short stories, nonfiction for both young readers and adults, and lots of legal briefs. She is currently working on a book on disinformation to be published by Macmillan Publishers. Her political commentary has appeared on the NBC Think Blog and CNN.com. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications as diverse as Education Week, Slate Magazine, and Scope Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in the American Literary View, The Iowa Review, and others. For twelve years she maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing indigents on appeal from adverse rulings. She believes with the ACLU that when the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled. She also believe with John Updike that the purpose of literature is to expand our sympathies. Teri lives with her family on the beautiful central coast in California.

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