The World Is In Chaos — That’s Also What Gives Me Hope

The two-party system is also failing. Despite holding the presidency and control of Congress, Democrats lack the ability to challenge authoritarianism on the right and to effectively wield power. The party’s agenda has been largely thwarted by two conservative Democrats, senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, leaving Congress unable to even pass a law helping to secure voting rights. Yet after Roe, many senior Democrats are again telling us that voting in the midterms is our best hope of protecting our reproductive rights.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who supported an anti-choice candidate in a Texas congressional Democratic primary, sent out fundraising emails hours after the Court’s ruling. And in Biden’s first address after the decision, he stated, “This fall, Roe is on the ballot.” But Democrats have only paid lip service to legislating abortion rights into law. Former president Barack Obama said during his 2008 campaign that he would support codifying Roe, but once elected said it wasn’t his “highest legislative priority.”

Sinema and Manchin — same old story — are blocking a vote on supporting a temporary lift of the filibuster that would allow the Senate to fortify abortion rights into law despite the president’s support of the action. There seems to be a continuous tug of war within the Democratic Party between so-called moderates and progressives. But the system privileges the moderates. Without some sort of radical shift within the Democratic National Committee or a change in leadership, it’s unlikely they can become a party that actually protects rights and doesn’t just use fear of loss to maintain power.

Meanwhile, the face of the modern Republican Party, former president Donald Trump, is being investigated for attempting a coup. That same president also picked three out of the nine sitting Supreme Court justices, tilting the court to the extreme far right. These justices are in power for life unless they resign or are impeached and removed by Congress — all unlikely prospects. Rebalancing the Court by adding more justices isn’t being seriously considered, as the Biden administration has made clear. All while the Court’s legitimacy continues to decline.

What hope does that leave for this country and where does that leave the rest of us who are forced to deal with the fallout of a failing government? While this is understandably a time of fear, it can also be one of hope.

It makes sense that after a surge in popular movements including the George Floyd rebellions, Occupy Wall Street, the Standing Rock protests, and a fight against fascism, we are experiencing a powerful backlash from those trying to cling to power.

The hope lies in us. The hope is that we continue to maintain a culture of resistance. And that through direct actions and organizing we continue to develop that resistance to deal with the troubling times that lie before us. If we need encouragement we need only look at what’s happening in other countries around the world.

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