Editorial: America is regressing

Protestors+in+Texas+rally+together+to+stand+against+the+passage+of+the+anti-abortion+and+voting+restriction+laws+HB2+and+SB1.+

July 15 Rally Against HB2 and SB1 / Mirasha / Flikr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Protestors in Texas rally together to stand against the passage of the anti-abortion and voting restriction laws HB2 and SB1.

Vigorous attacks on affordable healthcare and environmental protections. Justifications and sympathy for white supremacy by our nation’s former leader. A riot at the capitol building. The list goes on. And on. And on. 

The past six years in the United States have been a turbulent, polluted haze of setback after setback for the disadvantaged, disabled, and underrepresented. Since 2016, hate crimes have increased dramatically. Politicians seem to be above the law. Voting restrictions, conspiracies, and abortion bans have flowed from governments at a dizzying pace.

America is regressing at an alarmingly fast rate. Despite a Democratic House, Senate, and administration, far-right conservatism has seeped into the heart of American politics.  

“Starting today, every unborn child with a heartbeat will be protected from the ravages of abortion,” Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, tweeted on Sept. 1. “Texas will always defend the right to life.” 

Abbott’s tweet references Senate Bill 8, dubbed the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” which bans abortions for women after six weeks without exceptions for rape and incest.

Yet, for all of Abbott’s claims to be pro-life, he blatantly disregards the potentially traumatic situations his act causes living women to endure. 11-year-olds could be forced to carry out a full pregnancy. Those who aid rape victims in aborting a child could be sued. The law shows little care for the lives of the women so drastically affected.

More recently, Abbott has celebrated the passage of Senate Bill 1 despite Democratic attempts to halt its progress. Among numerous new requirements for absentee voters, the law bans specific ways of voting used predominantly by Democratic counties in the last election, such as the automatic mailing of absentee ballot applications, drive-through voting, and 24-hour early voting, becoming the latest of numerous voting restrictions passed within the last few years.

These laws, if they stand, would appeal to major constitutional amendments that protect the rights and freedoms of Americans. Roe v. Wade would no longer provide Texans with the ability to get legal abortions. Restrictive voting laws swerve around amendments that guarantee universal voting by placing numerous obstacles in the voters’ ways.

The United States has yet to recover from the damage inflicted from the short yet potent period of the Trump administration. And despite the Biden administration’s attempts to pick up the pieces, the present state of American politics seems beyond repair. 

And this is unacceptable. Our country’s politicians should not put their own wealth, comfort, and self-interest ahead of the common good. Pride and polarization should not stand in the way of progress.

But this is the current state of our nation. Political powerhouses are succeeding in undoing some of the vital progress our nation has made in protecting the common good of all of its citizens. Their actions directly hurt those vulnerable in the country — the poor, the disabled, and the minorities of America.

Trump’s administration has left a nation so politically divided that progress and compromise are now almost impossible. The nation hasn’t been this polarized in over 2o years. Bipartisan politics are a thing of the past. Leaders on both sides of the political spectrum continue to clash over even the most minute conflicts.

American has entered a dark age of politics, where basic ideals of justice, rights, and liberty have been grossly violated.

Where hatred and opposition are emboldened, and progress is almost impossible to obtain.

And it is unlikely that we will emerge from that any time soon.

*This editorial reflects the views of the Scot Scoop editorial board and was written by Elle Horst.

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