Individual Rights in Modern America
From George Grantham Bain collection at the Library of Congress.

This podcast is about working through the strain of disparate political perspectives by two neighbors. 

My co-host Bruce Chester and I had to dig deep this week, fast on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson’s Womens Health Organization rescinding the federal protection of a women’s right to access to abortion. 

Our conversation focused on something the two of us wholly believe in: the emphasis on individual rights of every American as it pertains to their ability to seek the best and most productive life possible in our country. Our agreement really ends there, as how that fundamental belief filters through our thoughts on womens’ rights and abortion takes two very different roads.  

How does someone who espouses a priority on individual rights square that with taking rights away from a third of the population?  Does the embryo deserve rights itself? Who gets to choose?

We explored the greater concern of federal protections vs. states rights.  What is the origin of the states’ rights issue and how has it been used over the history of our country to defend slavery, corporate hegemony and restrictions on civil rights.  What are the consequences of a renewed emphasis on states’ rights (which seems the long game of the court) on what we’ve come to accept in the 20th century in a post New Deal country as federal protections for all?

We touched upon next week’s episode topic in which we’ll examine the effects of the decision coming sometime this week in West Virginia vs. Environmental Protection Agency, which may take the precedent of the Dobbs case and apply it to any federal agencies ability to protect citizens such as the EPA, SEC, FDA, etc.  Has rescinding corporate restrictions on how they operate, sell to citizens, manage our food supply and process their wastes been the long game all along of Republicans and their supporters?

Let’s continue the dialogue as the stakes are too high not to face each other.  Do we want to live in a post New Deal world whose legal landscape mimics that of the U.S. circa 1920?

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