It’s Friday, June 24, 2022.
It’s one of the darker days in American history.
It’s the 18th anniversary of the state supreme court ruling that the death penalty was unconstitutional in New York.
The ruling came about nine years after the Republican governor, George Pataki, signed a bill reinstating capital punishment.
The moral of this story for those of us who were crestfallen when the penalty came back comes from the late, great Lawrence Peter Berra: It ain’t over ’til it’s over.
So the first thing I did this morning when I saw that six morons in black robes had stripped away freedom from millions of American women was vote.
There’s a Democratic primary in New York for governor and lieutenant governor. And while there’s little chance my candidates – incumbents Kathy Hochul and Antonio Delgado – will lose, I’m not taking any chances.
Let that be lesson No. 1 from this day: Voting matters. It always has. It sure as hell did on that dark November day in 2016 when people who sat on the sidelines allowed a criminal to occupy the Oval Office.
The second thing I did was buy blueberries.
OK, that might seem trivial in the wake of the cataclysm. But hear me out.
The blueberries were on sale at Stop & Shop, and I really like blueberries. So it seemed a no-brainer to pick up a container and put it in my shopping bag (Stop & Shop has while-you-shop checkout).
But before I did I checked something about the blueberries. Where they were from.
The answer was a good one: New Jersey. I put them in the bag.
Had the answer been Florida or Texas, I would have thrown them – literally – back.
I’m not – if I can help it – buying produce from Florida or Texas. I’m not buying anything – again if I can help it – associated with either of those states. I am not supporting the economies of places that believe they can infringe on my and my fellow Americans’ freedom.
Why should you?
Voting is nice, but the people in those states vote too.
And this Supreme Court has made it so Floridians and Texans, Wyomingites and Kansans, North Dakotans and South Dakotans can force their gun craziness on New York, Chicago and San Francisco, And can force their religious beliefs on any woman in their states, whether or not they share them.
If you’re lit-charcoal angry about what the Roberts court has done the past few days, you can’t try to outviolent these people. The next real chance to affect them at the ballot box is November – and if you vote for ANY Republican for ANY office at ANY level, you’re not really that mad.
So the solution might come from what my best friend calls your “dollar vote.” Use your money to effect change.
It starts simply.
Farmers in many ruby red states need to sell their products everywhere in the country. They can’t make up that revenue by selling more in Republican strongholds.
So when you have a choice, buy from farmers and farm companies in your state – if it’s Democratic – or one of the other states that are not committed to curtailing individual rights. California has lots of nice fruit. Washington State cherries are almost in season. There’s nothing like a Hawaiian pineapple.
Secondly, why is anybody from a blue state visiting the Orlando theme parks? Or San Antonio? Or St. Louis?
Tourism dollars count. They especially count in Florida. One way to shove a stick up Ron DeSantis’ ass is to make sure tourism revenue in the state plunges. It will cost the state thousands of jobs and billions in cash.
There’s a Disneyland in California – and a Universal Studios, too. Hell, there are Disneylands in Paris and Tokyo if you really want to see Mickey and Minnie.
And there is nothing that DeSantis, Greg Abbott and other reactionary pillbugs can do about this. Their tame Supreme Court can’t force you to buy stuff from their states, It can’t make you fly to Miami or Houston.
Third, financially support your allies.
Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods rose about 9% Friday morning. Here’s the reason why: The CEO – who is not Dick, but actually a woman named Lauren Hobart – announced that the retailer will provide up to $4,000 to cover expenses of employees “if a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion.”
I have more running stuff than I need, but I’m going to be damn certain to buy something at Dick’s sometime soon. Whod’a thunk my 97th T-shirt would directly help some cashier get the health care Samuel Alito is trying to deny her?
On the other hand, I am dumbstruck by the idea that there are lines to get into Chick-Fil-A – with its noted history of homophobia – in places where LGBTQ people are respected members of the community. No sandwich is that good.
And that there’s a single woman buying knitting yarn from Hobby Lobby, which won the right from many of these justices to deny birth control to its employees.
There are probably lots of other ways you can use the power of your wallet to express your disgust with what the Supreme Court, with its three Trump appointees and other detritus, has excreted.
The fact is you’ve got to inflict some sort of pain on the people who inflicted the pain on you. There will be celebrations tonight and this weekend – today is the Catholic League’s wet dream.
By all means, use the ballot box. Keep this anger in mind everyday from now until the midterms on Nov. 8 and the 2024 presidential election on Nov. 5. Don’t forget it – especially when Republicans try to distract you by blaming inflation on Biden and the Democrats.
The freedom to control your body is worth far more than a gallon of gas at any price.
But be prepared to use all the weapons at your disposal. The bastards in the churches and the diners and everywhere else responsible for today’s travesty of justice – make them pay.