What's All This Then?

commentary on the passing parade

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Monday, September 03, 2012

There have been many events since I began my hiatus more than four months ago that came close to luring me back to these pages - but each time I got the urge I brushed it aside with a "what the hell - what’s the point. I can’t change anything." But I did remember why I started this blog and it was to comment on the passing parade as a sort of personal view of history - and to amuse myself. If anyone else read my words and was amused or influenced or persuaded to rethink their own views, that was a bonus - even if I never heard about it directly from those readers.

I’m back because among the insanity that continues to unfold in the guise of human history, particular acts and words of insanity here in the United States from those among us who we have elected and who wish us to elect them to pass laws and legal judgments must be recorded everywhere where future generations may be able to read them and understand why they live in the kind of society in which they find themselves and I’m doing my bit by recording it here. Hopefully, my generation - or the next one, will reach a tipping point and decide that we can no longer allow mad men and women to be elected to positions of power - and so future readers of this and other commentaries will be living in a reasonably sane society. If we did not, our future will likely be the ages of chaos where death is life, truth is fiction and people worship in the Limbaugh Church of the Eternal Lie.

I am referring to the madness of today’s political and judicial climates , typified by the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the Congress and the Courts, Missouri Congressman Tom Aiken who wants to be a Missouri US Senator and Tom Head, a County Judge in Texas. You know their stories. Aiken is the Senator wannabe who thinks woman can control their reproductive system to protect themselves from being impregnated by a rapist - but that even if that imaginary system didn’t work, we should punish the rapist but not "punish" his handiwork by allowing the victim to abort the zygote criminally implanted in her womb. Head is a judge who presumably renders decisions in his courtroom based on fact and logic and prevailing laws. He has asserted that the reelection of President Obama could lead to civil war - particularly because Obama is planning to cede US sovereignty to the United Nations.

What ties the two together is that they are both elected officials who presumably will continue to present themselves before voters to keep them in office and they might just be the tip of an iceberg of unknown numbers of insane elected officials - national, regional and local. Sometimes these officials manage to avoid revealing their insane ideas and beliefs and so are able to continue to ‘serve" in the offices to which they were elected. But as we well know, they can also make their insanity crystal clear and still manage to persuade voters to reelect them. What better example can there be than the crazed ramblings of Minnesota’s 6th district Representative Michele Bachmann, who has been reelected twice since assuming office in 2007? It’s not just her sanity that needs to be questioned but that of the voters who keep returning her to Congress. Why? Can any of them provide a reason that makes sense?

There’s no point in my refuting the insane beliefs and remarks of such people. That’s easily done but it doesn’t touch on the problem which is that these people exist - in no small numbers and make decisions that affect all our lives based on or influenced by their - in my opinion - insane beliefs. And I include religious beliefs as - again in my opinion - another form of insanity.

When right wing nuts like Aikin and Head and Bachmann make their crazy remarks - Democrats jump on them to seek a political advantage - as well they should. But I am worried that they are among us in such large numbers and that, whatever our political affiliations or preferences, we don’t reject them the moment they provide us with a glimpse if their madness. And let’s face it - we don’t. Aikin may get rejected in the Senate race in Minnesota - but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t and it wouldn’t surprise me if voters continued to reelect him - along with Bachmann - to their respective House seats.

We are now in the opening weeks of our quadrennial democratic exercise to elect a President and Vice President. Challenging the sitting President is a man who in the past was a missionary for his religion that teaches him that "God" lives on a star or planet called Kolob or that that star or planet is close to "the throne of God" - and in a speech after he was selected, his running mate made clear his belief that "Our rights come from nature and God, not government." (Constitutional Rights? What Constitution? We don’t need no stinkin’ Constitutional rights). I’m not saying that Obama and Biden are devoid of strange beliefs. After all, I think they both claim to be Christians but at least we haven’t heard either of them say, as did Obama’s predecessor, that they consult with a "higher power" when making life and death decisions.

I know politicians feel they have to say crazy things to get elected. They feel they need to spread outrageous lies about their opponents and their policies. We’ve become used to this nonsense and too many of us allow it to work. We buy into the lies and let them influence our voting decisions. But when candidates and politicians don’t just lie but reveal crazed beliefs and we still elect and reelect them, we become the crazy ones and we deserve what we get. It may not result in the chaotic future I suggested - tongue-in-cheek above - but it’s not likely to be the American dream that we used to teach our children is their heritage.