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Our nation’s most dangerous bully has met his match. With her last words Ruth Bader Ginsburg will help bring Donald J Trump and his powerful allies to their knees.

Hopefully enough of us bystanders will pick up her fight and  make sure that “Government Only For Those Who Like Me” is over.

The fight for the soul of the nation is on.

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked us to “Imagine the world  you would want for your daughters and your granddaughters” it was like a hammer  breaking down the door that had been locked to many women. Using a soft voice and an unmatched intellect she forced hard men to rethink their position on the inferiority of all women. We are left with her words and her deeds. We must gather our strength to match hers in the coming days. Her unwavering decency and steely resolve will be missed. She never quit and she never turned mean. She had more important things to do than winning a political battle.  We all have an obligation to remember that her fight isn’t over. We must keep imagining the world that awaits  our children. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I attended Cornell University at the same time. I don’t remember her. She never sought attention. Instead she dedicated herself to making life better for those who were left out. She accomplished  most of what she set out to do. Her life  has become a model not just for women, but for all Americans. She successfully combined the traditional roles of wife and mother with an independent public presence.

There is little more we have to learn about Donald J Trump and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to know what kind of future world they would like to create for our young daughters. Judge Ginsburg has spent her life breaking down barriers. She was required to explain her thinking publicly, and  her writings from the bench will be studied for years. Donald  has spent a lifetime telling us about himself.  From his tweets and interviews we can glean from this cruel and  shallow man that he has been  pretty much preoccupied  with his own financial wealth and short term political future. For 3 1/2 years he has had  the power to make the United States a safer, more secure, and stress free place for the next generation and their  kids. He chose instead to golf, pose as  a president, speak at rallies and concentrate on getting tax cuts for friends with large stock portfolios.

More seriously he continues to not acknowledge the disasters swirling around him, as he is not affected. We are living in the evidence of his inaction.We have been pummeled by his  bad behavior and unabashed dishonesty every day and tend to shrug it off. His incompetence and disdain for our laws and norms have now passed the point of no return. He shouldn’t be allowed to take us off the cliff with him.

This was Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final message to us, a moment that will go down in history as the beginning of the end for Donald J Trump and his loyal band of errant Republicans. 

Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ruth Ginsburg dictated a  statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Imagine facing death and still have purpose.  She knew what was to come. Besides roiling our politics and adding turmoil, anger and division to our lives, Ruth Ginsburg’s death will have profound consequences for the court and the country. Inside the court the leader of the liberal wing will be missing, and with the court about to open a new term the Chief Justice no longer holds the controlling vote in several important and closely contested cases.

When Donald J Trump, the President of the United States heard this gentle icon’s last wish he reached deep into his heart and was sad, for the moment the spotlight was off him.  Trump immediately took the opportunity to call Ginsburg’s granddaughter a liar on live television, claiming the declaration was a hoax by Democrats dreamed up by his political enemies.

 The same day that she died Donald J Trump took to the White House podium to declare that he will now be choosing Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement, despite her last request before she died. He has the right and the power of a bully and never fails to let us know.

He seems to know that he must never stop talking. Because when the fog of his blather lifts it becomes obvious to all of us that his political power has not defeated  the virus, nor reined in global warming, nor fixed the economy and certainly has not united us. Donald J Trump and his loyal band are no longer safe from the recent earnest messages from decent and gritty Americans like Ruth Ginsburg and John Lewis . 

We must decide between two starkly different worlds for our children and grandchildren. 

In this election year 0ne of the biggest storylines should be  the contrast between how a diminutive woman and a huge man see the world differently, and whose world you would choose for your daughter. Both Donald J. Trump and Justice Ginsburg have been in public life for many years. Their public statements and actions accurately portray their personal vision.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg often said “How fortunate I was to be alive and a lawyer.”.

Donald J. Trump said in his book How To Get Rich, “Show me someone with no ego and I’ll show you a big loser.”

Ruth Ginsburg thought about purpose, gender equality  and marriage:

“To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that’s what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.”

“Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”

Some of Donald J Trump’s deepest thoughts include:

“I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. “It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park.”  

“To be blunt, people would vote for me. They just would. Why? Maybe because I’m so good looking.”

“My favorite part [of Pulp Fiction] is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up. ‘Tell that bitch to be cool. Say: Bitch be cool.’ I love those lines.” 

“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” 

 “I take advantage of the laws of the nation. Because I’m running a company.”

 “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,”                               

“Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”

You get the point. Donald Trump has painted a picture of himself with tweets. He talks reflexively about his greatness with a freedom that only a narcissist could muster. We now know a lot about him and you probably wouldn’t want him around your daughter or to plan her future.

 Justice Ginsburg’s death will inevitably set in motion a  horrific political battle over who will succeed her, putting  the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign. He will get his way as politics continue to trump principles in today’s Republican party. With a carefully selected list of candidates compiled by organizations backed by  powerful corporate dark money, the packing of the court with young jurists will begin. Fait accompli.

What is left is a citizenry still adrift in a pandemic and in economic chaos. We must reach out and grab a sturdy branch and hoist ourselves back on dry land. We must reach out to our safe and free elections. Please vote this November as this may be our last chance to create a decent world for our children. We can expect legal barriers to free elections to be erected.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg led the way, clearing a path through these barriers. She has shown us that it isn’t easy but all things are possible.  We will miss this gentle woman, we mustn’t forget her life and its message.

John Osler 

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