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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

American Symbiosis


Friends, my latest article is all about why we need Amy Coney Barrett and President Trump both to succeed in October and November.  One without the other puts our country in grave danger.  See if you agree...

Will Ginsburg-Barrett Be a Turning Point for America?

Most political observers understand that the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a reliable “progressive” voice on the Supreme Court, and the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, seemingly a strong conservative and constitutionalist, to replace her, represents a seminal moment in the history of American jurisprudence. We could be setting up the conditions for many well-established legal doctrines, among them the constitutional right to an abortion, to evaporate in the years ahead. The relentless expansion of federal powers could also be stymied.

Changing the direction of the Court, however, may not be as consequential as it once seemed. That's because all of our political institutions, including SCOTUS, have undergone a steady process of delegitimization in recent years.

Democrats and progressives have long claimed that the existing conservative majority on the Court is anti-democratic, retrograde, and obnoxious. The Left's speculation about court-packing may have accelerated of late, but it's been percolating for years, along with its penchant for impeaching any and all federal officials who stand in its way. Moreover, the electoral college and the Senate are also on the progressive chopping block. And states' rights? They don't stand a chance in the “New Order”.

The sad fact is that Democrats and liberals increasingly foresee a time — and not far in the future, either — when the Republican Party will have sunk beneath the waves of demographic oblivion, and they, the enlightened ones, the paragons of political virtue, the harbingers of enforced equality, will be in a position to push through any change they like.

Hallowed institutions like SCOTUS, in this scenario, if they dare to resist, will be contorted into whatever new shapes the historical moment calls for. The Supreme Court, therefore, in its current sense of a court of last resort that it is meaningfully independent of the executive and legislative branches of government, may not endure more than a few weeks, should Democrats take full control of the White House and Congress in January 2021. Audacious reforms, like abolishing the filibuster and packing SCOTUS, which seemed like plot elements in dystopian fiction not long ago, are now relatively easy to imagine becoming the law of the land.

And this brings us to what could be Amy Coney Barrett's real importance in American history.

Since Democrats seem determined to undermine the current system of separation of powers, or any other political contrivance that stands in the way of their hegemony, securing a temporary conservative majority on the Court, or a larger such majority, fades into insignificance. After all, the Court is just one election away from collapsing in a heap, like every other institution we hold dear.

What will perpetuate this newly fortified conservative majority, then, and maintain our current system of democratic and constitutional government in good health, is not winning the current nomination fight — it is keeping the Democrats out of the White House and denying them a Senate majority. This is what ultimately will determine the fate of our Republic, for, if we empower those who want to “transform” America, by undermining its traditional institutions, we can expect those institutions to be destroyed. Indeed, we will have voted to destroy them.

When Judge Barrett appears before the Judiciary Committee of the Senate in October, therefore, her immediate and most obvious task will be reassure the Senate sufficiently to ensure her confirmation and get her on the Court. Her more fundamental task, however, will be to create the conditions for Republicans to win the 2020 election. For, increasingly, the latter seems a necessary precondition for the former, in the sense that a Democratic President and Congress would soon make mincemeat of the judicial norms that undergird the integrity of SCOTUS itself. Justice Barrett, without President Trump to back her up, would soon find herself spinning her wheels in a “reformed” judicial system whose purpose is to rubber-stamp the dictates of leftist politicians and bureaucrats. She might as well retire the moment she takes up her gavel, for all the good she will do.

What this means, therefore, is that, as the nation teeters on the brink, as the polls tighten, and as both sides await the verdict of the American people in November, everything may hinge on the woman whom fate has made the inevitable centerpiece of our political discourse in the closing weeks of the campaign. Either she will acquit herself well, and both she and Trump will sail to victory, or she will falter, and the executive-judicial axis of conservative constitutionalism that currently stands as a sentinel against leftist overreach will soon collapse.

Make no mistake, winning a Supreme Court seat, but losing the White House and the Senate, is tantamount to winning nothing at all. Barrett must be made to understand these stakes.

Can a 48-year-old mother of seven deliver — can she be the savior our nation needs in this, its moment of peril? I believe she can.

Already she has distracted the Democrats and the Left from following their preferred playbook for the terminal phase of the election campaign. Instead of focusing the attention of the voters on an endless string of invented Trump scandals, now the Democrats face the unenviable prospect of engaging in verbal fisticuffs with an intelligent, courageous conservative woman. Assuming Barrett can stand up to the punishment that the Left will surely inflict, she can and will emerge on the other side of this melee victorious.

In doing so, she will find that she has accomplished far more than merely advancing her judicial career and the narrow cause of originalism. She will have bought America four more years of sane, responsible government. She will have held the fanatical forces of leftism at bay. She may even have planted the seeds for a civil war within the Left that will lastingly disrupt, or even permanently disable, the threat it poses to America itself.

Judge Barrett may well hold the fate of our nation in her hands. Let us hope and pray that she is up to the challenge.


Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480/106.9.


And here it is at American Greatness: 


  1. Sorry Dr. Nick, but Judge Barrett is not going to "hold the fate of our nation in her hands." This is not to "trash" the basic truth of your article. However, a giant problem of our nation is the strangling control of the federal government over our 50 states. Let me use Nancy Pelosi as an example. This woman represents a Congressional District in California, and yet the publicity given to her and the power she holds far exceeds what she should have. She was elected to represent the people of a district in California, not as a Power Broker in the Beltway. And yet a Power Broker is what she has become, and this is true of many others in both parties. On that note, respect for STATES' RIGHTS is the only thing that can really save our country. Think about it! Ever since our Constitution was ratified, the Federal Government has done its level best to crush STATES' RIGHTs in just about every way one can imagine, and in some cases right down to the smallest detail. We even have a Federally mandated Energy Policy Act which imposes a national efficiency standard-for toilets. Toilet flushing became a federal priority, and before this act was initiated, this sort of thing was subject to state and local regulation. Sound silly? Perhaps, but it is a minor example of how federalism enters the bloodstream of every state, and destroys STATES' RIGHTS. No, I am not advocating that every state print its own money.

  2. To further illustrate how important the concept of STATES' RIGHTS is, let's take the case of junior U.S. Congress member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The woman comes to Washington, DC to represent the interests of a New York constituency, but instead starts to dictate energy policy for the entire United States of America. Say what? She has no professional background related to power supply sources, or anything else to do with energy, and yet all sorts of fools inside and outside Congress hang on her every word.

    Another potty mouth junior member of Congress visits police and tells them what they are doing in certain areas is b***s***. Say what? This sort of stuff extends to other members of Congress regardless of party.

    In any event, I didn't vote for people like Pelosi. I don't live in her district, and yet she attempts to control my life, when she can't even handle her own Congressional District in California.

  3. Yep, I know, I got off subject. Sorry.

  4. No worries, Ray. You're always "on point". It's just a question of which point? :)

    I totally agree about states' rights. Ultimately, an all-powerful federal government MUST lead, sooner or later, to tyranny. You can't have a responsible, humane government for 330 million people. Those people, and their localities and state governments, must be allowed to go their own way on most issues. Otherwise, a centralized bureaucracy will push us around and expand inexorably.

    I guess MY point would be that to preserve our freedoms, including states' rights, the confirmation of Judge Barrett is highly desirable, but the reelection of President Trump is ESSENTIAL. That's how I see it.

  5. Dr.Waddy and Ray from Jack: States' rights, not the salient point of your fine essay, but: it's a solid principle but it can be usurped and misdirected by far leftist state major domos such as Cuomo and Newsome.

  6. Dr.Waddy and Ray: Cuomo and Newsome openly flout Federal law (eg Immigration Law). In the '50's and 60's Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy directed decisive Federal power against Southern Governors who did the same. These present day incipient thoroughly leftist America hating dictators deserve the same treatment. I am confident that a reelected Trump administration will do it!

  7. Dr. Waddy from Jack: I think your essay well reasoned and perhaps prescient but: I do think we would benefit by her probable confirmation. Would the Dems win both the Presidency and all of Congress? Could happen and the consequences you describe could obtain. But: we need keep in mind that complete triumph: SCOTUS, Congress and the Presidency is within reach should we all remain true. This must be our inspiration for the next month! Much of historical consequence lies ahead, as you have discerned. Even the possibility of the loss of our great President manifests.

  8. Jack, you probably know more about this than I do: when you say that Southern Governors were confronted with "decisive federal power" in the desegregation era, what do you mean exactly? I know of the National Guard and federal court orders being used, but was there anything else?

    Jack, confirming Barrett would be a nice consolation prize, if we lose the presidency and the Senate. It might even be enough to hold back the leftist onslaught long enough to save the country in 2024. Having said all that, I'd rather not chance it. Let's keep the White House deep red forever, shall we?

  9. Dr.Waddy: I'll comment in short segments because they keep being erased. The Federal power I refer to is direct orders from the President to the military to enforce court orders and his will that they be obeyed. I know of no court orders enjoining dictators like Cuomo to afford to his "subjects" the full equal protection of Federal law (eg on Immigration law) . BUT, the Constitution and Federal statutes, enacted by an institution of nominal authority congruent with that of the Judiciary, Congress, the national legislature, enables the executive all as much as Eisenhower and Kennedy were.

  10. Dr.Waddy from Jack: In 1957, when Ike sent USregulars into Little Rock to protect children who sought to attend their neighborhood school, Arkansas Gov. Faubus went on TV to say: " Arkansasans we are now an occupied state". I look forward to the day, to be expected if President Trump is reelected, when we may glory to the sound of Cuomo bleating a similar feeble protest as he faces the consequences of his presumption and his treason.He really thinks he can deny to a sizeable portion of "his" state's population their right to equal protection of the nation's laws!

  11. Dr.Waddy from Jack: The source of my optimism in the confirmation of ACB rests in the able leadership of Mitch McConnell. He may be one of the most consequential Senate Majority leaders ever if he succeeds in denying to the left their lawless Scotus haven.

  12. Hmm. You're right, Jack: civil rights was largely a matter of the federal courts dictating behavior to recalcitrant Southern states, and federal troops acting as enforcers for the will of those courts. It showed moxie on Eisenhower's part to use the military -- filled, as it was, with Southerners -- to enforce such unpopular judicial rulings, but he did it. Could it happen again? The courts would have to issue some very stern rulings, and Trump would have to send in the troops to actuate federal authority. I suppose there's an intervening step, though: blue states would have to reject the legality of one or more rulings of the federal courts. That day might be coming...and ACB might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

  13. So, the tv is on...and I am totally aghast at Patrick Leahy's comments; her appointment could be a potential threat to the rights of women and minorities." I guess I shouldn't be surprised. And reading comments on the news--most folks agree that the hearing is a farce.

  14. Linda, I'd say 99% of such hearings are farcical...but the same might be said for human affairs in general! Farce or no, ACB may be in a position to decide the fate of Roe v. Wade AND the name of our next President. A lot is riding on this farce.