Ginsburg’s got guts


Just finished reading a wrap-up of news in a magazine that offers a passel of newsworthy stories in tightly written packages from many corners.

You get to hear folks ranging from CBS anchors to Slate pundits nattering about events following a brief cooling period.

So the news isn’t as quick as instant coffee: it takes time to mellow.

A surprise package came in the form of analysts mocking (and in tiny doses, praising) Ruth Bader Ginsburg for remarks she made about Donald Trump.

The story begins when Ginsburg was interviewed by an Associated Press reporter on Thursday, 7 July.

Reporter Mark Sherman said the interview was “wide-ranging,” and that the justice “presumes Democrat Hillary Clinton will be the next president.”

When Sherman mentioned Trump, Ginsburg replied, “I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.”

The headline reads:

AP interview: Ginsburg doesn’t want to envision a Trump win.

Reporters jumped on the AP story. But it didn’t stop there.

Ginsburg gave interviews over the next few days, according to Matt Ford of The Atlantic.

Ford notes the justice told reporters, “I can’t imagine what this place would be—I can’t imagine what the country would be—with Donald Trump as our president.”

CNN journalist Joan Biskupic added tinder to the flame by reporting on an earlier exchange she gathered for a piece on the Supreme Court.

He is a faker,” Ginsburg told Biskupic. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego…How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

Ginsburg was skewered in the press, and a New York Times editorial on 13 July said she should “drop the political punditry” even though no laws prevent justices from “commenting on a presidential campaign.”

The next day The Times ran a story that Ginsberg admitted she should “avoid commenting on a candidate for public office.”

“In the future I will be more circumspect.”

But here’s the thing: sometimes you need to stick out your neck rather than bury it in the sand when you witness grave misjudgments of actions and character that harm others.

Trump is no longer a mere caricature making news for his childish outbursts on Twitter and for his outright lies on Fox News.

He’s no longer a joke.

He’s a real candidate seeking the office of the president, and that’s frightening.

Frightening because he is psychotic, which is defined as a “loss of contact with reality” and “delusional beliefs, particularly with regard to the relation between self and others as in grandiosity.”

An avalanche of evidence has been offered by fact-checkers, journalists, attorneys, family members, former and current colleagues, and business-people who have been cheated, mistreated and harmed by the Trump Empire.

Cold, hard, solid evidence: not just he-said-she-said there-are-two-sides-to-the-story narratives.

There exist real, bona-fide truths where Trump patently discriminated against African American renters; failed to pay employees; mistreated women; and lied and lied and lied.

He has been involved in some 3,500 lawsuits and is being sued “for defrauding students at his now defunct Trump University,” according to The Guardian.

Justice Ginsburg is spot-on about Trump’s lack of consistency.

“Years ago he was proud to be a godless pro-abortion Democrat who even donated to Clinton, while now, as a Republican candidate, he claims to be a baby Christian who opposes abortions,” said The Guardian.

When the evidence is overwhelming that a political candidate (or anyone with the power to affect you and you loved ones’ lives) acts irresponsibly and irrationally, has shown a pattern of ethical and moral misconduct, responds interpersonally with hatred and contempt, and has done nothing to earn your trust, then you must speak out.

Rather than condemn Ginsburg for offering her viewpoint on Trump we should praise her.

We should praise her because she has called out Trump: someone who unfailingly demonstrates his disdain of humankind and boasts a hollow character.

And Ginsburg?

She’s got guts.



About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, communication, journalism, native press, Native Science, press, ruthbaderginsburg and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ginsburg’s got guts

  1. Maria DePriest says:

    Brava, Cynthia! Yes. She does have guts.


  2. She also has memory. The resemblances between Trump and Fascist dictators in pre WWII Europe are more than disturbing. She had to speak out. Thank you for acknowledging her courage.


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