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Reich writes: "The real reason small business owners and struggling whites haven't done better is the same most of the rest of America hasn't done better: Although the output of Americans has continued to rise, almost all the gains have gone to the very top."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)


The Republicans of the Supreme Court

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

02 July 13

 

n order to fully understand what the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court have been up to when they make decisions that affect our democracy, as they did last week on voting rights, you need to understand what the Republican Party has been up to.

The modern GOP is based on an unlikely coalition of wealthy business executives, small business owners, and struggling whites. Its durability depends on the latter two categories believing that the economic stresses they've experienced for decades have a lot to do with the government taking their money and giving it to the poor, who are disproportionately black and Latino.

The real reason small business owners and struggling whites haven't done better is the same most of the rest of America hasn't done better: Although the output of Americans has continued to rise, almost all the gains have gone to the very top.

Government is implicated, but not in the way wealthy Republicans want the other members of their coalition to believe. Laws that the GOP itself championed (too often with the complicity of some Democrats) have trammeled unions, invited outsourcing abroad, slashed taxes on the rich, encouraged takeovers, allowed monopolization, reduced the real median wage, and deregulated Wall Street.

Four decades ago, the typical household's income rose in tandem with output. But since the late 1970s, as these laws took hold, most Americans' incomes have flattened. Had the real median household income continued to keep pace with economic growth it would now be almost $92,000 instead of $50,000.

Obviously, wealthy Republicans would rather other members of their coalition not know any of this - including, especially, their role in making it happen. Their nightmare is small-business owners and struggling whites joining with the poor and the rest of the middle class to wrest economic power away. So they've created a convenient scapegoat in America's minority underclass, along with a government that supposedly taxes hardworking whites to support them.

This is where the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court have played, and continue to play, such an important role.

First, wealthy Republicans have to be able to spend as much money as possible to bribe lawmakers to do their bidding, tell their version of history, and promulgate several big lies (the poor are "takers not makers," government keeps them "dependent," the wealthy are "job-creators" so cutting their taxes creates more jobs, unions are bad, regulations reduce economic growth, and so on).

The five Republicans on the Supreme Court have obliged by eviscerating campaign finance laws. Their 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, along with the broad interpretations given it by several appellate judges (also Republican appointees), has opened the money floodgates.

Second, wealthy Republicans want to quietly reduce the impact of any laws that might limit their profits, even though they may help struggling whites as consumers or employees. The easiest way to execute this delicate maneuver is to make it harder to sue under such laws.

Here, too, the five Republicans on the Court have been eager to oblige by tightening requirements for class actions and limiting standing to sue. In their recent Comcast Corp. v. Behrend decision, for example, they threw out $875 million in damages that a group of Philadelphia-area subscribers had sought from the cable giant, reasoning that the subscriber plaintiffs hadn't proven they constituted a "class" for the purpose of a class action.

Third and finally, wealthy Republicans want to minimize the votes of poor and minority citizens - and further propagate the myth that these people are responsible for the economic problems of struggling whites - through state redistricting and gerrymandering, voter-identification requirements at polling stations, and the use of almost any pretext to purge minority voters from voting lists.

The five Republicans on the Court obliged last week by striking down a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that sets the formula under which states with a long history of discrimination must ask the federal government or a judge for approval before changing their voting procedures.

The significance of Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder was made plain Thursday when the Court effectively nullified two cases involving Texas voter laws by sending them back to lower courts to reconsider in light of Shelby. One was a voter identification requirement, enacted in 2011, that a federal judge had rejected on grounds that it imposed a disproportionate burden on lower-income people, many of whom are minorities. The other was a redistricting plan, also rejected by a federal court, in part because it would block minorities from gaining a majority vote in almost all districts.

But now both are effectively reinstated, as are the efforts of several other states to suppress votes.

Supreme Court justices are appointed for life in order to ensure their independence from politics. But when it comes to the core political strategy of the Republican Party, the five Republican appointees are, in effect, an extension of the GOP.



Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

 

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+75 # tswhiskers 2013-07-02 08:18
At last, the unvarnished truth. The info in this article should be trumpeted from the rooftops of NBC, ABC, CBS and as many other networks (excepting Fox, of course) as possible. If we were living in an era of a truly free press, this is what would happen. Unfortunately, this is the era of the Corporately owned press. Except for a few lonely voices, Bernie Sanders, Bill Moyers and Reich, these truths will probably never be stated as baldly as here and never as often as necessary to make all Americans understand what has happened to them. How these supposedly apolitical justices and these all-too political Reps. can continue to debase the Constitution and prey on the ignorance of a segment of the American public is a phenomenon I still can't entirely get my head around. The Tea Party is esp. ignorant in allowing Reps. to play to their ignorance of American history. Ignorance is indeed the reason for the current state of our politics. It's no wonder that Reps. are anti-education. Until Americans achieve meaningful education reform and are willing to take personal responsibility for keeping themselves well-informed about current politics, we will continue to wither as a democratic state. Gerrymandering and Voter ID laws have set us well on this road already.
 
 
+15 # motamanx 2013-07-02 10:14
Republicans are esp. ignorant in allowing the Tea Party's ignorance to gain the upper hand of the party's political agenda--which consists of nothing other than undoing any democratic initiative.
 
 
+10 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-07-02 12:39
Yes, tswhiskers, dear Prof. Reich is indeed an unvarnished truth teller.

True event: In the fall of '08, while trawlering south down the Intracoastal Waterway with a friend, the daughter of a 'biggie' under Reagan and former U.S. Rep., the email came to her, warning of the about to happen, economic crash, with a two week bank holiday (no biggie bank withdrawls, use of bank credit cards, etc. permitted) about to begin.

'Bank Holiday' did not go forward, but soooooo much else that's part of this evil coup has. Get the word out we must, far and wide, to shake off the blinders of our so dumbed down and naive populace. Absolutely, tswhiskers, lots and lots we've gotta do to.....

UNDO THE COUP!
 
 
-89 # MidwesTom 2013-07-02 09:26
Robert constantly talks as if only Republicans are wealthy, yet a quick look at Wall Street shows that almost all of the very wealthy are Jewish and they contribute more to the Democratic party than to the Republican party, and they vote 75% Democratic. He should really be introduced as a propagandist for the liberal wing of Democratic Party.
 
 
+41 # CAMUS1111 2013-07-02 14:01
Yeah, all those pesky, wealthy Jews (who make up less than 2% of our population). You, sir, are a propagandist for willful ignorance or worse.
 
 
+23 # Cassandra2012 2013-07-02 14:26
Unvarnioshed, ill-informed bigot! Most Jews are NOT wealthy --they are often the underpaid teachers, social workers, librarians, and 'a tivcists' that so frighten the really wealthy WASP corporateers.
 
 
+24 # jgorman 2013-07-02 14:29
Quoting MidwesTom:
Robert constantly talks as if only Republicans are wealthy, yet a quick look at Wall Street shows that almost all of the very wealthy are Jewish and they contribute more to the Democratic party than to the Republican party, and they vote 75% Democratic. He should really be introduced as a propagandist for the liberal wing of Democratic Party.


Excuse me for suggesting that you are part of the problem sir but you and your kind are the problem. As long as misguided, ignorant, self righteous, prejudiced, hateful, and delusional individuals and groups continue to "buy into" the regurgitated BS and vitriol of a small group of poseurs passing themselves off as our "elite." This grand little experiment call representative democracy will ultimately become a fascist, totalitarian state. And please, don't lecture the rest of us how this cannot happen, that we're socialists or communists, or that we are not patriots. No sir, Robert is not 100% right on all counts or even all the time. However, he sure nails it with this opinion piece. Quit drinking the kool-aide, smell the roses, and join most of humanity on the side of progress, justice, and equal opportunity for all humanity. I say to you and the rest of your ilk, tear down this wall.
 
 
+19 # dkonstruction 2013-07-02 14:58
Quoting MidwesTom:
Robert constantly talks as if only Republicans are wealthy, yet a quick look at Wall Street shows that almost all of the very wealthy are Jewish and they contribute more to the Democratic party than to the Republican party, and they vote 75% Democratic. He should really be introduced as a propagandist for the liberal wing of Democratic Party.


To claim that "all of the very wealthy on Wall Steet" are Jews is absurd and anti-Semitic on the face of it. Depending on how one defines "Jew" the Jewish population in the US is approximately somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5 million people out of a total US population of a bit over 316,000,000. We are a tiny fraction of the overall US population so the idea that we represent "almost all of the very wealthy" on Wall Street is simply wrong. That's not to say that there aren't some very wealthy and high powered Jews on Wall Street and in the financial sector more broadly. Given that Jews were prohibited from owning land for a long, long time in most if not all of Europe (the main source of wealth at the time) is it any wonder that Jews went into other professions not based on owning land (like finance and commerce) or based on having a country. I am ashamed of the actions of Jews in such positions but to hold onto the anti-Semitic nonsense that "we" control the US or global finance is no better than those still touting the validity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
 
 
+1 # ligonlaw 2013-07-09 17:16
Quoting MidwesTom:
Robert constantly talks as if only Republicans are wealthy, yet a quick look at Wall Street shows that almost all of the very wealthy are Jewish and they contribute more to the Democratic party than to the Republican party, and they vote 75% Democratic. He should really be introduced as a propagandist for the liberal wing of Democratic Party.

Those darn Jews. Always conspiring and getting rich. Then they don't even have the decency to behave like rich folks.
 
 
-79 # edge 2013-07-02 09:27
Shameful race baiting there Bobby!

The biggest tactic of the left, divide everyone up into small groups and get them to distrust each other!
 
 
+33 # RedLeaf 2013-07-02 10:27
Typical...accus e the other side of employing your tactics, and then claim they are the bad guys. It is really not hard to figure out who the racists are in America today. Pair of eyes, pair of ears and a little discerning thought get you to the obvious conclusion. If the Republicans are so inclusive, demonstrate that with proof of your massive roles of registered Republican non-caucasian voters. I will wait...
 
 
+23 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2013-07-02 11:27
You have obviously been in a coma the last 40 years. How can a person not only be so wrong — but hold beliefs that are so polar opposite of the truth?
 
 
+20 # Cailleach 2013-07-02 09:29
My sense (and fervent wish) is that in the not too distant future, poorer citizens, who are the huge majority, will wake up and use their guns to revolt against the uber-rich. We need another American revolution! Anyone who is even partially conscious knows the the rich are the takers
and the poor, who give the rich their labor for practically nothing, are the makers. Anyone who is even semi-conscious and looks around at our present society can see this.
 
 
+23 # Buddha 2013-07-02 09:31
"First, wealthy Republicans have to be able to spend as much money as possible to bribe lawmakers to do their bidding, tell their version of history, and promulgate several big lies (the poor are "takers not makers," government keeps them "dependent," the wealthy are "job-creators" so cutting their taxes creates more jobs, unions are bad, regulations reduce economic growth, and so on)."

The thing is, if your average American is going to be such an ignorant sheep, then they can't be surprised when they are sheared and turned into cutlets. Yes, this narrative is repeated over and over on the Right, but we ARE living in the information age, and people have a responsibility to investigate the truth for themselves and to not swallow the first Kool-Aid that they are offered. If they don't get informed, and just go with the intellectually lazy route of blaming immigrants and continue to push policies that slit their own economic throats, well, that is on them, not the Kool-Aid seller. Americans get the government they deserve.
 
 
+9 # EternalTruth 2013-07-02 11:54
"The thing is, if your average American is going to be such an ignorant sheep, then they can't be surprised when they are sheared and turned into cutlets."

Yes...
BUT...
You can't expect people who know nothing but being sheep to suddenly start acting like people. When they've been raised on the cool aid, and the big lie (American exceptionalism, freedom, jingoism, etc.) is their gospel, they can't see the truth even if smacks them on the forehead. Blaming them for the government we have is akin to blaming DV victims for not leaving the abuser. Do they too get what they deserve because they "choose" to stay?
 
 
-75 # jtatu 2013-07-02 09:36
Reich is bemoaning the political consequences of a sound legal decision in the VRA case. He is no legal scholar as is evident from his utter failure to address the constitutional basis for the decision. It is time for people of Reich's ilk to grow up and face the fact that there is no valid reason to presume the Southern States today are more racially prejudiced than the other states to which the Act did not apply.
 
 
+37 # soularddave 2013-07-02 09:56
Yes, the voting rights act of 1965 should be applied to MANY more states than was the original intention. For poor and minority voters things have gotten much worse in many "Northern" and "Western" states.
 
 
+17 # BradFromSalem 2013-07-02 10:03
jtatu,

I get the Constututional basis for invalidating Section 4. Recent election laws passed in many areas not covered by Section 4 show clearly that there is little justification in continuing the limited scope of section 4. However, that does not invalidate the need for section 4, so the only way to enforce the VRA was for the court to rule that since Congress failed to update section 4 in 2006, then section 4 must be enforced everywhere.
I agree that we cannot presume that areas of the country riddled by Racist voting restrictions in the past will continue to do so in the present. I would argue that restriction of stricter enforcement in certain areas is (as is demonstrable) an invitation to discriminate in areas not covered. The VRA decision does not address that issue, except to acknowledge it!
The decision was and is Racist based on the fact that Supreme Court overturned the Constitutional will of Congress in order to allow Racist voting laws to be enacted.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2013-07-03 09:11
Quoting BradFromSalem:
jtatu,

I get the Constututional basis for invalidating Section 4. Recent election laws passed in many areas not covered by Section 4 show clearly that there is little justification in continuing the limited scope of section 4. However, that does not invalidate the need for section 4, so the only way to enforce the VRA was for the court to rule that since Congress failed to update section 4 in 2006, then section 4 must be enforced everywhere.
I agree that we cannot presume that areas of the country riddled by Racist voting restrictions in the past will continue to do so in the present. I would argue that restriction of stricter enforcement in certain areas is (as is demonstrable) an invitation to discriminate in areas not covered. The VRA decision does not address that issue, except to acknowledge it!
The decision was and is Racist based on the fact that Supreme Court overturned the Constitutional will of Congress in order to allow Racist voting laws to be enacted.

Excellent, rationally-word ed, clear analysis and logically-state d conclusion for those broad-brush ignoramuses who turn facts around to blur the true picture for Gawd knows what ends -but then that's the reactionary mindset for you, innit.
 
 
+20 # tedcloak 2013-07-02 10:32
"...there is no valid reason to presume the Southern States today are more racially prejudiced than the other states to which the Act did not apply."

Excellent argument, implying that a new Section 4 should simply require _every_ electoral jurisdiction to submit proposed changes to the US AG!
 
 
+3 # AMLLLLL 2013-07-03 16:03
One of the SCOTUS' choices was to make the VRA in total apply in all states. But of course their aim is to disenfranchise. ..
 
 
+4 # AMLLLLL 2013-07-03 16:16
Robert, One of my main gripes is that the term "small business" is used to infer mom n' pop or small businesses. It is used by Obama and every GOP sob I can think of when the real problem is that the term refers also to folks like Koch Industries, Bechtel, Chicago Tribune, and thousands of other private businesses which are in the top 3%. We are led to believe that 'small businesses' need a leg up, or tax breaks because they are the 'job creators'. The REAL job creators are the true small businesses making under $250k/yr. (97%) They don't outsource and represent the majority of new hires, and DO need the support in these times. You have the megaphone, sir. Maybe an article on this would take the window-dressing off this misused term. Clarify.
 
 
+29 # motamanx 2013-07-02 10:44
Nonsense. The VRA was there because it worked. Why the Supreme Right wing Court gutted it is as problematical as the asinine Citizens United decision.
 
 
+3 # Cassandra2012 2013-07-02 14:28
Yeah, keep passing the Kool-aid, dear!
 
 
+8 # jwb110 2013-07-02 09:45
It's hard to not become despondent when the full realization of this Conservative cabal has accomplished.
That said, I refuse to become mired in the idea that things cannot and will not change. This nation when aligned by a single crisis is formidable. No matter what the polls say the erosion of the citizenry's Constitutional guarantees to privacy is just such a moment. Too much gov't in too many households can rally what the GOP/TP would consider strange bedfellows. That is the right, left and center finally seeing what their blindness has wrought.
 
 
+9 # Cassandra2012 2013-07-02 14:30
Not 'consercvative' cabal, but right wing radical extremist cabal!
 
 
+8 # angry 2013-07-02 09:49
The republicans are sending more cash to politicians and ONLY when we convert to public funding of campaigns will we stop it. But the politicians (BOTH parties) like the system as it is... broken ... thus fixing it will require voter action in 2014.
 
 
+7 # fredboy 2013-07-02 10:03
Can no longer see a difference between the Obama and Bush teams. Seems all Wall Street and Big Biz now, and forget everyone else. A lifetime Democrat, I'm dropping party affiliation and going solo now--seems more patriotic.
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2013-07-02 10:03
"The modern GOP"---!!! (Quote).
Well THERE'S an oxyMORONIC contradiction of terms (is that a tautology, for the grammar Nazis?).
Anyhoo, if anything DOESN'T describe the current GOP, it's "modern".
In my simplistic (small business) socialist's mind, "modern" tends to connote progress or progressive but the combination of judiciary finks to the lords, king-makers and dictators (Monarchical contexts deliberate) are after nothing less than everything, with no right of protest, redress nor in fact any rights at all, reduced to a muck-shifting, slave-status drones with carefully-culti vated forelocks to touch every time a new dictate is announced from the throne-room by the patsy-censored, content-free, "Idiotocracy" media.
In this pre-medievalist age in the US (how well I remember the vanished, vanquished feeling of "all things are possible" and "can-do" in the 1970's when I first came here), my 'umble but well-intentione d and formerly fairly profitable small-business and many others in my area, seems to be almost irrelevant and universal health care, good, well-funded public education and "Modern" infrastructure to be fading, increasingly-ut opian dreams, as the new "Modern" monarchy don't have to be concerned with them and see them as threats.
Face it: no truly progressive candidate has a popsicle-in-Hel l's chance of even running for president, so far right has the national milieu been slid, greased by the "Panem et Circences" owner-media and it's chartered conformists.
 
 
+4 # mdhome 2013-07-02 14:43
When you return, will you take me with you? I am sick of the way this country has drifted (?) to the right.
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2013-07-02 18:48
Quoting mdhome:
When you return, will you take me with you? I am sick of the way this country has drifted (?) to the right.

If you are addressing me, all things are possible.
I've a couple of community oriented goals to fulfill first but it's gonna happen eventually (Probably France. Spain or Scotland).
 
 
-22 # MidwesTom 2013-07-02 10:57
Reich like to compare the US in the 1960's and 70's to today. The big thing that he is missing is that the world changed. Televisions used to be all made here, but along came Sony and LG and built sets for a lot less outside of here. The big three used to pay the equivalent of $70/hr in wages and benefits, until Americans started buying Toyota, and Datsuns for far less money. Only stupid people think that America can again pay $50/hour for unskilled labor. As soon as the 11 million illegals become legal, wages will fall even more, as more people apply for the each available job.

The Affordable Care Act will decrease the reported number of unemployed, but force many more people to work two jobs, or go on welfare, to exist, How so, you ask? Many large low wage employers are already employing people only 30 hours per week to avoid the insurance cost, but this will increase their number of employees to keep the stores and businesses open more than 30 hours per week.
 
 
+20 # Global Canadian 2013-07-02 11:54
keep the stores open for whom? the multitudes of people barely making enough to raise families? Once again, the illogical mindset appears - if people have no disposable income, if unemployment is rampant, downsizing the only way to save costs, WHO THE HECK WILL CONSUME ANYTHING EXTRA, ANYWHERE? Gotta have incomes for expenditures. Gotta have taxes for civilization. Gotta have a liveable minimum wage. Gotta have controls on the greedy wealthy or they will take it all. This is why we need to read history.....and understand what it is that has caused the trouble before. The powers that be think that if they keep repeating the same things, maybe we will all believe it.....I just look around and know that the American dream was never based on real economics....on ly on theories proved over and over again to be wrong. People don't go shopping because they are confident in the stock market. They go shopping because they have money to spend - a vanishing reality for most Americans. But believe whatever you will - time will tell if the myths of trickle-down and tax-free wealth creating jobs will continue to fool people ten years into the fall. Watching, and waiting.
 
 
+7 # mdhome 2013-07-02 14:50
WHO THE HECK WILL CONSUME ANYTHING EXTRA, ANYWHERE? Gotta have incomes for expenditures. Gotta have taxes for civilization. Gotta have a liveable minimum wage. Gotta have controls on the greedy wealthy or they will take it all. People don't go shopping because they are confident in the stock market. They go shopping because they have money to spend - a vanishing reality for most Americans. But believe whatever you will - time will tell if the myths of trickle-down and tax-free wealth creating jobs will continue to fool people ten years into the fall. Watching, and waiting.

THEY ALREADY have taken nearly all. I wonder how much more the down-trodden will take.
 
 
+3 # AMLLLLL 2013-07-03 16:30
Agree Canadian,and btw, Happy belated Canada Day.

Put simply, if you have a lemonade stand and 100+ customers/day, you don't worry about taxes because they're covered by profits, and you hire help, and maybe open up another stand. Now, let's say customers dwindle to 10/day. You can no longer be a job creator and you're nervous....beca use there is NO ~wait for it~ DEMAND, which is what any business needs to run, and what any economy needs to run. Lowering tax rates is not going to help you here. The 99% of us are that demand, and until we can afford to line up, this country will not come back all the way.
 
 
+6 # propsguy 2013-07-02 19:26
you gotta wonder why they even bothered with DOMA when destroying all hope in america's future would seem more important to them
 
 
+3 # AMLLLLL 2013-07-03 16:33
Sadly, I believe the overturning of Doma is window dressing to obscure the fact that jobs are not forthcoming and although it needed doing, it doesn't cost anything.
 
 
0 # CHECKMATE 2013-07-03 23:11
there is no valid reason to presume the Southern States today are more racially prejudiced than the other states to which the Act did not apply.

The Proof is right out there for everyone to see. Open your eyes
 
 
0 # Innocent Victim 2013-07-05 23:04
A shame that Robert Reich cannot shed his partisanship at this point in his public life. The Democrats are equally responsible for our economic inequality, arguably more so. It was Jimmy Carter, who started to dismantle the federal government's role as a regulator by deregulating the airline industry. It was W.J. Clinton whose administration repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and passed the Financial Modernization Act. It was Barack Obama who took up the baton from "Hank" Paulson and George Bush by unconditionally rescuing the banksters and failing to prosecute them and the executives of S&P, Moodys and Fitch.
The key problem in our elections is not racial discrimination, bad as that is. It is the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans, competing with each other to be the higher earning prostitute. Voting is meaningless for white and for minorities. Why can't Robert Reich deal with that reality?
 
 
0 # Johnny 2013-07-06 00:25
Right certainly is correct about the Republicans. Locanda she give the Democrats a free ride? Both wings of the capitalist party are devoted exclusively to brainwashing that you need masses to accept the transfer of wealth from those of us who work for it to a tiny elite. Both parties perpetuate war against all the world and the destruction of the U.S. Constitution to establish a police state in America solely for the Purpose of preventing any possibility of a democratic reform of the current plutocratic system of government. It was not the Republican study tortured and now are having a kangaroo trial against Bradley Manning, or who instituted the surveillance state and claim the right to imprison and murder US citizens without trial. The Obomber fascist dictatorship makes the Bush cabal look like a bunch of bleeding heart liberals.
 
 
0 # ligonlaw 2013-07-09 17:11
In addition to business executives, small business owners and alienated whites, there is a large faction which should not be ignored - the religious right. Unlike the first three factions that seek reductions in government regulation and higher and higher incomes, the religious right does not want money. The religious right wants to see Roe V. Wade overruled; they want Christian prayers to be mandatory in public schools and public gatherings; and they want a series of sexual rules to guide all American behaviors - abstinence from premarital or extra-marital sex, a prohibition on same sex relations, prohibition of birth control of any kind, marriage between only men and women. The religious right would be happy to live in poverty if these fundamentalist Christian principles could be made the law of the land.
 

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