Actor and LGBTQ activist George Takei wants to warn you about what’s happening in the US at the moment. A Twitter thread he wrote about it has gone viral.
Although perhaps prompted by the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft ruling to negate Roe v. Wade, Takei, 85, touches upon a range of points that make him fearsome for the future.
“Listen up, friends. I’ve lived a long time in this country. I’ve experienced a lot. And I know, and have a deep sense, when things are beginning to spiral,” he began.
“We are at that point. We’ve been approaching it for some time, but the warning signs were in smaller, discrete pieces.”
Listen up, friends. I’ve lived a long time in this country. I’ve experienced a lot. And I know, and have a deep sense, when things are beginning to spiral.
We are at that point. We’ve been approaching it for some time, but the warning signs were in smaller, discrete pieces. /1
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 3, 2022
“The problems are systemic,” he continued. “Gerrymandered maps keep extremists in statehouses and Congress. A rigged Senate with an archaic filibuster rule blocks needed reform. Seats on the Supreme Court are stolen through cynical ploys. Money pours in to those who enable the corruption.
“Then the attacks begin. Voting rights are denied to minorities in red states in the name of ‘election security,’ with the Big Lie powering the bills. LGBTQ+ kids and families are targeted as scapegoats. And now even a woman’s right to choose is on the chopping block.
“We cannot remain complacent. Sure, the economy remains uncertain due to global inflation, a lingering covid pandemic, and a war by Russia in Ukraine. But that does not mean we take our eyes off the ball. The GOP is exploiting and exacerbating all this for political gain.
“If we do not vote in November, if we do not HOLD THE LINE NOW, then the spiral of chaos will continue. The Republicans are under the spell of misinformation. They believe an entirely different reality, just as the Russian people do over Ukraine. They can be led to do anything.
“And so we must resist, we must defend our democracy and the Republic from those who would take us to a dark place of autocracy, demagoguery, and repression. The stakes are too high, the cost too great. We must mobilize, and we must defeat this scourge. NOW. #Register #Vote.”
Takei was born in California in 1937. He and his Japanese-American parents were sent to live in an internment camp in during World War II. He lost some relatives in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. He grew up gay at a time when to be publicly out was not possible for the vast majority of LGBTQ people.
His initial tweet has had over 86,000 likes at the time of writing and prompted thousands of comments. Many shared Takei’s fear over what is going on at the moment.
I was raised in a country where military coups and autocrats/dictators were common. Let me tell you that the first clue that tells you something very bad is about to happen is when the Judicial system crumbles. That’s the beggining of the end.
— Monica (@MariaMonicaR) May 3, 2022
Yesterday’s unprecedented, unauthorized leak of the SCOTUS ruling, first reported by Politico, has sent shockwaves across the political divide. Pro-choice campaigners are planning protests across the nation.
The official SCOTUS ruling is not due until at least June, but the court has confirmed the leaked draft document is authentic.
Speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews, President Joe Biden said, ”It concerns me a great deal that, after 50 years, we’re going to decide that a woman doesn’t have the right to choose. But even more equally profound is the rationale used — and it would mean that every other decision relating to the notion of privacy is thrown into question.”
He added it could set a precedent over, “who you marry, whether or not you decide to conceive a child or not, whether or not you can have a abortion, a range of other decisions.”
In an official statement, he said his administration would seek to codify abortion laws. However, given the way the Senate is split politically, that looks challenging.
My statement on the reported Supreme Court decision draft. pic.twitter.com/Kt3bP0kzqU
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 3, 2022
Other Democrats were blunter. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “If the report is accurate, the supreme court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years – not just on women but on all Americans.
“The Republican-appointed justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren called the decision “extremist”, adding, “It’s time for the millions who support the constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard. We’re not going back – not ever.”
Hours after Takei’s warning, confirmation of the far-right’s hold over the Republican party arrived from Ohio. Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance, after being endorsed recently by former President Donald Trump, achieved victory in the GOP Senate Primary.
Vance, a newcomer to politics, began the race as an outsider and trailed in early Republican opinion polls. However, a late endorsement by Trump (whom Vance strongly criticized in 2016 before doing a U-turn and becoming a MAGA devotee), saw him secure a winning boost at the polls. Vance will go up against Rep. Tim Ryan (D) in the November general election to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R).