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Sinclair Lewis

Sinclair Lewis is credited with the admonition that, “when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”.

Could there be a more perfect embodiment of this prescient warning from so many years ago than Amy Comey Barrett? My God, just a look at the woman’s picture conveys all one needs to know about the rulings that we can expect from a Supreme Court that includes her; a young extremist zealot with a lifetime appointment from which to impose her fervent morals on us all for decades!

I happened to have been brought up as a Roman Catholic, one of 7 children. Somewhere around the age of reason I abandoned it, thinking that the church seemed to be mainly in the business of promoting overpopulation worldwide, to the point of starvation.

As irksome as I have found it over the years to have adherents to this set of beliefs embraced by a number of the illustrious justices of the Supreme Court, empowered to rule over the most intimate aspects of all of our lives, it is especially distressing to read about the extreme offshoot of Catholicism to which Ms. Barrett has committed herself. The People of Praise is apparently a cultlike branch of Catholicism which incidentally provided inspiration for the book and movie,’ A Handmaid’s Tale’. Based on an extreme male chauvinist interpretation of religion, its adherents submit to minders who have total access to their every waking moment. They used to call the women’s minders ‘handmaids’, but they have since changed the term, given the bad press brought by the dystopian book and movie.

Ms. Barrett, it turns out, was able to live in a house owned by the founders of this right wing fundamentalist religious cult while she went to law school, where she was, no doubt, surrounded by like-minded religious conservatives, much like the Federalist Society, the infamous cultivator of extremely right wing justices. I believe that it compiled for Trump his entire list of possible nominees to take the seat of the irreplaceable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is almost redundant to add that these folks tend to also adhere to a narrow, inflexible orthodoxy with regard to politics and most importantly, economics. They like to gussy up their limitless defense of the most powerful (no matter how ill-gotten that power may be), under the rubric of ‘strict constructionism’ i.e., dragging us all back to that time when only white men who owned property had voting rights.

On that awful day when the iconic RBG passed on, some in the media began to point out that not long ago Barack Obama had an opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice, as was his right in the Constitution. Well of course, it ran up against a Republican stone wall of BS about nine months being too close to the next election and that the people should have their input on this fateful decision. Well, I knew immediately that the Republican Party of today is simply immune to any shame one might reasonably feel about turning one’s view on the subject 180° when their party had the opportunity, even though it’s now only a matter of weeks before the next election. If they have the votes (and they all seem to march in lockstep) it’s a done deal. I searched the news in vain to see if there were some delaying tactic that the Democrats might be able to deploy to save us from this worst Supreme Court justice ever.

Then, like the deus ex machina in a Greek play, Covid19 reached down from the heavens! It was hard not to laugh when I first heard about the Orange Man himself coming down with it; if there were ever a case of someone’s karma coming back to bite their ass, this was it. It is now a matter of record (Woodward’s interviews with him) that Trump knew full well early in the spring just how dangerous and how infectious the virus was yet continually downplayed the importance of the only defense we have against it; masks and social distancing. Apparently, it was out of concern for upsetting the stock market, which enjoyed huge subsidies to prop up values for the small minority who own all the stocks, while ever greater numbers of Americans were barely able to scrape by. And that was before the pandemic, which now threatens to cause many millions of hard working Americans to lose their homes, as so many have had their livelihoods suddenly uprooted by this virus.

After Trump’s performance in the recent ‘debate’, it is harder than ever to understand how he could have any chance of winning a free and fair election. Rudely violating the rules of the debate that he had agreed to, he blabbered over much of Mr. Biden’s time at the mic, and when asked if he would denounce white supremacists, he chose instead to parrot one such cretinous group’s slogan, “stand back and stand by!”. What? To bring their assault rifles out on the streets if he loses the election? His own brown shirt army?

Statements like that, as well as refusing to accept the will of the people, should he lose, seem impeachable on their face. Is it too late to impeach him again? Sheesh!

(John Arteaga is a Ukiah resident.)


  1. Harvey Reading October 27, 2020

    Huey Long is “credited” with it as well, also incorrectly. As I recall, some old church deacon or preacher used the phrase in a letter to the editor or some piece in some noozepaper.

  2. izzy October 28, 2020

    The flag and cross thing wasn’t getting the required traction in our largely godless nation, so now it’s a mask and nasal swab.
    Fascism is crafty and opportunistic, if nothing else.

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