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Right Choices for the Wrong Reasons

​​​In the last week several positive events took place, leaving those of us on the pro-democracy, pro-freedom and pro-people side with a rare moment to rejoice. The Supreme Court in a 7-2 shadow docket ruling, decided that mifepristone could continue to be sold in the United States while a Republican brought case questioning the drug’s efficacy and safety works its way through the judicial system. Despite being recognized by the FDA as a safe and effective abortion as well as diabetes medication for over 20 years, many observers were afraid the conservative 6-3 SCOTUS would side with the Trump appointed federal judge. However, only Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, both of whom have shown their zealotry and corruption to be head and shoulders above the rest of the current Supreme Court, voted against the shadow docket ruling.

The good news keeps on coming, as right on the heels of Fox News agreeing last week to a massive settlement with Dominion voting systems, this Monday ​​morning prime time Fox personality and white supremacist Tucker Carlson was fired by Fox. While not technically an admission of guilt, the record-breaking $800M settlement speaks for itself. Tragically, this settlement precludes testimony of Fox News anchors and executives in open court. The discovery process alone, however, showed the deep contempt that Fox News personalities had for their audience and the malicious intent to their lies about the 2020 election being stolen. Tucker Carlson featured prominently among those disclosures, which some have speculated is why he was let go, while others point out that Carlson has several other impending legal issues which may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Speculation abounds, but regardless of the precise reasons we are all better off without this neofascist, white supremacist, chauvinist in the spotlight spreading his hateful poison to millions each night on cable TV. Both these events are certainly worthy of celebration, yet we must temper that excited with the knowledge that while the results were agreeable, the forces behind each don't represent some pro-democracy moments, listening to the desires of the American people. Neither a corporation like Dominion, nor the Supreme Court is coming to protect the average person’s rights. Instead, both of these decisions are indicative of a rare moment of alignment between corporate power and American’s desires. If the Supreme Court had set the precedent that any federal judge could unilaterally invalidate an FDA decision on drug safety, billions of corporate pharmaceutical profits would have been jeopardized, and then entire industry would have been thrown into chaos. As the largest annual donors to politicians, the pharmaceutical industry’s profits prevailed, for now at least, over religious fundamentalist ideals. Similarly, Rupert Murdoch has no problem with attempting to overthrow an election, see 2000 with Bush v. Gore, but he will not continence the loss of his money. With the threat of further legal and financial trouble during a period of high exposure for Fox News, firing Tucker Carlson acts as both an insurance policy and a consolidation of Murdoch’s power. So while we should appreciate these wins for what they are if we're going to have these be the rule rather than the exception, we cannot rely on corporate behemoths and judicial oligarchs to be our saviors. It will take political and economic organizing by the many to make this country a place where justice prevails, democracy is respected, and we have not just political rights in name, but in practice. So, join us each week in growing solidarity and Don’t Shop on Tuesday! #DSOT #UPM

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