1106 GMT June 26, 2022
IRAN DAILY: What do you make of the right turn in the US Supreme Court and how it might affect the politics of the US in the years to come?
ERIC LOB: One of the top issues right now is abortion and whether the court will overturn Roe v. Wade with a majority of Americans supporting access to abortion, though with restrictions. Some red or Republicans states in the South have already proposed and passed legislation limiting, banning, and even criminalizing abortion.
I know about that specific case, but I think the ramifications of the right-turn would be more comprehensive.
I agree especially if right-wing Republicans and Trumpists win the Congressional election in 2022 and the presidential election in 2024. They would control all three branches of government, regardless of so-called checks and balances.
I remember reading an academic book years ago about abortion in the US, and the author (a progressive) argued that Roe vs. Wade decision was too liberal for the mainstream America, and they should expect backlash in the years ahead. What other areas of "backlash" should we expect against the years of the Supreme Court being ruled by left leaning majorities?
If Florida and other red states in the American South are a litmus test then we would see laws related to Roe v. Wade and issues like gay marriage be challenged. Recently, Florida has passed legislation that attempts to ban discussions and materials in schools and universities about homosexuality and so-called critical race theory.
For obvious and tragic reasons, gun control or safety measures are again becoming a hot issue but those laws currently favor the right, even if a majority of Americans support increased measures like age limits, background checks, and bans on assault rifles and high capacity magazines.
So, in certain cases, it's actually a matter of minority-favoring rules against the wishes of the majority?
In certain cases, yes. The republican right appeals to a rabid base of supporters, even if they are outnumbered. Gerrymandering and voting rights are other key issues we should be vigilant about.
About the upcoming elections, how do you evaluate the chances of democrats maintaining their grip on executive and legislative branches?
I am not optimistic about their chances given how many issues they are facing and how divided the country is. One important point to keep in mind is the last two republican presidents lost the popular vote but won the electoral one. Moreover, there seems to be rising disillusionment and discontent with politicians and the system on both sides.
That's interesting! Is that going to become sort of a momentum?
It helps explain why so called anti-establishment or non-traditional candidates like Obama and Trump won. Interestingly, a number of people who voted for Obama later voted for Trump. Then again, Biden’s victory somewhat challenges that trend for the time being as a reaction to Trump. Though Biden’s approval ratings understandably are low.