As a life-long liberal and a proud member of the ACLU, I have many serious concerns about what will happen after the Republican surge in the 2010 elections. Here are some thoughts.
John Boehner, probable House Speaker, made repeal of ACA a priority, and defunding it if repeal does not pass. I lived ten years without insurance before getting Medicare with my SS Disability. Since then, I have had cancer twice; the second cancer would not have been found without Medicare. I know the fear of getting sick, and have experienced getting a prescription that I cannot afford to fill. With talk of deficit reduction and no intent to curb military spending, I foresee most cuts being made on the backs of the poor. The failure to invest in our human capital will ultimately cost more than any social programs.137
Here in Arizona, the only issue this election was immigration and SB 1070. Those who opposed the bill lost, and those who supported it won. Two of our Congressional districts went from Democrats to Republicans, and Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords came close to losing. My concern is that the politics of hate will thrive in this atmosphere. Russell Pearce, author of SB 1070, plans to submit more racist legislation, which may become law. Other states are looking to pass similar laws. I am afraid the politics of fear and hate are winning.
Separation of powers in this country will erode further. We need an independent judiciary to remain a country under the rule of law. As a Jewish American I depend on the courts to uphold minority rights, to be the place where the majority does not rule. After the Citizens United decision, Sandra Day O’Connor expressed dismay that judiciary independence would be attacked where judges are elected rather than appointed. We saw this in Iowa where the three judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage were defeated in the election after anti-gay groups, secular and religious, poured money into the election. All our rights could be set back decades.
Elections have consequences. I am afraid the consequences of this election will set us back rather than take us forward.