Saturday, May 28, 2022

Musings on How Two GOP Primaries Could Reshape American Politics

             By Rudy Barnes, Jr.

The Pennsylvania and Georgia GOP gubernatorial primaries produced conflicting indicators of Trump’s future in the GOP.  In Georgia Governor Brian Kemp defeated Trump’s endorsed candidate, David Perdue; and it wasn’t even close.  In Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, a state senator and retired Air Force Colonel who was endorsed by Trump, won his primary.

Other Republican primaries produced mixed results, but gubernatorial primaries were especially important to Trump with his continued rantings on the “stolen” election in 2020.  That’s because governors and election officials oversee election results.  Since Georgia is a deep red state and Pennsylvania a swing state, both were critical to Trump’s political priorities.

There is also a stark contrast in the candidates on other fundamental issues, making the two primaries indicators of Trump’s future leadership in the Republican Party.  Brian Kemp has a proven center-right record as governor and has distanced himself from Trump, while Mastriano is a Trump clone who has advocated radical right views dangerous to civil-military relations.

As a military officer, Mastriano was sworn to support and defend the Constitution; and in 2001 he wrote a thesis at the Air Force’s Command and Staff College that described the U.S. as “a people without vision or direction, and it concluded that only the U.S. military could save the country from the depredations of the country’s morally debauched civilian leaders.” 

Peter Feavor, a former senior White House official who has written extensively on  civil-military relations, said that Mastriano’s radical-right political views “stem from poisonous views and misunderstandings that he has held for a very long time.”  Ironically, Mastriano has predicted the dangers to the Constitution as being a “left wing Hitlerian Putsch.”  

Mastriano seems to have trouble distinguishing the left wing from Hitler’s right wing.  The U.S. military is the last bastion of defense against foreign and domestic threats to freedom and democracy.  The same was true in Germany until Hitler co-opted the Wehrmacht to promote Nazi tyranny.  The sanctity of U.S. elections must be preserved against such tyranny.

The U.S. military is an authoritarian regime within a libertarian democracy, and as an extension of politics by other means America requires healthy civil-military relations to preserve freedom and democracy.  Trump has praised Putin, but the Georgia primary indicates that the GOP will reject extremist radical-right politics and promote strong civil-military relations.

Both America and Russia will elect their top leaders in 2024, and mid-term elections in November will portrend the future of America’s politics.  The Georgia Republican Primary has provided hope that the GOP will abandon its loyalty to Trump and begin promoting constructive partisan politics that can restore political legitimacy and maintain healthy civil-military relations.


In a 2001 thesis Doug Mastriano asserted that “morally debauched political leaders weren’t fit to oversee the U.S. military. Two decades before he became the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, Mastriano’s thesis warned that the United States was vulnerable to a left-wing “Hitlerian Putsch” that would begin with the dismantling of the U.S. military and end with the destruction of the country’s democracy.  The thesis is highly unusual for its doomsaying and often fearful point of view, and its prediction that only the U.S. military could save the country from the depredations of the country’s morally debauched civilian leaders.  In it, Mastriano concluded that the U.S. military was the “only institution to prevent the destruction of the republic.” The document displays a disgust for anyone who doesn’t hold his view that homosexuality is a form of “aberrant sexual conduct” and presages the worldview that has led Mastriano to blame rampant fraud for Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat and to join a crowd headed toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. ‘If there was a hint of radicalism in me or far rightness in me, I’d never have had that kind of access to the nation’s most sensitive and destructive secrets,’ he told Stephen K. Bannon. ‘And so I’m just going to call them out. I’m not going to stand aside and let them create a narrative about me.’  As a state senator and candidate for governor, Mastriano, 58, has vowed to decertify voting machines in counties where he suspects the results are rigged and has asserted Pennsylvania’s majority-Republican legislature should have the right to choose which presidential electors to send to Washington. Mastriano traveled to D.C. on Jan. 6 and videos show him walking with a crowd toward the Capitol as one man removes a bike rack blocking the sidewalk; Mastriano has denied entering the Capitol.  His ardent support for the former president’s false claims that the election was stolen earned him Trump’s last-minute endorsement in Pennsylvania’s GOP primary, which he won.  Mastriano’s thesis is especially striking in its doubts that an apolitical U.S. military should fall under the control of elected, civilian leaders, a bedrock principle of American democracy that is drilled into U.S. military officers from the moment they take an oath to ‘support and defend” the U.S. Constitution.  ‘It would erode everything that it purports to respect,’ said Tami Davis Biddle, a civilian professor at the U.S. Army War College who retired in 2021 as the Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies. ‘It’s Putinist before Putin.’ Mastriano’s essay is a broadside aimed at civilians whom he deems unfit to lead a morally superior U.S. military officer corps. He describes a future in which the military’s “macho-warrior spirit” and “conservative culture” are replaced by ‘a neo-pagan worldview.  Like Rome, domestic moral decay and slothfulness proved to be a more formidable adversary than foreign armies,’ he wrote.  Mastriano’s essay also foreshadows his embrace of baseless claims of rigged elections.”  See See also, Shapiro: ‘Dangerous’ Republican rival Mastriano could override will of voters at

Mastriano’s thesis and his current views provide a distorted view of military values.  Most active duty and retired military personnel understand that the military is an authoritarian regime within a libertarian democracy, and the importance of civil-military relations and their duty to support and defend the Constitution and the concept of civilian supremacy.  After I wrote an essay on military legitimacy that won the Excellence in Writing Award at the Army War College, Class of 1992, I expanded it into a book, Military Legitimacy: Might and Right in the New Millennium (Frank Cass, 1996).  Chapters 3 and 5 focus on military values and standards of legitimacy.  On civil-military relations, see pages 70, and 144-149.  On page 113 I reference is made to the 1992 article by Charles Dunlap, Jr. that inspired Mastriano’s thesis.

On Georgia deals critical blows to Trump’s kingmaker status, see

See also, Georgia rebuffs Trump candidates for governor, attorney general and secretary of state, at

Jason Willick has asserted that Trump’s 2024 chances are even worse than Georgia suggests.  See

Max Boot has opined, We’re in danger of losing our democracy, but most Americans are in denial,  See


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Musings of a Maverick Methodist on the Ascendancy of Evil in Politics and Religion

             By Rudy Barnes, Jr.

Democracy has made us masters of our own destiny, but demagogues like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump have exploited democracy and Christian nationalism to promote evil in both politics and religion.  Edward Simmons has asked, “Who can deny that we are living in a period when evil is on the ascendant in our globalized world?”

The 18th century Enlightenment was based on reason and advances in knowledge, and it ended the divine right to rule with the advent of democracy.  Today autocracy is making a comeback.  A 21st century enlightenment is needed to end the ascendancy of evil, and restore the primacy of reason and truth in politics and religion.

Toxic church doctrines ignore the altruistic and universal teachings of Jesus that are summarized in the greatest commandment.  It is to love God and our neighbors of other races and religions as we love ourselves.  God’s will is to reconcile humanity, and Satan’s will is to divide and conquer; but Satan has done a convincing imitation of God in politics and the church. 

Demagoguery has sacrificed Jesus on the altar of radical-right politics.  Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is motivated by a Russian world ideology promoted by the Russian Orthodox Church; and in America most white Christians support a radical-right America First ideology.  Both are based on the nativist great replacement theory, or white supremacy.

Jesus once said, if you hold to my teachings, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John  8:31, 32).  You don’t need to be a Christian to know the truth that will set you free.  Demagogues are not the real enemy in a democracy; voters are their own worst enemies.  While demagogues are deceivers, they can’t suppress a desire for the truth.  

Unprincipled demagogues obscure both truth and reason to promote their worldly power; and the reason and truth needed to overcome blind loyalty to demagogues are too often ignored in nationalist forms of Christianity.   In Russia, Putin censures the media to obscure the truth; while in America, social media sites promote all manner of radical-right causes.

Knowledge and truth can end the blind loyalty of Russians to Putin’s megalomania to resurrect the Soviet Union with the destruction of Ukraine’s democracy.  If Russians don’t reject Putin in the elections of 2024, they will doom their own minimalist democracy and freedom, and leave Russia a pariah nation.  The same can be said of Trump’s future in America.    

Putin and Trump are demagogues who share a bipolar view of politics and religion that subordinates knowledge and reason to a cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil.  Satan seems to be winning the popularity contest, reflecting the depravity of human nature and corruptions in Christianity.  The future of democracy depends upon the inexorable power of God’s truth and reason to overcome evil; and the jury remains out until the elections of 2024.        


In response to his own question, Why Do We Let Evil Prosper?, Edward Simmons has said “There are purveyors of modern technologies, using them for deception and personal gain at the public expense, who have captured the most popular forms of media, undermined the moral foundations of a party that once saved our country from internal destruction, and subverted entire segments within Christianity so that they no longer follow the fundamental message of Jesus. Political leaders are no longer held accountable, no matter the long-term damage to democracy, human rights, or the equal and fair administration of justice. Truth is being drowned out by algorithm-generated tsunamis of false information. 

What Is Evil? The first verse of Psalm 1 provides a functional description of evil. It happens when wicked people attract large followings, or block the way of the truthful.  …It refers to ethical standards stated in the Sermon on the Mount, parables like the Good Samaritan, and the Golden Rule. Seeking and adhering to the truth is coupled with ethical behavior in the Torah and the Gospels as part of respecting the God behind truth.  According to this Psalm, those who are grounded in the truth will bear fruit and ultimately will flourish, while the wicked lack grounding and their accomplishments will lack substance or permanence. This Psalm is a statement of faith that ultimately evil must lose, even though we see it prospering to greater or lesser extent in various historical periods.

So how can we recognize a wicked person? According to Psalm 1, we recognize them by their behaviors and the people they choose to associate with. The most obvious current example of wicked behavior is Vladimir Putin who does not care for truth, justice, or basic human empathy. 

Why Is Evil Prospering? The answer is clear in the case of the United States. First, far too many Americans have deserted truth, basic honesty, and respect for the law as they choose political leaders to support. Those who stand against evil are vilified using algorithm-driven methods that follow the Russian example. They claim to do it out of religious or political principles that transparently turn reason inside-out. Second, there are people in Congress and in positions in state governments who are more determined to gain or hold on to political power at the expense of every value they claim to support and in violation of the oath of office they took.  

What must happen next is for Americans to muster the courage and determination to stand against the forces of evil, no matter the momentary sacrifices, until the current surge of evil is defeated.” See

Alexander Dugin is a Russian far-right intellectual and confidant of Putin who sees the ascendancy of evil in America and the West, with Russia as “the spiritual and cultural inheritor of the legacy of the Roman and Byzantine empires, the center of a distinctly anti-European dominion, one powerful (and authoritarian) enough to withstand the perceived threats of liberal modernity, multiculturalism and progressive values. The notion of an independent Ukraine, in this view, is a fiction propagated by the “secular authorities” of the decadent West. Instead, to the Russian president, Russia and Ukraine exist in “spiritual unity” — not only because of their shared Orthodox Christian faith but also because both peoples claim the lineage and cultural ancestry of “Ancient Rus,” a medieval, Kyiv-centered federation. The idea of “spiritual unity” hints at a mystical strain in Putin’s thinking. Indeed, he appears to see his imperial war as an earthly manifestation of a wider, mythic battle between traditional order and progressive chaos.

In a 1991 manifesto, “The Great War of the Continents,” Dugin laid out his vision of Russia as an “eternal Rome” facing off against an individualistic, materialistic West: the “eternal Carthage.”  Dugin later argued the contemporary world order had to be understood as a pitched battle between the forces of “human rights, anti-hierarchy, and political correctness” represented by the “Atlantic” Americans and Europeans, and the distinctly “Eurasian” Russian culture, which was still capable — unlike the sclerotic West — of honoring the mainstays of human life: “God, tradition, community, ethnicity, empires and kingdoms.”  For Dugin, as for all Traditionalists, the culture war is a cosmic battleground: a jihad against a liberal order explicitly coded as demonic.  As Dugin told “60 Minutes” in 2017, “We need to be free and liberated, not only physically as a state, as a people, but as well [a] revival of Russian logos, of Russian spirit, of Russian identity that is much more important.”  See

The Washington Post  Editorial Board has described “America First” as America at its worst. See  .

Michael Gerson has asserted that  GOP leaders ought to banish officials who embrace “replacement theory.” But the racist ideas associated with the Buffalo killings are being granted impunity daily within the Republican Party. The problem is not just that a few loudmouths are saying racist things. It is the general refusal of Republican “leaders” to excommunicate officials who embrace replacement theory. See

Doug Mastriono is a retired Army colonel and Trump-endorsed GOP nominee for governor in Pennsylvania.  According to Michelle Boorstein he rejects the ”culture wars” of Falwell and Ralph Reed for a more supernatural war between the forces of good and evil. “Mastriano’s use of religion and politics is similar to Trump’s in that neither look to big denominations or established clergy or church sermons for influence. They instead tap into how disaffiliated Americans are becoming from organized religion. (Less than half of Americans belong to a congregation and three in 10 say they have no religious affiliation altogether.) Religious identity and practice are becoming hyper individualized, with no need for a denomination or clergy member to validate a person’s beliefs. People can be devoutly Christian whichever way they choose, including by following a political candidate’s message.

Mastriano speaks in stark terms about good and evil because “he sees the culture boldly holding Christianity in contempt.” Pastors are using common excuses: ‘Oh, we’re not supposed to be involved in politics.’ If that’s the way your church is, you’re in the wrong church.

”The Founders had varying views about the role of religion in general and Christianity in particular in public life. But since the 1980s, there has been a pronounced and organized effort by some conservative Christians, White evangelical Protestants in particular, to cast U.S. history as less religiously diverse and secularly minded, and then to argue for a kind of orthodoxy — or “originalism” — that would set these interpretations of the past as the mold for the future. Many conservative Republican leaders seem in recent years to be using more exclusionary and sharper religious language, some experts on U.S. religion say. As institutional religion has slipped in stature in a more secular America, rhetoric from the independent fringe of charismatic faith — where life is about a real, daily battle between Satan and God — has risen to the fore. “Things like: ‘You are the devil, you don’t belong in this country and I’m going to elect people who are on God’s side.’ This kind of rhetoric is incapable of discourse. There is no distinction between political argument and spiritual warfare. That is new,” said John Fea, chair of the history department at Messiah College near Harrisburg. Of Mastriano, Fea said: “I don’t think Pennsylvania has ever had a ‘God and country’ candidate like this.”  Earlier generations of leaders who promoted “Christian values,” such as Falwell and Bush, Fea said, were making more cogent arguments about the role of faith in a diverse society and were engaged in public debates with real opponents. Mastriano, by contrast, makes it a badge of honor to not deeply engage with anyone but his supporters.  See

What matters most about Tuesday’s Republican primaries is how far to the right the GOP’s electorate has veered. The most important and frightening outcome is the decision of Pennsylvania’s Republicans — by a big margin — to make extremist state Sen. Doug Mastriano their party’s nominee for governor.

Mastriano is an ardent 2020 election denier — “insurrectionist,” is not too strong a word — who attended Trump’s rally that preceded the Jan. 6 riot, organized buses to take Pennsylvanians to it and wanted the state legislature to overturn the popular vote for electors committed to Joe Biden. He spoke at a QAnon event last month, at which conspiracy theorists presented him with a ceremonial weapon they called the “sword of David.” Yes, democracy itself will be on the ballot this fall when Mastriano faces state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee. In a state where the governor appoints the secretary of state who oversees elections. Mastriano said he would “reset” the state’s voters rolls so everyone would “have to re-register.” See

For previous commentary on  Musings of a Maverick Methodist on America’s Holy War  (March 2018), see

On issues of religion and politics with Putin and Trump in 2022, see 

(3/26/22): Musings on Civil Religion, Christian Nationalism, and Cancel Culture

(4/2/22): Musings on the  Battle for Legitimacy in Democracy and Autocracy

(4/9/22): Musings on the Failure to Protect Freedom and Democracy in Ukraine

(4/16/22): Easter Musings of a Maverick Methodist on the Toxic Mix of Religion and Politics

(4/23/22): Musings of a Maverick Methodist on Why Americans Are Losing Their Religion

(4/30/22): Musings of a Maverick Methodist on the Obsolescence of Christianity in Politics

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Musings on Inflation, the Stock Market, and the Economy

             Rudy Barnes, Jr.

The stock market was once the barometer of America’s economy, but now it reflects the economy of the rich, not the rest.  Most of the means of production and the prices of most products are controlled by megacorporations on Wall Street.  The stock market is now a measure of inflation, but the President, Congress and the Federal Reserve ignore that reality.

An early sign of inflation was the stock market’s surge of more than 55% over the past five years, with most of those market gains going to the top 10% who own almost 90% of U.S. stocks.  Stock market investments are normally speculative, but during the pandemic the Fed reduced those risks with subsidies and low interest rates that bolstered the stock market.

The Fed has finally reduced subsidies to megacorporations and raised interest rates to reduce spending and cool inflation; but spending is needed in a strong economy and higher interest rates increase the cost to sustain America’s massive national debt.  Controlling inflation will require a delicate balancing act in monetary and economic policies.

Fed subsidies to megacorporations and Congressional spending during the pandemic were inflationary, as were Interest rates kept below 1% to support the stock market and home sales.  With increasing interest rates, the stock market and home sales are dropping and rents are increasing.  With a 20% drop in the stock market, we’re going from a bull to a bear market.

Unemployment is now less than 4%, with two jobs available for every unemployed person.  Automation is changing employment policies.  Megacorporations are not reinvesting their profits in personnel and expansion as they have done in the past, but instead paying dividends to shareholders and using buy-backs to increase the value of their stock.

Competition is the primary means of preventing big businesses from exploiting consumers, but the many brands available can be deceptive.  Mega-mergers and acquisitions coupled with corporate diversification have reduced competition with more brands produced by fewer megacorporations. 

With less competition and few regulations to protect consumers from the unrestrained greed of America’s megacorporations, they have become bigger and richer, along with their shareholders.  The result has been increasing disparities in wealth and a shrinking middle class; and those demographic changes have destabilized American democracy.

With runaway inflation and increasing disparities of wealth, exacerbated by few restraints on public spending and a massive national debt, American capitalism is facing an existential crisis.  Socialism looms if regulation, taxes and more competition cannot reform capitalism.  But don’t hold your breath.  Megacorporations are mega-patrons of Congress, and with their wealthy shareholders they have so far prevented needed reforms of capitalism.



Forbes has reported that the S&P 500 hit a new 2022 low as “staggering” market losses continue.     “Markets are continuing one of the worst starts to a year in history as mounting losses have dragged the benchmark S&P 500 index to a new low point for 2022.  Investors continue to offload stocks, with increasingly negative investor sentiment weighing on markets.  The S&P 500 has fallen 20% so far this year, while the Dow is down nearly 15% in 2022, and the Nasdaq has dropped 29%.”   See

Catherine Rampell is a Democrat, but she sounded like a Republican when she asserted that an inflation conspiracy theory is infecting the Democratic Party.  Coining the  term “greedflation” to describe President Biden’s and Elizabeth Warren’s criticism of Wall Street’s recent big profits, Rampell describes it as “a pejorative tautology. Yes, prices are going up because companies are raising prices. Okay. This is the economic equivalent of saying ‘It’s raining because water is falling from the sky.’”  Actually it illustrates the need for America to decide whether it supports the Fed’s efforts to reduce inflation by discouraging consumer spending or Wall Street’s efforts to promote consumer spending to make big profits. See

The Washington Post editorial board has affirmed the statistics that show the correlation between inflation and the dramatic increases in the stock market over the last five years. See  

Previous commentary relating to religion, inflation, the stock market and the economy:  

(10/1/16): The Federal Reserve, Wall Street and Congress on Monetary Policy

(2/11/17): The Mega-Merger of Wall Street, Politics and Religion

(2/17/18): Musings of a Maverick on Money, Wall Street, Greed and Politics

(4/27/19): Musings on the Legitimacy of Crony Capitalism and Progressive Capitalism

(5/9/20): Exposing the Corruption of Crony Capitalism

(5/16/20): The Evolution of America’s Libertarian Democracy from Plutocracy to Kleptocracy

(6/20/20): The Fed Just Made Investments in Stock as Safe as Bank CDs

(6/27/20): Musings on a Zombie Economy Fostered by the Federal Reserve

(8/22/20): Musings on America’s Two Economies: One for the Rich and One for the Rest

(2/6/21): Musings on the danger of economic disparities and excessive debt in America

(2/27/21): Musings of a Maverick Methodist on Debt as a Vice or Virtue

(7/31/21): Musings on a Socialist Experiment in a Nation Burdened by Pandemic Debt

(9/25/21): Musings on an American Economic Apocalypse

(10/30/21): Musings on Modern Monetary Theory, and Why National Deficits and Debts Matter

(2/5/22): Musings on the Stock Market, Inflation and Providing for the Common Good

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Musings on Abortion as a Constitutional Right or a Political Issue

By Rudy Barnes, Jr., May 7, 2022

A woman should have the right to an abortion, albeit with restrictions   If the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade (1973), as expected, any right to abortion will depend on Congress or the states providing it--and that’s how it should be.  The Supreme Court doesn’t make laws; its jurisdiction is limited to interpreting laws in the context of the U.S. Constitution.

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is limited by the Constitutional separation of powers.  Article I states that “All legislative Powers herein granted  shall be vested in Congress.  Article III provides that “The judicial power of the U.S. shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” 

The decision of Roe v. Wade was based on the constitutional right of a woman to choose life or death for a fetus she carries.  It’s based on the 4th Amendment rights to privacy that protect “the right of the people to be secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches  and seizures…”; but it says nothing about protecting the rights of a fetus in the womb.  

There’s a precedent for reversing Supreme Court precedents.  In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) the Supreme Court found that “separate but equal” laws did not violate the Constitution; 60 years later in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) the Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” laws were unconstitutional in public schools, effectively overruling the Plessy decision.

Religion is a major factor in the abortion debate, as it was with slavery; but abortion is not mentioned in the Bible or in the Constitution. We can’t expect the Supreme Court to resolve the issue, and we don’t need to fight another civil war over abortion. We need only require that Congress functions as it should to resolve this contentious issue.

Abortion, like euthanasia, involves issues of life and death that are defined by law.   Abortion has its focus on when life begins, while euthanasia (the right to die) has its focus on how and when life ends.  A fetus has no voice in what happens to it, and with euthanasia the right to end one’s life has traditionally been denied based on the sanctity of life.

The 9th Amendment provides that rights provided in the Constitution do not “deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  The 10th Amendment provides that “The powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the  States respectively, or to the people.”  They reflect a federal system of state and federal rights.

On the issue of abortion, the Supreme Court is not the problem.  The problem is that America’s polarized partisan politics have failed to find a compromise on abortion rights.  If the two parties can’t resolve this contentious issue in Congress or in the states, American democracy will fail, and both parties will only have themselves to blame.


Asserting that The Supreme Court might never recover from overturning Roe v. Wade, the Washington Post Editorial Board revealed a misunderstanding of the separation of powers in the Constitution, the  role of theSupreme Court, and the distinction between fundamental Constitutional rights that are beyond the reach of Congress, and rights that can be created or changed by Congress.  

The opinion cites Justice Alito’s “dreadful reasoning and extreme potential consequences…that declare Roe ‘egregiously wrong,’ and  obliterate its guarantees of reproductive choice and empower lawmakers to abridge at will this long-held right.”  The editorial goes on to say that ”The court’s legitimacy rests on the notion that it follows the law, not the personal or ideological preferences of the justices who happen to serve on it at any given time. Americans rely on the court to exercise care and restraint against making sharp turns that might suddenly declare their everyday choices and activities unprotected or illegal.”  

The editorial attributes Alito’s draft decision to blatant partisan politics: “What brought the court to its current precipice was not a fundamental shift in American values regarding abortion. It was the shameless legislative maneuvering of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).”

The editorial suggests that the Supreme Court should be guided by public opinion rather than by the Constitution. “A Post poll found just last week that Americans support upholding Roe by a 2-to-1 margin. For most people, Roe is a workable standard on a fraught issue.  Absent a clear understanding about when life begins, and with the moral implications surrounding that question far from settled, the Constitution’s guarantees of personal autonomy demand that pregnant people be able to make the difficult decision about whether to end their pregnancy according to the dictates of their own conscience.”

The opinion engages in blatant fear-mongering: “It is Justice Alito’s proposed decision that would further divide the country, starting in nearly every statehouse. He would inaugurate a terrifying new era in which Americans would lose faith in the court, distrust its members and suspect that what is the law today will not be tomorrow. They would justifiably fear that rights will be swept away because a heedless conservative fringe now controls the judiciary.”  See