What Would RBG Do?


Maddie Porter, Ads Manager

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court’s Feminist Icon, is Dead at 87,” the New York Times displays on September 18, 2020. “Barely 5 feet tall and a towering champion of women’s rights – her fans called her Notorious R.B.G.Lulu Garcia Navarro reports on NPR’s Up First on September 19. The broadcast is a poignant reminder of how quickly politics can shift. The morning of September 19 was more evocative than most, my thoughts transcended the habitual bitch and moan of early mornings to a world in which the glowing emblem of hope among corruption and lunacy has gone out. 

RBG is as close to a deity that I will ever extol. I have t-shirts of her and a sticker adorning my water bottle that reads, “what would RBG do?” Perhaps it is just juvenile naïvete, but it felt as though she would always be there. She was a concrete fixture on the bench, protecting me and the rest of the United States. Now it is as though her glory has been shattered with the imposition of a justice who walked through doors opened by Ginsburg, just to shut those same doors on marginalized groups and younger generations. She strutted to the top with privilege as her ladder, intentions of injustice in tow. 

Amy Coney Barrett is yet another symbol of duplicity that litters the current administration.

She is a perfect parallel to the unorthodox campaign tactics of the Republican party- Promises Kept- the on brand notion that sums up the identity of the party. It is the paragon of indoctrination. Trump’s campaign team has artfully framed him as a president who has accomplished multitudes during his tenure, without revealing the bad and the worse to come. It is a method of campaigning tailored perfectly to his political style. Formatted so simply and easy to comprehend it catches the eye of politically negligent citizens who won’t be bothered to scroll through page after page of Biden’s plans or Jorgensen’s criticisms of the system. There is no need for one to think for themselves when the ostensible accomplishments of the nation’s ‘leader’ are on display. Promises Kept is the antithesis of progress. It is deeper into the conservative comfort in which no one has to think too hard about the environmental crisis, the ludicrous frequency of school shootings, or the 225,000 people that have died due to the inadequacy of the federal government’s response to the pandemic, and much less how Hispanic and Black communities are disproportionately affected by the virus. 

American politics reek of an amoral dystopia, one that pre-teens would drool over knowing that it wasn’t real, simply entertainment at the expense of fictional characters. Now, in our real-life anti-utopia, the resistance has faced a blow with the death of RBG. Concerns rise that perhaps the morally motivated may not win after all. One thing about our dystopia though, is that the younger generations were raised on dystopian pop-culture. The rebirth of Star Wars, Star Trek, The Hunger Games, and in each of these we witnessed the good guy win. We will walk through Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s doors, but we will not blockade our successors. We will widen the path for them to build up the glory of humanity, and create a world of prosperity and equity, in which democracy is not equated with the detriment of morals.