If you’ve kept up at all with social media or the mainstream news today, it’s easy to think that a horrible tragedy befell the U.S. in just a short day. Left-wing pundits and online personalities have taken to hurling all of their favorite inflammatory monikers at President Trump and conservatives, indicating that some big shifts must be happening if they’re this scared. The truth of the matter is that there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about what’s going on politically in this nation right now if you’re a conservative, libertarian, or even just someone that wants the U.S. to succeed in general. The important thing though, is that whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic about the news today, that you truly understand what actually happened and what each event means going forward.
SCOTUS Deals a Huge Blow Against Labor Unions
The news story that everybody woke up to today involved a Supreme Court decision that continued the rather conservative decision trend they’ve been on lately. Hearing a case from Illinois, a 5-4 decision led by Justice Alito said that compulsory union membership for public sector jobs were in violation of worker’s First Amendment Rights. The reasoning behind this is that by forcing workers to pay into a union, that union can go around and spend a worker’s money on whatever private matters or agenda that the union sees fit. Money and speech have legally been intertwined by the court, and this decision is only a logical progression of that reasoning.
Many Americans share the opinion that the workers union has been morphed into a monstrous, mob-like association, rather than a progressive representation of workers that it once was. This decision then is a huge relief to blue-collar workers who do government contract work, as well as teachers in the 22 states where it was essentially impossible to teach without being part of, or paying money into the union in some form. While this is a relief to many workers and economic conservatives, many older Democrats see a problem in abandoning unions due to both their historical usefulness (which is undeniable), as well as the fact that compulsory membership is just a defense against “Free Riders”. The notion of “Free Riders” in this instance means that workers in fields where unions exist will get all the benefits (wages, holidays, etc.) that unions earn for their intended profession, while not having to pay into the dues that allow these unions to operate. Other arguments have also been raised, the most common of which is the notion that compulsory union payments lead to no dirty competition popping up between unions, allowing them more time and clear political space to lobby for their workers. Anyone with sense of course sees how this is merely a corrupt abuse of the system to earn a monopoly for these public sector unions, and ultimately we’re seeing another step in the right direction economically in this nation, thanks mainly to Trump’s appointment of Justice Gorsuch.
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Announces Retirement
The aforementioned union decision was the last case the Supreme Court would hear in this session, but it wasn’t the last piece of news to come from the courts. Later in the day, Justice Kennedy, a very controversial judge with a reputation for being the swing vote in many notable decisions announced he would be retiring. Kennedy has been serving on the court since he was sworn in on 1988, after being appointed by Former President Reagan in ‘87. Much like former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Kennedy made each decision case by case, which often made social progressives happy, and many conservatives disgruntled. Justice Kennedy is most recently notable for helping decide cases concerning gay rights and homosexuality in the U.S., with Obergefell v. Hodges, (or the recent decision to legalize gay marriage nationally) being a rather lasting one. His closing statements on that case are rather emblematic on where Justice Kennedy stands politically:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
While these words are lovely to read and rang true to a lot of people, many have questioned what business emotional statements like this have in the larger scope of our Constitution and legal system at large. Conservatives can’t help but feel that Kennedy’s emotional appeals often blinded him to the truly constitutional decision to be made in each case, and if anything, Kennedy’s career highlights how dangerous the Supreme Court’s decision making process is, and how reliant it is on the whims of an untrained court. This then, makes the ensuing months all the more interesting, as President Trump gets to nominate a new Justice to the court, and the right decision could play a huge part in tipping the court even further conservative than it already is. Even with Kennedy’s swing vote, many decisions have benefitted Constitutionalists and conservatives, and without Kennedy, it’s a safe bet to say that things are going to look pretty good. For many conservatives that were neither MAGA-supporters nor Never-Trumpers, the prospect of SCOTUS picks had a huge effect on their vote, and it’s obvious now that Trump’s victory is paying off huge for the American Right.
The Democratic Party Doesn’t Have a Voice or Platform
More primary results have been coming in, and the clear result here is that there is no order to the Democratic Party. In most areas, especially those where Hillary easily won, long time incumbents have safely kept their seats, but other areas have shown an interesting trend. The hot news story of the day was that New York Representative Joe Crowley, who many thought would replace Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic House Leader, lost his seat to a 28 year old political newcomer named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez has no political experience, is a self described democratic socialist, and up until this last year worked as a bartender. While her victory, as well as other victors of her ilk, have some thinking that the Democratic Party is shifting left, to me, it only shows that they have no idea where they lie. All of the areas that are pushing further left are in extremely urban areas with high minority populations, the exact group that you’d expect to desire big government and social justice that panders directly to them.
In a more long term note, this shows our political future should demographics continue to shift. Much like how the Republican Party had no idea where its values aligned leading up to 2016, which is how we got so many varied candidates, a scattered party is the worst thing that could happen to the Democrats going into 2020. The split between Bernie supporters and Hillary moderates was enough to cause chaos in 2015, so one can imagine how frantic things can be if the 2020 nominations turn into a slugfest between Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand for example. To a certain extent, this is a shame, as our bipartisan system is strongest when both sides challenge one another to figure out who they truly are, and I’m genuinely worried about what a Republican controlled government can do without being rationally checked by reasonable opposition. That all being said, it was a pretty big day for conservatives, if anything because of all the pain it caused liberal fear mongers who make their living off of social justice and hostility in the name of progress.