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After the moderates on the U.S. Supreme Court prevailed in upholding some affirmative action laws and invalidating anti-sodomy laws, many far-right wingers have predictably gone ballistic.
For example, in a recent column calling for the impeachment of any justice who doesn’t hold narrow, far-right views, Joseph Farar, editor of World Nut Daily, one of numerous conservative ezines polluting cyberspace, labeled the U.S. Supreme Court “out of control” and “renegade” and a “ruling elite.” Of course, he didn’t make such comments when the same court made its most anti-democratic decision in history in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case.
To Farar, the court is only “exceeding its constitutional authority” when even several Republicans on that court recognize that anti-sodomy laws are an unjust invasion of privacy, not to mention ludicrous to enforce. I know Farar and others would love to see a special police force out there whose only duty is to enter Americans’ bedrooms and arrest anyone who is engaging in male-to-male, female-to-female, oral, anal or any other form of sex not covered by the traditional male-to-female position. As a longtime Texas resident, I proudly admit I have violated our stupid anti-sodomy law too many times to count – I’ve engaged in adult, heterosexual oral sex in private – and I don’t give a damn who knows about it and what the hell anyone thinks about it.
Farar and Co. would love to see a law that only married Americans can perform sex only for the purpose of trying to procreate, and it must be done in the missionary position at all times. In short, they’d love other Americans to have as boring sex lives as they probably have. Perhaps that’s why they are so concerned about other Americans’ sex lives and they want to be legal voyeurs – because their sex lives are so boring.
To Farar, the nation’s highest court is only “sticking its thumb in the eye of the people” when its decisions don’t benefit super-wealthy, white, apparently heterosexual Americans [except for those like dress-wearing J. Edgar Hoover and some other closet gay conservatives]. Farar and Co. see no problem with far-right fascists Rehnquist, Thomas and Scalia, of course. It’s the other more moderate members they seek to oust.
They want justices who hate homosexuals [except for certain conservative ones], minorities [especially Arabs], civil liberties, the ACLU, anyone who smokes a joint in private, and anyone who questions why the Bush administration has the divine right to bully and dominate the world.
These are people who are not satisfied with controlling Congress, the White House, most state legislatures, and most of the media and the courts. They want to stamp out any sign of hope for true progress. They call themselves patriots, but they are anything but.
The true patriots are those who strive for a liberty and justice for all that goes beyond selfish, narrow boundaries. As the celebrated American patriot Tom Paine said, “My country is the world.”
As the esteemed writer, professor and people’s historian Howard Zinn wrote in a recent column on <TomPaine.com, “I suggest that a patriotic American who cares for his country might act on behalf of a different vision. Instead of being feared for our military prowess, we should want to be respected for our dedication to human rights. Should we not begin to redefine patriotism? We need to expand it beyond that narrow nationalism which has caused so much death and suffering. If national boundaries should not be obstacles to trade – we call it globalization – should they also not be obstacles to compassion and generosity? Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own? In that case, war, which in our time is always an assault on children, would be unacceptable as a solution to the problems of the world. Human ingenuity would have to search for other ways.”
Like Zinn, I am not in a mood to celebrate much this July 4th, when so many Americans are blind to the pain and suffering we are causing in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, when so many Americans just want to continue the selfish, unilateral, “America First” approach to foreign policy and most everything else. But I will keep hoping, keep working, keep fighting for a better America and a better world.
Here’s hoping that the broader patriotism of people like Paine and Zinn will eventually win out and not the narrow patriotism of those like Farar.
JACKSON THOREAU is an American writer and co-author of We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House. The updated, 120,000-word electronic book can be downloaded on his Internet site. Thoreau can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.