Road Rage 2020: Volume 13 - The Final Sttttreeetttchhhhhhhh

By Samir Shukla

Man, this year keeps piling on.

Pandemic, economic collapse, social unrest, an overabundance of natural disasters, a caustic election that has unhinged America like never before and now the untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg. Talk about tossing tons of fuel into an already raging political fire. Ginsberg's death will dishevel the election even further with both sides digging into their ideological trenches. She will be replaced. It doesn't matter whether this is done before the election or right after the election.

President Trump is not going to let this legacy ammunition go unfired. Mitch McConnell is not going to let this historic opportunity to turn the court conservative pass by. They will act accordingly. In fairness, the Democrats would do the same if the situation were reversed. And they should. This year even the most mundane human actions like breathing in public have become political, so this added passing of Justice Ginsberg will only sully the nation's soul further.

So, what to do? Let the pieces fall where they may. Don't try to burn down the house. The Supreme Court has unfortunately become a moral arbiter of American life via the guise of interpreting the Constitution. How the heck did that happen? The Supreme Court is the least democratic branch of government. They are not elected but appointed, for life, by the ruling party. Sure, it can be argued that voters indirectly choose the court by bringing their political party to power. Yes, that means you have to vote regularly, folks. It's also true that the court has been driven into a partisan political sphere by both parties.

The court has devolved into being the nannies of American culture wars. Americans still generally have a positive view of the court, though. The court interprets and writes decisions, and life rolls on.

The precedents they set and their rulings have effects for years, albeit the furious fights between the political parties to own the court.

Real power can be handed back to the legislative branches by electing strong, policy-driven politicians, softening the court back to its job of interpreting the Constitution. Return it to the boring judicial institution that it should be.

Alas, what is needed after this election are more healers, not judges and politicians. We need friends and neighbors who see friendship as a bigger value over political leanings. Take the politics out of the mix and we can laugh, eat together, make love, and create music and art. You know, be human beings.

The election will be over soon. The implications of the results once winners are decided won't end. Tribalism and factionalism will continue. But there comes a moment when you step back and look at the bigger picture. Social change is happening in a positive manner, albeit slowly as it always has. We don't need the Supreme Court to decide how we live and interact. If the court becomes more conservative, it's not the end of the world. If the court becomes more liberal, it's not the end of the world. The court over the years seems to balance itself out precisely because the judges are human beings first. They understand the gravity of their decisions, good or bad. They take painstaking time to write about their decisions and opinions for history and citizens to judge.

Healing the nation is the utmost need post election. This task lies not with politicians, but with reasoned people.

Awakening the reasoned masses

The country is covered by a giant curtain, the cloth of which is stained on either side by unflinching ideologies. What's needed is to open it up as wide as possible while pushing the righties and the lefties to the edges. Let the disinfecting power of sunlight in all the way. Progress happens with dialogue, transparent work ethic and incremental legislating. It's not sexy, but rebuilding a creaky nation brick by brick is the need of the hour. The foundation is there, what's needed is a return to that most abandoned word, compromise.

If the politicians won't compromise and get work done, take that work to the neighborhoods and birth new leaders and politicians of the future.

It is time for the majority to awaken. This is it. Election Day is going to be a mess, largely because millions of mailed ballots will not be counted right away. It may take a day or two or longer to actually count the totality of all the ballots. Don't descend into social media madness. Stand firm and await the full results. Make your voices heard and cast your votes. It's show time at the voting booth.

Be a VIP

I live in North Carolina, a crucial toss-up state in this election. This

year I'm urging each voter to be a VIP. Vote in Person. I say this in

complete non-partisan manner to all voters. Mail-in ballots are fine and

safe, and they should not be controversial in any manner. But this is

such a toxic year, the best way to make the election process smoother is

try to vote in person, if you are able, while of course keeping your

personal safety in mind. North Carolina has a lengthy early voting

period (October 15 - 31). Voting in person will, if nothing else, help

ease the mess on Election Day by making it easier to tally up the votes

as quickly as possible. Voting in person, for most people, is not any

riskier than going to the grocery store while wearing a mask or shopping

at a mall while taking precautions. You decide how you will vote, and

the lines will likely be long, but remember that Democracy isn't risk

free. Have a good day.


Samir Shukla is the editor of Saathee magazine. Contact -