Opinion | Susan Knopf: Your vote secures your freedom

As the Fourth of July fades into the rearview mirror, let’s remember what we’re celebrating: freedom. People came here for religious freedom. We shook off the shackles of English colonialism to have freedom to make our own laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court in a series of landmark decisions has made it clear: freedom is dead. The Court and Republican Party are replacing freedom with authoritarian, radical, right-wing rule.

The Court has set us back 150 years, according to President Joe Biden and many others.

We can take back rights the court is destroying by electing local, state and federal representatives who will codify our rights to privacy, safety and liberty. Vote Democrat!

Our Catholic president personally opposes abortion, but protects personal rights of privacy and autonomy. He said the court never before took away individual rights, which the court previously recognized.

We feel the effect of this political swing here in Summit County. We have no abortion services here because the medical marketplace is dominated by Centura, a Catholic hospital.

Biden called the court decision reversing Roe v. Wade, “cruel.” The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world.  A University of Colorado Boulder study says a national abortion ban will drive up maternal mortality 24%. Apparently abortions are safer than giving birth!

Internationally acclaimed commentator Fareed Zakaria said the court isn’t just conservative, it’s “radical.”

Conservative Democratic Senator Joe Joe Manchin acknowledged recently appointed Supreme Court justices misrepresented their commitment to Roe v. Wade in their confirmation hearings. The Lincoln Project, a conservative pro-democracy group, says the justices lied and committed perjury, by common sense definition.

This radical-right court is stripping our right of privacy and making us less safe. One recent opinion forces Maine to fund religious schools! A football coach can coerce players to pray with him at football games. What if the coach prays to Shango, Buddha, or worships the Devil?

The court overthrew a 108 year-old New York state law allowing concealed carry by special permit only. Personal gun rights were only established in 2008, as I discussed in my June 3 column.

The Supreme Court lurched to the right, against history, precedent and freedom.

This turn of events confronts us with the obvious truth: elections are not personality contests. Elections are our touchpoint with government, our instrument of control.

In our last local primary election, incumbents were challenged and lost. Experienced, qualified candidates were elected by locals who did their homework. We need to elect people who uphold our values and pursue our best interests.

A lot of people “didn’t like” Hillary Clinton. If Clinton had been elected, abortion would still be a constitutional right. New York state would still have a century old gun law that keeps people safe from concealed weapons. Maine would not have to fund religious schools, and a football coach wouldn’t be able to foist his religion on his students.

Three moderate justices would have been appointed. The radical right who represent just 6% of the electorate would not be dominating the majority, who disagree with their positions.

Elections matter. Your vote matters. Make sure when November comes, you know what the real issues are and you vote for somebody that votes the way you would vote if you had that opportunity.

Remember no president really controls the price of gas, or the economy. Obama did a great job digging us out of recession that befuddled George W. Bush. Bill Clinton worked to create one of the most robust economies of the modern era.

We can tackle complex issues. Biden didn’t invade Ukraine. Putin did. Biden shouldn’t be blamed for the Putin gas “tax.” Biden didn’t reduce drilling; petroleum executives responded to a pandemic-driven reduction in demand. This is a market-driven economy.

One thing is certain: Republicans, even here in Colorado, support more guns, they want to make abortion illegal nationally, contraception harder to get, and gay marriage illegal. If you want to keep our Fourth of July parade safe from gun violence, and you think people ought to be able to love who they want, and have control over their bodies, then vote Democrat. Vote Democrat to defend freedom. We celebrated the Fourth of July to commemorate our fight for freedom. The fight is not over.

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