Page 8 Washita Valley Weekly “My Community Magazine” May 18, 2022 God Bless America SAVE 7 DAYS AWEEK Mon - Sat 10 - 7 Sun 1 - 6 3420 S 4th CHICKASHA 405-825-3510 25% OFF NEVER PAY RETAIL AGAIN! 15% OFF Flexsteel Furniture THE DECLINE OF INSTITUTIONS! Last week, Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Justice Clarence Thomas was interviewed at a conservative conference in Dallas. Thomas said the recent leak of a draft opinion regarding abortion may have irreparably damaged trust at the SCOTUS. “What happened at the court was tremendously bad. I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them. I wonder when they’re gone or destabilized, what we’re going to have as a country,” Thomas said. Thomas de- scribed the court as place, ‘where now you look over your shoulder.’ Thomas, 73, was appointed to the SCOTUS by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991. He was just the second African-American to be nominated to the SCOTUS (Thurgood Marshall was the first). Le- gal experts describe Thomas’ jurisprudence as an originalist. He stresses the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution and statutes. Thomas is widely held to be the most conservative member of the SCOTUS. Three observations: First, respect for established institutions is in decline. In a Gallup poll from 2021, only 37% of Ameri- cans have a great deal of confidence in church and religion. That’s half of what it was thirty years ago. Only 12% of Americans have a high opinion of Congress, compared to 30% twenty years ago. Only 35% of Americans have a high opinion of the SCOTUS, compared with 55% twenty years ago. Gallup polled Americans on many other institutions and that information is available on-line, but virtually every tradi- tional institution (health care, organized labor, criminal justice, media) was viewed as unfavorable and down significantly vs. two decades ago. The younger generation doesn’t view traditional institutions with the same affection as their parents. Second, the institution of the family has changed in America. From 1970-2012, the share of households consisting of married couples with kids was cut in half. In 1960, only 9% of households were single par- ent. In 2020, nearly 19 million children, amounting to 25% of all children under 18 in the U.S. were living in single parent homes. In Canada that number is 15%, China, 3%, Russia 18%. The U.S. has the highest percentage of children in single parent homes. While Gallup doesn’t include the institution of the family in their survey, clearly the respect for that institution has declined. Third, respect, confidence and appreciation for institutions must be restored for America to survive. Believing an institution has no merit, function or purpose will doom it. When those believers are in the in- stitution, it’s worse. Thomas implied during his remarks the leak likely came from a law clerk from one of the newer members of the court. He said that would never have happened in years past. Thomas described his relationship with late Justice Ruth Ginsberg as ‘an easy colleague for me.’ He said she was a nice per- son to deal with and while they seldom agreed, they both respected the institution. Thomas said the leak was a kind of infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it. Respect is earned. Many traditional institutions deserve the loss of respect because of misbehavior and failure to perform. But when those in the institution disrespect it, it is the height of sanctimony. President Abraham Lincoln said, “If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.” Steve Fair is Chairman of the 4th district of the Oklahoma Republican Party. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . His blog is stevefair.blogspot.com. Fair and Biased A conservative view of national, state, and local politics by Steve Fair Chairman, 4th District Oklahoma Republican Party Yard of the Month The Yard of the Month sponsored by Rural Neigh- bors OHCE Club, through their Resource Manage- ment Committee has made their selections for the program that brings recognition to citizens and busi- ness owners that take pride in the outward appear- ance of their properties. The residence of Syble Harris at 27 Ridgecrest Drive is being honored for her beautiful yard. Pictured are OHCE members Debra Blalock, who is Mrs. Harris’s home care helper, and OHCE members Jyme Tiner and Joyce Stockton. The Commercial or BusinessYard of the month for May is Braums Chickasha location. Pictured with the business beautification honoree is OHCE Rural Neighbors members Jyme Tiner and Joyce Stockton with Braum’s manager Rebelee Dollar. The Washita Valley Weekly and Ross Seed True Value are co-sponsors. Nominations can be made at email@example.com . Include addresses and contact information including phone numbers for the committee.