Donald Trump, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett
President Donald J. Trump and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas listen as Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivers remarks during her swearing-in ceremony on October 26, 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo credit: Trump White House Archived / Flickr

What’s gone on with the Supreme Court may sound technical, but that’s the sound of your country going down the drain.

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Reading one insightful article after another parsing the Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity, I am struck by the precision and grasp of case details the authors exhibit. 

But I want more. Much more. 

I know that will be coming — on editorial pages and such. But I worry it won’t be enough. 

The real import of what has taken place will not be fully and frankly revealed to the public, and — as bad — no one will be able to come up with a realistic remedy.  

We now see clearly what happens when a segment of the fairest, most decent people becomes apathetic and resigned: A stunningly bad guy took power, then appointed people who gave him even more power. And though he lost the last election, he will likely return to power, stronger and more vicious than ever. 

In case you didn’t know, that’s Trump and Company I’m talking about. But decades ago, when this all began, courts actually stopped the Nixon administration from taking over the entire federal government and wielding it in a reckless and self-serving way. Today, that authoritarian dream is fast becoming the reality — and the courts themselves have been co-opted for these sinister ends.   

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At WhoWhatWhy, we’ve long highlighted the wholesale ruination of the Supreme Court — essentially the channeling of vast amounts of money and a thousand subterfuges over many years to commandeer justice and take it out of the hands of the people. (Go here, here, here, and here.)

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Through massively subsidized court cases like Citizens United, this master plan also consolidated power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands. It took the restrictions off political funding and ensured that vast oligarchical sums could be deployed to hire a small army of of fanatical and/or cynical people to devise legal strategies, weaponize social media, write deceptive emails and ads, and qualify and quantify the public psyche to take advantage of built-in weaknesses in the US body politic. Weaknesses that include the lack of cultural homogeneity in the US, which is, simultaneously, its fundamental weakness and its most powerful asset.

So clever are the minds that dark agenda money can buy, they figured out a way to convince people who actually are doing just fine that they are, instead, victims and perpetually under attack. And they mobilized them — while the rest of the country remains oblivious to the unfolding catastrophe.  

A lot of people simply do not understand the gravity of the situation, or do not much care. 

Quite possibly, the whole subject has been so normalized, or seems too arcane, too complex, too hard to grasp. In a world of endless on-demand content choices, it’s pretty clear what folks will find most palatable. 

And what of Donald Trump himself? 

Simply put, a congenital criminal and convicted felon whose moral compass only points to True Trump was able to select his own judges, and will never face True Justice. 

People with profoundly dangerous views have been steadily moving into positions of power and paving the way for an America of vigilante vengeance, brutality, unenlightened selfishness, and breathtaking ignorance. 

That’s what is going on. And it will get much worse rapidly, unless it is halted. 

The only way to stop this march of tyranny is for every American to understand what’s happening — and to decide to do something about it. The beguiled, snookered, and easily-stoked legions led by their manipulators are already on the march, pitchforks and now-legally concealed handguns and bump stocked rifles ready. It’s past time to step up. 

If everyone in this country were to vote, we might at least begin to turn this thing around. Those bought and paid for judges, and the wily ringmasters — like the Federalist Society wonks — who engineered their ascension, will be with us for a long time. Let’s not also give them a puppet Congress and president in lockstep. 


  • Russ Baker

    Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in exploring power dynamics behind major events.

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