University Professor David Driesen’s important new book—”The Specter of Dictatorship: Judicial Enabling of Presidential Power” (Stanford, 2021)—reveals how the U.S. Supreme Court’s presidentialism threatens democracy and what the United States can do about it. To celebrate the publication of the…
‘One That Is Down Fears No Fall’
Danielle Smith, professor of African American studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, wrote an op-ed for The Hill: “One that is down fears no fall.”
Smith, who studies issues of social justice and civil rights, writes that many Americans fear falling in society, as the bottom of the ladder often instills feelings of a “last place aversion.”
Smith argues that such fears of falling have led many “white conservative working class Americans” to try to maintain their position in society by blocking the rise of minorities and those who have less. She explains how these notions have been adopted by President Trump and his supporters, as Trump created a paradox of blind allegiance to the “last place aversion.” However, Smith argues that Trump’s presidency has effectively pushed his supporters “closer to last place, despite their embrace of populism.”
According to Smith, those who are at the bottom of the ladder are often minorities, the poor and the criminalized. She explains that these groups have greater levels of harm inflicted upon them by society, simply because they were allotted very little by what Warren Buffet calls the “ovarian lottery.”
Ultimately, Smith says those who have been excluded from society will challenge societal norms.