Happy 4th of July 2023: Celebrating the Erosion of American Rights & Freedoms

As we head into the 4th of July holiday weekend, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) once again gives us even less reason to feel the least bit celebratory.

These decisions come on the heels of last year’s life-altering ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and stripped away rights to full body autonomy and private healthcare decisions for approximately half the country. If there had been any question remaining as to the Court’s legitimacy, let these newest rulings further serve to shed bright lights on the Court’s extreme conservative ideologies and political partisanship.

As if that wasn’t enough on its own, members of the Court have been drawing attention in recent months due to the uncovering of multiple ethical concerns resulting in multiple calls for increased oversight and implementation of a formal and enforceable ethics code.

The real world impact of the Court’s recent rulings, especially the ruling that essentially gives businesses a green light to outright discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community, will continue to unfold in the coming days, weeks, and months.

In fact, even before this blow hit, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued its first ever “State of Emergency” warning for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. Referencing the barrage of attacks on LGBTQ+ rights through the introduction of more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures nationwide, many of which specifically target transgender people, and over 76 of which have been signed into law.

Knowing that my own children have fewer rights and protections than I did at their ages is absolutely horrifying. It seems as though we become less safe and less FREE with each passing day.

So once again, there will be no celebration at my home, nor at the homes of many people I know and care about. There’s nothing to celebrate. People in this country are living in fear for their lives, for their children’s lives, and for the lives of their friends and family and community members.

How does one celebrate the birth of a country purportedly founded on principles of all being created equal and of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while watching it crumble at the hands of Republican MAGA extremists and Christian Nationalists?

“[A] more perfect union” this is not. “[E]stablish Justice” and “insure domestic Tranquility”, nope failing there too. (These phrasings are taken directly from the preamble to the United States Constitution.)

We thought things were bad five years ago when we published Independence Day in the USA 2018 on the original AnnotherVoice blog (it’s one of a few posts that were retained in the redesign), but since then things have only continued to get worse. The country keeps moving backwards. It’s catering to the will of a very loud and persistent minority over the needs and rights of the majority.

Folks, we need to get louder. Louder than they are being. We need to hold strong. We need to push forward. We need to resist. We need to fight back. We need to bring this country back into the modern world. And then, we need to figure out how to protect it so that we will never slide backwards like this again.

And then, and only then, will it feel like celebrating freedom and independence here in the United States is justified.

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A. Voice

A. Voice is a freelance writer and amateur political enthusiast. She is passionate about motivating people to exercise their voting power toward affecting the changes needed to make this world a cleaner, safer, more equitable place for all.

Her educational background includes a BA in Communication and a lifetime of informal, self-directed study across a wide range of subject areas.

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