Preserve democracy

Today, our democracy inhabits a danger zone. If our present indicates our future, we are witnessing the demise of the First Amendment: the freedom of religion, speech, and the press; the rights of assembly and petition.

When the Bill of Rights was penned, these rights were granted exclusively to white male landowners. However, decades of struggle against inequity have validated singer Sam Cooke’s prophetic lyrics: “Change is gonna come.” For it did. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 dismantled the egregious laws of the Jim Crow South. Women’s lives were transformed through advances in contraception and availability of safe, legal reproductive health care. Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare cast safety nets for millions of Americans. The 20th century brought light to America.