“It’s The Economy, Stupid” is a line made famous by Democratic strategist, James Carville, during the race for the White House between Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
The line was directed toward Bill Clinton’s campaign workers, and indicated how to strategize to win the Presidency. The economy was in the tank and the message to unite Democrats and independents was clear. George H.W. Bush was failing as the leader of the country, the American people were suffering, and the collapsed economy due to recession was proof that it was time for a change. The message stuck and Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush, making him a one-term President.
“It’s the economy, stupid” became so iconic that strategists, political television hosts and talking heads often recreate the phrase during an election year, usually starting with “it’s” and using a different word in place of “economy” that highlights the particular hot-button issues of the moment.
Fast forward to 2020 and the list of all the absurd things we could reference is long. “It’s The Global Pandemic, Stupid”; “It’s Racism, Stupid”; “It’s Immigration, Stupid”; “It’s Health Care, Stupid” and even the obvious: “It’s The Stupid Man In Charge, Stupid.” But “It’s The Supreme Court, Stupid” is the number one scary truth that should make every LGBTQ person run to the polls to vote for Joe Biden on November 3.
The importance of this election is not about who actually becomes President, but is more about who will nominate the next Supreme Court Justice who will determine the laws of our land for the rest of our lives.
Contrary to what most people believe, the office of the President doesn’t have nearly the amount of power that Trump thinks it does. As a matter of fact, the President doesn’t even come close to the influence of a Supreme Court justice.
Presidents come and go. We can guarantee they won’t stay any longer than eight years and at the minimum will only stick around for four unless they get impeached. Unlike the President’s limited term, a Supreme Court Justice can be on the bench for an entire lifetime. The Constitution states that justices “shall hold their offices during good behavior.” The term “good behavior” is understood to mean, justices may serve for the remainder of their lives, unless they are impeached by Congress or they personally choose to retire.
Bill Clinton nominated an LGBTQ advocate: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was only the second woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court bench. The 87 year old liberal icon is unfortunately battling cancer and has already mentioned plans to retire. She is a true fighter and is known to even do 50 pushups a day, but she probably wouldn’t survive another Trump term and honestly, our community won’t either. Whoever wins this Presidency will have the power to nominate her replacement and if Brett Kavanaugh is any indication of the direction Trump would lean, we can all expect another anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-trans, anti-environment leader and total Trump enabler as the next addition to the court.
The Supreme Court is composed of nine justices. Currently, four were placed by Democratic presidents and the remaining five by Republicans. Donald Trump has already placed two Supreme Court justices and if he wins again you can guarantee he will be adding one more at the minimum. This would give him more justices on the court than any other President and would ultimately make Donald Trump’s scary vision for America the law of the land for life.
The Supreme Court of the United States holds the power to make all the decisions that will rule the country for a lifetime. It is the Supreme Court that makes the final resolutions on issues like same-sex marriage, the recent Civil Rights act, women’s rights, voters rights, health care rights, environmental laws, “bathroom bills,” and all future cases regarding our transgender brothers and sisters.
The harsh truth is “Handmaid’s Tale” may very well be in our future if we don’t get out and vote for Joe Biden. This is not the year to sit out, to protest or to throw a tantrum if your candidate wasn’t chosen. Joe Biden wasn’t my first choice, my second choice or even my third; but I am certainly smart enough to know it’s not really about him, because at the end of the day, “It’s all about the Supreme Court, stupid.”