The Paradox of American “Democracy”

hobby lobby

I don’t get it. I mean, I get it, but I don’t get why so many do not. I read about the Hobby Lobby case and how the decision came down the way it did and I do not get why people do not understand all the reasons this is bad. I do not get how they do not get what Justice Ginsberg so eloquently stated in her dissent that this is going to open up all sorts of ugliness allowing employers to deny coverage for anything they disagree with. As a trans woman it means employers will be able to deny me coverage for my transition, something insurance companies have only just started to do, and you can bet they will do just that. That, however is not what is the most difficult to wrap my head around.

What I truly do not understand is why people cannot comprehend that the whole point of democracy in general is to protect the powerless from the powerful. The latter is what Hobby Lobby is, and the former the women who work for them. There should be, of course, a certain amount of protection for the powerful from the “tyranny of the mob”as it has been called, but by and large the default should be “what protects the weak the most?”

This goes way beyond this last round of ugliness. This court has unshackled the rabid beast that is Smithian Capitalism like no other body in the history of our nation (though to be fair, the post Civil War court helped to lay down the ground work.) It boggles my mind that so many of our fellow Americans cannot see the simple truth that if the state does not reign in the powerful, then the powerful become the state. If your boss is not regulated, especially in regards to how he treats you, he is your government. Is that what you want?

In the past I have been cynical and nasty and assumed that is what you want. I have likened the American middle class to Stockholm Syndrome sufferers, or people with Battered Wife Syndrome. They take it and take it from their employers but insist that they are loved by their tormentors. I do not believe that anymore, but I do believe they are scared. They do not want to rock the boat, and more than a few, unfortunately, cannot see past their immediate beliefs and desires. To them people who live a life different from them do not need protecting. It is not that people automatically hate those whose religious mores are not their own, but they are too exhausted from the rat race to empathize.

Well we need to take a deep breath and re-energize, all of us, and yes this means you on the Christian Right too. The court did you no favors with this ruling. It reaffirmed its stance that your boss is your better and can make deeply personal decisions for you. It reinforces that the haves and have-nots are two distinct groups and one is more deserving of consideration than the other. Take that deep breath, look at your neighbors, and dive in and start fighting back, not just for your religious freedoms, but of all the freedoms of your countrymen. Do that or tomorrow, or the day after that, you will not be pledging allegiance to one nation (under God or not) but to a management that has replaced your elected representatives.

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6 thoughts on “The Paradox of American “Democracy”

      • It may happen that women will turn ugly without sex too. And sex should never be used for leverage or punishment. Certainly not all men are to blame for such a messed up system. What the point is, and I think the point of this (very eloquently written) post, is that all values of specific interests aside there is a real threat to our sovereignty when corporations are treated as the individual and the individual is treated as the means not only gain capital, but to inflict moral judgement that somehow elevates them to even more self-righteous mentality. Not that that ever hurt anyone, right? Men are hurt by this too. Trans men and women are hurt by this. Everyone is hurt by this. Abstinence isn’t going to solve it. Standing up for ourselves is.

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