SECTION 4 OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 subjected the voting laws in jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to Justice Department scrutiny. This act was a positive part of the Johnson legacy that is too often forgotten because of Viet Nam. Almost immediately following this decision, several states—mostly Southern, mostly already noted for racism—moved to begin altering existing laws so that they would make voting more difficult for people who don’t vote a certain way.
In today’s Seattle Times (July 30, 2013), political pundit E.J. Dionne Jr. gives us “Fighting back on voting rights.” He then discusses the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by jettisoning Section 4.
Midway through his column, Mr. Dionne states, “It would be better still if Congress reinstated a revised version of Section 4. In the meantime, the hope is to limit the damage of the high court’s folly …”
I cringed at his choice of words there: folly has always meant to me a mistake or an error in judgement that borders on being silly.
And the five Supreme Court justices are anything BUT mistaken or erroneous in their rulings—they know exactly what they are doing!
The ongoing class war
There is an ongoing “class war” in the United States; this has been no secret to anyone with even a wee bit of political savvy. But if polls and the voting habits of tens of millions of Americans are used as evidence, that wee bit of such savvy is as rare as common sense.
While almost all civilizations have problems with stratified populations, our founding fathers, notably Thomas Jefferson, were mightily opposed to their new country developing a landed gentry that evolved into an upper class and, ultimately, an aristocracy.
The class war in this country against the majority as we know it today germinated in the 1970s as a response to ‘the Sixties’ and its civil rights and free love—and its companion, free sex—and and its ‘up yours’ attitude to authority. The ‘theys’ were especially concerned as it seemed to be affecting even their own offspring!
The class war took wing—as did so many other revolting developments—during the Reagan Revolution and has been an ongoing event ever since. It is, in fact, everywhere—except in articles and editorials in the mainstream media.
There, it does not exist …
Just as J. Edgar Hoover forbade his FBI from acknowledging the existence of organized crime, so it is within the strictures of those newspapers, magazines, and radio and television news and talk-shows that make up the corporate, that the near-ubiquitous class warfare of the upper classes of the US upon the less fortunate, mostly non-white classes are never ever mentioned.
Criminally or tragically foolish
So, when I read Dionne’s use of “folly,” I assumed that he was avoiding the topic of class warfare, reducing the heinousness of the five more-than-conservative justices to a mere act of misjudgment.
I stand corrected: Merriam-Webster Online defines folly as 1) a “lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight,” and 2) “criminally or tragically foolish actions or conduct.”
It also lists the word’s obsolete meaning as “evil, wickedness.”
Either of the two major definitions is very different from my initial interpretation; either definition makes those five justices look, at the very least, less than prudent. So, it was both an accurate choice of words by Dionne and a safe choice.
Me, I’m gonna go with the belief that Mr. Dionne looked up folly and saw the obsolete definition and knew that he could get away with that word. Hopefully, a few of his readers would know the correct definition, and hopefully, a few who did not would take the time to look the word up.
So, I am choosing to believe that E.J. Dionne Jr believes that Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy (appointed by Ronald Reagan), Clarence Thomas (appointed by George H. Bush), and John G. Roberts Jr and Samuel A. Alito Jr (appointed by George W. Bush), are capable of criminally foolish actions that border on evil and wickedness.
That they are, in pop psychology, enablers in the class war.
As Mark Slackmeyer aka “Megaphone Mark” of Doonesbury fame declaimed with glee in while providing his radio listeners with a profile of John D. Mitchell during the Watergate hearings that Nixon’s Attorney General of the United States was “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!”
And he was.
And they are.
Guilty guilty guilty but of what?
And this is only one of their transgressions …