PLEASE: Before you start into this, and because it's a busy election day and this is a long piece, let me offer a suggestion:
Vote as if your right to determine how free and sovereign you want your life to be actually matters; not the big corporations, not the fear-mongering xenophobes or people too apathetic and squeamish to even bother listening to in the first place. Vote for your rights to live as a fully free human being in what is now, still a free nation for everybody. It might not be that way for long if the purveyors of fear get their way in today's elections across the country.
Finally, the long march of inanity, momentary insanity and beaucoup displays of banality has reached its legal (albeit temporary) end with today's mid-term elections. Let me back up and call them glorified and ultra-outrageously expensive tawdry versions of the proverbial high school popularity contests to determine the prom royalty and class presidents, etc. Lots of cat-fighting, name calling and innuendoes tossed around, not to mention the occasional resort to macho-style "settling" of certain tense situations. But I'll let the "conservative" Libertarian/Tea Party candidate Rand Paul answer to his future constituents for his campaign team (God forbid that he wins.)
How does one wrap up this "campaign" year? It was anything but a "campaign" in normal respects. The national Republican Party, so desperate to keep President Obama from serving two terms, even if it means grinding the nation's economy and governmental machinery down to a standstill (just to prove they can do) it by saying "no" a thousand times over has yet to demonstrate during the past several years even before Obama was elected in '08, it could run anything larger than a one-car political parade (or funeral dirge) is now positioned to wreck even further damage on the nation's political fabric just by its growing embrace of two items that should be of interest to all Americans.
Let's begin with the nonsensical call to repeal the 17th Amendment allowing citizens to vote directly for their Senators. As if the candidates couldn't be more bought, packaged and sold like mere commodities today with all the money flowing into the political system (no thanks to the Supreme Court's infamous "Citizens" decision, allowing businesses to be treated on par with human beings as "citizens" insofar as political activity is concerned) ... now the let's- turn-the clock-back-stick-with-the-Constitution-as-the-Framers-only-intended-or-chisled-into-marble crowd want to let the money bag boyos really call the shots by flooding their hand-picked U.S.-Senators, thus more or less guaranteeing whatever they want to favor their "causes" -- thus ensuring that their pockets are more fully lined than they already are -- want to simply pluck one more ability for the people to protect themselves against a new house of lords that'll be even less responsive to the public than Britain's was at her height of power.
The last I checked, the Bible said man was made in "the image of God," not corporations. Ah, but in this newly revived "Christian America," even the Bible is getting a newly revised, authorized and standardized version (no) thanks to the "let's restore God n' capitalism to America to make it a more Christian nation." Guaranteed, they'll be stocked in a certain Arkansas-based mega-retail chain and that chain's employees will no doubt be encouraged to buy this sacrilege. It'll be interesting to see how many passages that now call for greater social and economic justice will be left on the editorial cutting floor; perhaps after the new big-shots (of American business, politics and economics as they pertain to 'ligion, or the "religion biznez") have left this reordering of Scripture in the hands of Glenn Beck and his minions? Well, if they want to work 12 hour days, with no paid time for their half-hour lunches, and unpaid 15 minute breaks, no allowances for any union representation whatsoever, and of course, no benefits period outside of what they couldn't get their hand-picked/bought pols to prevent from staying on the books, and of course, zilch for any health/disability and retirement systems ... let them have at it for as long as they can stand it until the lack of social justice brings about social unrest.
If these people have their way, there'll be no more social security, no more medicare/medicaid, and of course, any public health care systems. In short, if you've got the bucks, no problem. If you don't, call your church. That might be fruitless, too. After all, the most libertarian of libertarians of this bunch of "live free (for me/us) or you can literally suffer/and-or die for all I/we care" bunch want to eliminate tax breaks for churches and other non-profits. "Hey, if megachurches can be profitable, the rest of you'd better get in line." And, no, I will not apologize to the Granite State, of New Hampshire, (that's so appropriately nicknamed) for correctly re-interpreting its (un)Holy Writ of a motto.
If China's Chamber of Commerce was behind the writing of this foolish notion, supposedly drawn up in the guise of "protecting states' rights" I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised. Not in the least. As for the "States' Rights," nonsense, let them read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address a few times, and maybe, maybe just a spark of commonsense will prevail and pull them back from this antiquated insanity, (especially in an age of nuclear weapons.) Which reminds me of one more thing about this "return to what the Framers' wanted" view towards Constitutional issues. I'm not for importing European laws, or laws from any other patch on the globe. Nor am I in favor of stretching the Constitution for purely ideological purposes such as Justice Blackmun did when he wrote the blackest decision in American legal jurisprudence on behalf of "Roe" who (then) sought a legal abortion in "Roe v. Wade," handed down in 1973, now said to be responsible for an estimated 50 million dead would-be fellow human beings -- American citizens, in fact. Even Norma McCorvey, "Roe" turned and became a stalwart anti-abortion critic of "Roe," but her reverse findings couldn't outweigh Blackmun's stretch of the "right to privacy" to mean a woman could kill her own future offspring in her womb. If it's (properly) held to be illegal and treasonous to plot a conspiracy against the government from the privacy of your bedroom, how then can anybody allow for "privacy" to allow the legal killing of so many future citizens!
We have it within the confines of our present Constitutional boundaries set forth by the Framers to change this and create scores of other legal remedies to legitimate issues as well. But we're not hearing this seldom spoken or written observation that should be as plain as a white sheet of paper. No, we're hearing, "No, if the Framers didn't mention it, we can't touch it." With all due respect to many fellow conservatives, if we applied that line of thought, we might as well expect our appellate lawyers addressing the Supreme Court to arrive in knickers, breeches, fluffed blouses, cutaway coats and tri-cornered hats, (and don't forget the powdered wigs, too.)
Further baffling to this writer is the amount of would-be voters who've followed Beck and bought into any of the nonsense he took from the late W. Cleo Skousen, especially when it comes to states rights and anti-progressive phooey. Not all "progressive" laws are good, as legalized abortion decisions and laws reflect this reality. However, I'd like to know just how far Beck would go before even he said "enough." How many fair labor practices would like to see ditched? Glenn, do you have a framed picture of that famous photo of the little girl working in a textile factory in your office? Why not? Why not some photos of people slaving away in a big box store, or removing time off for even religious holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving? Job safety laws? Hey, what's a finger or an arm or two? We have private charity to take care of those situations. Have a mental disability. Man, you're really out of luck, we don't do mental miracles," Glenn would no doubt saith. (No kidding, since it's public knowledge he refuses to take meds for his own issues.) But why should millions of other suffer only because they don't have an enabling employer (Fox) that gives him a pulpit to reach millions of people daily and pull in $30 million a year; not too shabby for a self-described "dirtbag."
Let the Knights of Columbus take care of the Catholics and the LDS will take care of your folks and other churches, synagogues, mosques and temples will handle theirs. I goofed: How are these great institutions going to do all these wonderful things you want taken from the government to help the poor and get it out of doing anything that smacks of promoting social justice if your Free Enterprise Über Alles pals have bought all branches and levels of government entire lock, stock and porkbarrels?
How on earth -- it could only happen on terra firma(!) -- could anybody in his or her right mind expect to reduce or even eliminate influence of elitism if we take away the right of the voters to select their choice for one of the most important constitutional positions? So, by following the "logic" of the Tea Partiers and State's Rights advocates (neo-secessionist), by taking away one more voting right for all of us, we' restoring more government "back to the people."
Now that they've laid out plans to deny you more opportunities to enjoy your present-day ultimate franchise as a free citizen, the next plan these shadowy folks have in mind is to start stripping the rights of citizenship of innocent people who are already citizens by planning to take away citizenship of children born to parents who came to this country illegally in order to make a better life for their children. Say "Good bye" to the 14th Amendment.
"B-b-but, wait a minute, why should their kids be treated on the same level as mine? It's not fair!"
If they're born on this side of the Rio Grande or an unmarked border passing through a library's lobby in upper Vermont and Quebec, they're as American as Barack Obama or George Washington. Excuse me; George was born in British America. (What do hath our Birther friends to say about that?) If we start stripping away the rights to people whose predecessors have already received automatic citizenship by virtue of the fact they were born here, where will this end? Who'll lose his rights next? And on what grounds? If we can change the Constitution for what's really a cheap excuse to cut down on northwards Mexican immigration, sooner or later it'll be another ethnic or even a religious body whose children will get stiffed in an American maternity ward, or worse, have it done ex post facto. Oh, we don't do that nowadays. Well now, what's to say that's not in some "let's return to the Framer's intentions" file awaiting the right moment to hand off to some reliably demagogic shock jock and pliant pol to push into law?
We'd better watch out for parents born to Catholics and make sure they're turned back before their birth certificates are filed and a local priest has baptized them. Who knows what problems they might present down the line? After all, wouldn't these offspring of Catholic parents from Europe or Latin America represent a church-and-sovereign-state's potential power and/or rights to control the moral formation of said children? This could pose dual loyalty problems. It won't stop there because even native born Catholics and Catholic converts (those folks will be watched very closely) if nonsense like this ever becomes law) could represent potential Fifth Column threats to national security.
Ridiculous? Right now it is. But ask anybody who's studied the history of Catholics in England, Ireland, Jews in Spain, Germany, and French Protestant Hugenots. They won 't be laughing so hard.
With apologies to the late Pastor Martin Niemoller, "First, they told me that in my best interests, so that I'd have the 'freedom' to live in a 'freer' local state that I didn't need to vote for a Senator to represent me in Washington, DC.; So I shrugged and lamentedly somewhat acquiesed. Then I was told by some of my neighbors that a family from Mexico and another predominately Catholic country in Europe were facing troubles from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It seems that INS agents took the Mexican family in for questioning and likely deportation because their children were born here after they arrived some thirty years ago. And it didn't help their kids any that they were successful lawyers, no less, and one doctor who discovered a cure for an incurable skin disease. They were all rounded up and put on a southbound bus, property confiscated, licenses stripped. And the Catholics from Europe, they were turned in by one of their own who'd left his church to join a megachurch and didn't quite feel right that there were people living next to him (although they never broke a law and their kids were stellar public servants and one even earned the Medal of Honor) whose religious views could possibly represent a direct threat to American security even though their spiritual leader, Pope Benedict 17th came out against all nations possessing stockpiles of nuclear weapons."
"Ah," sighed I, "'tis seems I couldn't escape my apathy when one day INS agents knocked on my door and told me I had to leave and move to Belmullet, a little town at the edge of the world in northwest County Mayo, Ireland. Marie Keane and one of her sisters, left then-British controlled Ireland, shortly before the end of the 19th century for all the brightness that a future life in the United States had to offer."
"Luckily, I didn't wind up in a concentration camp like Niemoller, but Belmullet's not exactly hopping, either, nor is Ireland my 'mother country,' notwithstanding what my birth and/or baptismal certificates are saying in plain black n' white."