People born after the Civil Rights and women’s rights movements inherited an expanding liberal democracy. But this whole “liberal democracy” thing is fairly new.
Before the rapid changes of the 1950s and 1960s, racial discrimination was legal. There were no laws against sexual harassment. Etc. I’ve seen people in a spin and panic saying “Things have never been this bad in America! OMG we’re losing everything and we’re in autocracy!”
I suspect the words “things have never been this bad” aren’t said by African American women with a sense of their own history. Think of what life was like for most black women in America in 1850. She didn’t own her own body, literally.
All the great progressive heroes (MLK, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Susan B. Anthony, etc. etc.) fought the same battles against the same forces. After Trump loses in November, his supporters are not going to fold up shop and learn to love liberal democracy.
They’ll keep plotting and trying to seize the steering wheel and turn us backwards again. Progressives push forward. Reactionaries push back. It never ends. I advise people not to go down “what if” rabbit holes because we cannot predict what turns the fight will take.
Expect More Crisis and Spectacle – Musing about law, books, and politics: