By Ruth Gadebusch
The body of Ruth Bader Gingsburg was still warm when the Republicans began to gloat over their opportunity to make another appointment to the Supreme Court. While hesitating to condemn a whole party but remembering the question asked way back then of a Republican Senator falsely accusing many of communism, I ask the party: Have you no shame? He had none, and it does not seem to exist in today’s Republican Party.
When President Obama had 11 months left in office they would not even allow a hearing for his nominee, saying that it should be decided by whomever was chosen as President in the next election. Their math is a bit off as they clamor for immediate action when we are only weeks from an election. Are they that fearful of losing the election?
Perhaps unfair to blame it on math. It seems more a matter of honor, or lack of such. Or is it just no shame whatsoever when they are in power? We know their President has no shame, but an entire party? (Yes, I know he is supposed to be “our” President with the welfare of all in his/her scope, but I see little to no commitment to that all part! Hence, I call it like it is.)
Isn’t there someone, anyone, who sees the parallel of the situation? Isn’t there at least one person willing to stand up for ethics and fairness other than Mitt Romney’s half vote in the impeachment proceedings?
I simply cannot find it in myself to apologize when I want to question the honor of an entire party that seems to put political power before responsibility to the nation and the documents that govern us.
On an equal plane is that leader of the Senate who seems just as devoid of honor and loyalty to the nation as the President. Will the Kentucky voters give us a break that the Republicans in the Senate have not given us?
Then there is that Electoral College designed for a different era. Let us not forget two recent Presidents have been put in office without a majority vote! At least the current non-majority administration has made the previous one look good in comparison.
Neither party when in power wants to curtail the filibuster or the supermajority vote requirement, although both condemn these provisions when the other party is in power.
We need no reminder of the media ads focusing on the transgressions of the opponent instead of the virtues of the candidate. This is the reality of the political world in which we now find ourselves.
I don’t think we are underestimating the importance of this November’s election when we designate it as the most meaningful in history. It is possible that without the technology of today’s communications we did not know the shenanigans of earlier days, but this is the time in which we live making it our responsibility.
How have our two major political parties drifted so far apart I don’t know, but it is fairly clear-cut that one has moved toward serving the elite while the other speaks more for the whole. Of course, we differ on how to serve that whole but the obligation is to that whole not one segment serving itself while sanctimoniously saying “if those people over there somewhere worked like I did, they too could enjoy the wealth.”
Without doubt, working ability and effort are not equal but neither is the acquiring of wealth. Luck, inheritance and other elements have a role. All could benefit from some tolerance.
Our vote does count and never more so than this fall. Let us vote with pride, not shame, when we cast that vote. May we remember and salute two citizens of par excellence no longer with us: Rep. John Lewis and Justice Ruth Bader Gingsburg. It is our opportunity. It is our future.
Ruth Gadebusch, a former naval officer, served on the Fresno Unified School Board, the California School Boards Association, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the Center for Civic Education, as well as various community organizations.