Most people in the U.S. value their freedom and liberty. Until it doesn’t align with their thoughts, of course. But how to control the opposition?
Texas found the answer with its abortion ban, which allows random people to sue anyone they think might be involved in offering abortions. This vigilante legislation gets around the pesky U.S. constitution because courts aren’t keen on striking down the law when it’s not state officials who would enforce it. The Texas Supreme Court’s decision Friday allowing the law to stand is the latest example of this obstacle in action.
Great idea, the other states said. Vigilante legislation has now popped up in over three dozen states, from vigilantes turned on teachers in Florida who teach about race or say “gay” to those targeting gun manufacturers in California. Texas wanted in on the party, too, copying itself recently when it banned gender-affirming care for minors. The new directive courtesy Governor Abbott and AG Paxton (which says this care has always been illegal in the state because it’s “child abuse”) tells teachers, nurses, etc. to turn informant if they see anyone under 18 getting gender-related care. A judge temporarily halted the nine open investigations into this “abuse” pending further legislation, so we’ll see how far this nightmare goes.
Authoritarianism is rising around the world, both explicitly and in the shadows. And what is authoritarianism without citizens who will spy for the government? It seems like these truths are extremely self-evident.