Paraphrasing Janis Joplin, freedom's just another word... that Justice Antonin Scalia doesn't seem to understand.
In his convoluted, nine-page dissent against the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges ruling -- which officially makes gay marriage legal in every state -- Scalia went off the cultural-literacy rails, questioning the idea that intimacy and spirituality were freedoms and further suggesting that "Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie."
As luck would have it in The Huffington Post's New York headquarters, the nearest hippie happened to be the world's most famous hippie, David Crosby, who, like Joplin, performed at Woodstock. So ask him we did: what did he think of Justice Scalia's line of thinking?
"I think he's slagging gays and hippies," said Crosby, who had earlier appeared on Huff Post Live. "I don't think he understands either one. I think he's an old reactionary guy and I think he's failing to understand the basic thing: hippies and gay people are people. And we are citizens. And we live here. And we are his neighbors. He may not know that, but we are. And that's how he should see us. As citizens of the United States. Voters. People who should be equal. That was the idea of the country. Not 'maybe.' There's no 'if' about that, no gray area there. The idea was that people would be equal here -- all of us. Hippies and gay people included. Black people, white people, yellow people -- all people. People."
Crosby, who once recorded "Find the Cost of Freedom" with bandmates Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young -- as well as other classic-rock songs laced with political commentary, including "Ohio" and "Almost Cut My Hair" -- lambasted Scalia as willfully looking past freedoms for all citizens.
"That's the basic thing that I think [Scalia] fails to see, and that I think the more reactionary elements in the court -- and in politics and in government -- fail to see," Crosby said. "That they avoid looking at -- consciously avoid it. I think they don't want to see us that way. And the truth is, the idea of the country was that that would be the way it was: we would be equal citizens."
He holds out little hope that things are headed in the right direction, either. "That's why the country was such a hopeful thing. But I don't think it's in good shape now. I think our government is bought and paid for, and not responsive to the citizens. At all. But I know what was started out with. I know what was intended, and I have not forgotten and I'm not going to roll over and put my paws up in the air and give up fighting for it. I think that's what we should be doing."
The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song most relevant to -- and perhaps supportive of -- Scalia's argument, "Love The One You're With," was written by Stephen Stills, not Crosby. Here it is anyway.