SCOTUS and the End of Apathy

Clean up your mess, America



Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash

Mostly, I like apathy. I like when apathy isn’t a problem, when good enough people are providing good enough government, and most of us can vote for incumbents, or even stay home if its raining on election day, and nothing bad happens. No, apathy is not a civic virtue. There are always fights to fight, and it is good that someone is fighting them. But there have been times when apathy was not a threat to the national political experiment. Now is not one of those times.

Too much apathy breeds complacency. We have become too much invested in “guardrails” and too little interested in driving. It seems not to matter who’s in office, so we vote with our spleens and not with our heads. If we vote at all. John Stuart Mill wrote:

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.

And, of course, thinking isn’t enough. Doing is what stops evil. And, under our political system, doing does not mean suing. Doing means running, campaigning, supporting, and voting. We’ve all seen the bumper stickers that say “Don’t blame me, I voted for [the other guy].” At least we used to see them. But now many people are saying, but not quite proudly enough to put it on their bumpers, “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote. The two parties are the same. They screwed Bernie.”

This is not a time for political apathy, and for those afflicted with that particular ill, Dobbs v. Jackson is strong medicine. So is A.G. Garland’s commendable restraint, so far, regarding prosecution of the former President. So will be SCOTUS’s decision to allow North Carolina’s state legislature to handle Federal redistricting. These things are the answer to our flabby politics, to our reliance on Plan B — the courts — to abrogate the bad laws and punish the awful politicians that We, the People have allowed to infest our politics.

Let’s start by getting those idiot senators to fix the filibuster. The filibuster is ruining America. Congress can do nothing because the Senate minority won’t let anything get done. To justify…