Womens Suffrage

“Originalism” And “Textualism”: The Battle For The Future Of Constitutional Government Against The Late 18th Century!

The battle over how to interpret the Constitution in the 21st century is in full swing, with the extremist right wing Supreme Court majority emphasizing “Originalism” and “Textualism” as their basic ideological doctrine!

They want America to be judged by late 18th century interpretations, which means they challenge Alexander Hamilton and his “broad” interpretation of the Constitution.

Hamilton emphasized a broad interpretation, not a strict interpretation, of the Constitution, saying it needed to be a living document.

Even Thomas Jefferson, the original ideological opponent of Hamilton, came to recognize that Hamilton was correct, and so backed away from his original strict intepretation to support the Louisiana Purchase deal with France in 1803, doubling US territory and insuring that no other foreign power would gain further control in North America.

If one is to judge the Constitution by “originalism” and “textualism”, then America should not have had the multitude of changes that has made America a democracy, including among others:

Creation of Cabinet Agencies
End of African American Slavery by Amendment 13
Civil Rights Laws And Amendments (14, 15)
Women’s Suffrage (19)
Federal Government Agencies and Regulations
Federal Income Tax Amendment (16)
Democratizing of the US Senate by Amendment 17
Limitation of Presidential Terms by Amendment 22

This battle is over the future as compared to the limitations of the past, and America has come too far to allow the right wing interpretation to dictate the future of the nation!

Chick Fil A And Conservatives And Republicans: Again On The Wrong Side Of History!

Witnessing so many conservative Republicans going out of their way to support Chick Fil A’s owner in his anti gay contributions to various hate groups against gay rights and gay marriage boggles the mind!

It is NOT so much an issue of whether the Chick Fil A owner is against gay marriage based on his religious beliefs. It is the fact that he has spent millions in support of hate groups who wish the worst for gay men and women in their daily lives!

And for people such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Minnesota Congresswomen Michele Bachmann, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, along with Fox News Channel talk show hosts and Rush Limbaugh, to demonstrate that they have no issue with the hate groups against gay men and women, proves once again that conservatives and Republicans are on the wrong side of history!

The same element, much of it very “religious”, opposed women’s right to vote before 1920; demonstrated anti semitic views over a long period of time; fought against civil rights for African Americans with bloodshed and violence; and have been actively involved in promoting discrimination and hate against undocumented immigrants, particularly from Latin America.

Conservative Republicans and conservatives in the news media never seem to realize what they are doing–or do they? We would like to think they are “misguided”, but the more one thinks about it, the more one has to come to the conclusion that they clearly KNOW what they are doing, and that liberals and progressives must continue the fight for justice, humanity, and common decency, knowing that they are doing the will of any truly “religious” person in fighting against hate and prejudice and discrimination!

Woodrow Wilson Coming Back Into Notice On The 155th Anniversary Of His Birth

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, was born on this day in 1856.

So on this 155th Anniversary, and as we enter 2012, there is a lot to say and comment about Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson has been under constant attack by conservatives and Republicans and by conservative talk radio show hosts. George Will of ABC’s This Week and Glenn Beck, formerly of Fox News Channel and still on talk radio, have led the attack, but there are many followers.

The attack is based on the fact that Wilson was a promoter of Progressive reform, including the Federal Reserve Banking system, the Federal Trade Commission, the Clayton Anti Trust Act, and the Underwood Simmons Tariff, which promoted free trade.

Wilson also promoted labor reforms and agricultural credits, so his administration became the most activist, interventionist national government we had yet seen.

This was followed up by the creation of massive government agencies to promote our efforts in World War i. And Wilson also advocated internationalism through the League of Nations, after having formed the first foreign military alliances in American history to fight the war.

Wilson, of course, also had controversial views, including opposition to women’s suffrage, and advocacy of a hard line racial segregation in unison with the Old South. He also advocated restrictions on civil liberties during wartime, and showed no tolerance for dissent, all very disturbing trends that he has rightfully been condemned for by anyone who has belief in basic values of fairness and tolerance.

Wilson was a very complicated person, and is being analyzed more now by all sides of the political spectrum, due to his relevance to present discussions and debates over the role of national government, and American involvement in world affairs after our tragic interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, of course, we are coming up to the centennial of the Presidential Election of 1912, when Woodrow Wilson won over President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt, in what became a four way race including Socialist Eugene Debs, an election often referred to as the “Triumph of Progressivism”!

So we will be hearing a lot about Woodrow Wilson over the next year!

90th Anniversary Of Woman Suffrage: The American South Tradition Of Human Rights Discrimination Remembered!

Today, August 26th, marks the 90th Anniversary of Women Suffrage, the right of women to vote!

Somehow, when we look back, it is hard to believe that there was such strong resistance to this, as far back as 1848, right after the Seneca Falls, New York, Equal Rights Convention which started the suffrage fight!

The struggle went on for 72 years, and only came about as a result of World War I military contributions by women, and President Woodrow Wilson backing away from his earlier opposition to the 19th Amendment, finally endorsing it!

But still it took to 1920, and the final battle to win the 36th state, Tennessee, which was won by a state legislator who listened to his mother and cast the decisive vote!

What is often forgotten is that there were still 12 states that refused to accept the adopted amendment by ratifying it for a long time after 1920! They had to obey it and enforce the amendment, but they took decades to ratify it! 🙁 And nine of them were Southern states!

Imagine: Maryland in 1941, Virginia in 1952, Alabama in 1953, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina between 1969 and 1971, and Mississippi in 1984 finally ratified woman suffrage! 🙁

Notice that it was also the South, which was, of course, openly antagonistic to African American civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, and is still in many hidden ways working against it, now in the Republican party, instead of the Democratic party!

And what area of the country is most opposed to gay rights? Again, the South, which talks about “family values” and connects it to religion, wanting us to forget that it was religion that worked to keep women, African Americans, and poor people from voting in the South, and is now actively working against gay equality! 🙁

These “family values” in the South mean to keep women, African Americans, immigrants, and gays as second class citizens, unless the federal government interferes against “states rights”, meaning the power to discriminate! 🙁

The South may have lost the Civil War, but they have had tremendous impact in a negative way against the rights of women, African Americans, immigrants, the poor, and gay Americans over the decades since! Thank goodness that the US government has used its power and its influence, often belatedly, to enforce basic civil rights and civil liberties, overruling the false premise of “states rights”! 🙁