A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
American women, I beseech you. Many men in high places have made a giant mess of things for decades. Today, the US political and judicial systems are crashing. And the most basic measures of decency and dignity for women, and by easy extension, American society, are under attack.
Congress, controlled by Republicans, and mostly men, is defunct. This male-dominated Republican congress has flatly refused to work with President Obama for eight years, and promises to do the same should Hillary Clinton be elected. Congress is broken.
America’s courts are failing. This Republican congress has refused for several years to confirm any federal judges nominated by President Obama, leaving a record of 59 vacant judge positions in America’s courts. This has created 36 judicial emergencies, with nearly 20,000 unheard court cases, many of them backlogged for years and with no resolution in sight. This is a record. The Republicans have refused to even consider President Obama’s nomination to the US Supreme Court, which is unprecedented, and they promise to boycott all nominations by Clinton should she be elected president, leaving the supreme court with only eight justices – evenly divided. Some Republican scholars are advocating the end of the supreme court as an American institution.
Most importantly, this male-dominated Republican congress refuses to reject and disavow the disgraceful, disgusting, and even criminal sexual acts committed by Donald Trump. This is a fundamental assault on the value and dignity of females as human beings. Trump epitomizes the very worst behavior in the male psyche: the domination, denigration, and sexual abuse of women. Our jails are full of sexual predators, and Mr. Trump, by his own admissions, is in league with them. It is beyond the pale and utterly unacceptable that Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee for president, and it is entirely unacceptable that all Republican senators and representatives have not disavowed and rejected his candidacy.
This Republican party, for years and now epitomized by Donald Trump, has made it the norm to degrade and dehumanize one half of our society, and not just women, but teenagers and young girls as well. Any female, regardless of age, is under attack. We criticize Muslim nations for their abuse and degradation of women, yet Donald Trump and those who refuse to reject him, legitimize profoundly sexist and sociopathic attitudes.
America is suffering. Our government, severely divided, is broken. Our legal system is failing. And our society, our social fabric, is under attack when we allow the denigration and dehumanization of our sisters, our mothers, our daughters. Enough. Women, this nation truly needs you to vote. Your dignity and your conscience may be all that stand between us and the abyss.
Copyright 2016 Daniel R. Cobb
Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon representing the American women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II. The work of these women was essential to winning the war against fascism. Although the women often lost their jobs to men after the war, these pioneering women are widely credited with setting the stage for succeeding generations of women entering the workforce. Today, Rosie the Riveter is often used as a symbol of women’s growing economic and political power.