A Reminder: Equality Under the Law is a Foundational American Ideal
We should not have to remind ourselves, but the notion that are all created equal is a foundational American principle and we have been at our best when we have lived by it. It is set forth and embodied in our founding documents, the writings of the philosophers who influenced our Founders’ thinking, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the very idea of democracy itself, the words of our greatest leaders, the concept that no one is above the law and in the words above the front entrance of the Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.” It has been expanded through struggle from the time that it was a progressive idea that non-property owners could vote through the Civil War, women’s suffrage, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Stonewall, the battle for the ERA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Lily Ledbetter Act, the ACA, Obergefel and the thousands of demonstrations since 2016.
While it’s sad that it has to be said, it’s true that there is nothing more patriotic than upholding and fighting for equality, democracy and the rule of law. Donald Trump, many elected Republicans and their enablers are betraying our basic American values to such an extent that they simultaneously motivate white nationalist terrorism through their rhetoric while they block the legislative and regulatory actions it would take to prevent it.
Trump and his enablers have weakened American democracy with their incessant lies, corrupted it with graft and intentionally left it open to further Russian attacks. But nothing is more striking than the fact that their hate and failure to enact comprehensive gun reform are killing people.
And nothing would be more patriotic than for us to defeat Trump and his ilk, empower those who believe in equality, democracy and the rule of law, and elect those who will act on those beliefs.