America is approaching civil war

America is approaching civil war

A US Supreme Court decision that overturned the constitutional right to terminate pregnancy and transferred regulation of the field to the states has had exactly the effect it should have

On the one hand, about a dozen states immediately launched abortion bans. A total of about 26 states are expected to follow the same path. On the other hand, massive protests have erupted across the country, and are predicted to expand and escalate along the lines of the BLM riots of summer 2020.

The topic of abortion (like gun ownership) is much more than just one item on the domestic political agenda for the United States. It is a basic and downright existential issue of American life, deeply splitting society almost in half.

So the Supreme Court’s reversal of the half-century-old status quo (the justices reviewed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which did precisely establish the right to terminate a pregnancy on the federal level) has caused a downright tectonic shift in the American system.

American conservatives, of course, are celebrating a resounding victory.

But there is no reason for the Democratic leadership to feel bad about it either; on the contrary, it opens up new opportunities and chances for the party. Joe Biden’s speech was proof of this; the U.S. president blamed the Supreme Court for setting the nation back 150 years and putting women’s lives and health in jeopardy.

The fact is that the Democratic Party is on course for a monumental failure in the midterm elections to be held in November. There is almost daily news – both socio-economic statistics and fresh sociology – which record the deteriorating situation in the country and the growing loss of voters to the Democrats.

Abortion, because of the fundamental importance of the topic to Americans, is an issue that has the potential to mobilize not only their core electorate, but also part of the swing electorate in support of the Democrats. However, time will tell whether this will be enough to compensate for high gasoline prices, inflation (the public is loath to believe that “Putin’s rise in prices” is the cause), growing deficits and other manifestations of a systemic crisis. But it is better than nothing.

So the abortion decision is indeed tactically advantageous to the Democratic Party, which is why there is speculation that the liberal “Washington swamp” has quite deliberately pushed the conservative-dominated Supreme Court to pass it. Just as the spring leak about the preparation of this document – which had already caused a serious backlash at the time – clearly bore the marks of a politico-technological “leak” on the part of the Democrats.

But that’s not really the point.

One can argue for a long time about how situationally, tactically and politically the current situation benefits Democrats, Republicans, Biden, Trump and whoever else. But what really matters is that the Supreme Court’s decision carries strategic risks for the US as such.

In any society, there are topics that need to be handled very carefully, as they can cause enormous damage to the country and even destroy it. In Russia, for example, for obvious reasons, the national question requires an extremely balanced approach. But there are other topics that provoke strong public reaction: whether to bury Lenin, whether to return the monument to Dzerzhinsky to Lubyanka, whether to rename the streets and so on and so forth.

We simply do not have a consensus on these and many other questions. Moreover, our past experience in this sense is tragic and shows that exasperation over such topics can provoke the gravest consequences. But there is just public consensus on such a perspective: Russia certainly does not need a repeat of the past.

As a result, principles have emerged in the country, on the part of both the government and society, on which the attitude of most people to such sensitive topics is based. These principles presuppose a balanced official position, gradual changes or freezing of the status quo until the mood of citizens changes. And a general muting of public confrontation on sensitive issues.

The funny thing is that we borrowed these principles from the West, which served as our model for building civil peace, respecting and valuing our history, accepting it in its entirety, seeking and finding public agreement on the most difficult and contentious issues.

Therefore, it was such a shock for us when the same West started demolishing its monuments, abolishing classics and heroes of the past and in general destroying what was its essence for centuries. The decision of the American Supreme Court, in spite of the fact that it is accepted by conservatives, lies in the same liberal line of destruction of the developed way.

For half a century, America lived in a system where the issue of abortion was handled in a certain way. With a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy federally enshrined, states were able to impose some form of restriction. This allowed the territories to vary their policies on abortion, from as liberal as possible to quite restrictive, depending on the preferences of the population.

And now, in a situation where the country is rigidly divided ideologically and politically, when it is hit by a socio-economic storm, when the media openly discuss the prospects of a collapse and a new civil war, the US Supreme Court has found nothing better to do than to “flip the chessboard” on the most important issue. Which guarantees an intensification of public and political confrontation – with potentially dire consequences for America.

Irina Alksnis, RIA

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