Frogs in boiling water
Does anybody else notice that it's getting really weird?
Maybe a person in the average middle-class household in Germany circa 1944 would have responded, upon being told that Jews were being herded onto cattle cars and shipped to gas chambers, by saying, “Well, gee, that’s terrible, but what can I do about it!”
Maybe a person so situated in Cambodia in the late 1970s, upon being told that teachers and writers were being sent to labor camps, would have responded thusly.
Maybe such a person in Rome during Caligula’s reign would have been inclined to react in a similar manner.
And maybe a contemporary American, per the oh-for-crying-out-loud-we’re-nowhere-near-that-level-of-deterioration tone of many a cultural-observation piece, would tell me to up my anxiety-med dosage.
Oh. I suppose there’s no reason to fret about the kind of mind the nation’s most prestigious law school is turning out:
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for students at Yale Law School, who are responding to news that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade with calls to accost their conservative classmates through "unrelenting daily confrontation" and toss the Constitution by the wayside.
Members of the law school’s conservative Federalist Society, first year law student Shyamala Ramakrishna said in an Instagram post, are "conspirators in the Christo-fascist political takeover we all seem to be posting frantically about." Why, she asked, are they still "coming to our parties" and "laughing in the library" without "unrelenting daily confrontation?"
Some of her classmates were less moderate.
"It’s not time for ‘reform,’" first-year law student Leah Fessler, a onetime New York Times freelancer, wrote on Instagram. "Democratic Institutions won’t save us." It is unclear how Fessler will apply that view as a legal intern this summer for federal judge Lewis Liman. Judge Liman did not respond to a request for comment.
Fessler isn’t alone. "Neither the constitution nor the courts—nor the fucking illusion of ‘democracy’—are going to save us," first-year student Melisa Olgun posted. "How can we possibly expect a document, drafted by wealthy, white, landowning men, to protect those who face marginalization that is the direct result of the very actions of the founders?"
Here’s the kind of regard for the Constitution they have:
Olgun, for one, lamented that the "‘liberal’ legal discipline will continue to bend over backwards to uphold the decorum, norms, and the sanctity of an institution that serves only those who benefit from originalism."
Maybe it’s okay that this self-described queer plastic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery is performing “gender-affirming” operations - that is, lopping the breasts off of perfectly healthy adolescent girls.
What is to be done?
Is strengthening our local communities the answer?
And to those who say, “This is why we have to vote Republican!”, I would ask this: You’d have us vote for the party that ostracizes Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger but is set to give Marjorie Taylor Greene her committee appointments back?
I hope you can see that this is not an exhortation to rise up and do something, by God!
We have quite enough people in post-America behaving that way as it is.
No, rather, I’m imploring each of us - me included - to look in the mirror and ask a very basic question:
How did this happen?
How did we squander the birthright of one of the most blessed nations in history?
And then we need to ask two even more pressing questions:
Is it too late to reverse this, and, if not, what is required?