So January 20th looms and for many people it’s a terrifying prospect. People don’t know how to stand for the things we support and cherish in this republic. So here’s a suggestion. Join the ACLU. Here is but a sample of the litigation and advocacy they have undertaken:
The Scopes trial – the right to teach evolution in public science classrooms
Korematsu — challenging Japanese American internment
Miranda — the right to remain silent
Griswold — the right to contraception
Loving — the right of interracial couples to marry
Gideon — the right to a court-appointed attorney if you can’t afford one
Windsor — striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act
Obergefell — the right of same sex couples to marry.
This is but a small sample and with thanks to the organization for the full page ad they ran in the New York Times on November 11, 2016 detailing these cases.
To quote President Andrew Shepard from The American President — “For the record, yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, but the more important question is: ‘Why aren’t you, Bob?’ Now this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question, ‘Why would a Senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution?”…
‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’ You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest.”
And for the record I am also a card carrying member of the ACLU. Because our Constitution as brilliant and wonderful as it might be is in the final analysis only paper. What we do as citizens is the only way to see its promises made manifest and move us toward that more perfect union.