Political Thoughts with Richard Bleil
In the Middle Ages, priests would be sent to serve a community without salary. Instead, the tradition was that when a family in the area slaughtered an animal for food, they would make a “sacrifice” by putting all of the meat into a pot and bringing it to the priest. The priest would then plunge a fork into the meat and randomly draw a piece out. Whether it was the best cut, the worst or somewhere in between, this would be the piece that God will have chosen for the priest from the pot.
Eventually, the priests, full of pride and divine right, would begin digging through the pot, looking for and choosing the best cut out of it. According to their own philosophy, they were essentially putting their own desires above that of God who may have had a different piece of meat ordained for the priest. This didn’t go over well and spelled the beginning of the end of the practice.
I think of this story, and it strikes me how relatable it is to modern politics. In Florida, as a state, the voters elected an ultra-conservative Republican for governor. In essence, the voters are the God in this analogy, and God’s Will would be the election results. Whether or not the seemingly power-mad governor won legitimately is in question simply because of Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression is rather high in that state, but he did win. The reality is that if everybody votes, the voters can overwhelm both of these tactics, so in essence, those who do not vote approve of these tactics which are, presumably, illegal but we all know they still happen.
But the thing about gerrymandering is that there remain pockets of strongly liberal populations. In one of these areas, the democratic Gods (i.e. the voters) chose a liberal judge to sit on the bench. This judge is an outspoken opponent of Florida’s near-complete abortion ban and has stated in his campaign that he has no intention of enforcing it. Let’s be honest about this. Judges are not empowered to pick which laws to enforce and which to pass on. Still, the voters responded to this, and in a referendum against the state abortion law, they voted him in as the judge. It can be taken as a message that not everybody in Florida agrees with the law.
Before being sworn in, the ultra-conservative Governor blocked the appointment of the outspoken liberal judge. As seems to be happening with increasing frequency these days, more and more politics are being settled through lawsuits by politicians that don’t know the law themselves. This governor should know that he doesn’t have the authority to override the will of the power. Once on the bench, there are other ways to handle a democratically elected official who seems to be skirting their duties although Kentucky proved that even these methods can be overridden by conservative Republicans of sufficient power. Even in South Dakota, the governor went through a sham lawsuit before overriding the will of the people on marijuana. But to be honest, even these methods of censuring politicians who refuse to do their jobs is a case of picking and choosing. When Mitch McConnel refused to advance President Obama’s selection for the Supreme Court, he should have been censured, but he never was, and the voters keep voting him into office. He single-handedly elected to give the position to Trump who turned the Supreme Court conservative with justices who lied to get onto the bench and then acted in the exact opposite way than they said they would. These justices should be censured or removed.
The priests are usurping God’s Will and choosing the choicest pieces of meats for themselves. In the Middle Ages, God did not, after all, punish the priests for their pride. Well, to the best of our knowledge, anyway. In a few months, the Democratic Gods (a.k.a. the voters) will once again head to the voting booths to make their choices. As usually happens, most voters will have forgotten the horrible things the current “priests” (a.k.a. politicians) have done in the past two years and are more likely to vote to let them stay to commit more atrocities against the people. There are some who are trying to keep these memories alive, though (just as I suppose I’m doing). A friend of mine is trying to help the memory of the Roe decision alive by calling “November” “Roevember”. I know that not everybody will agree with my opinion on any of these matters, but I do hope that everybody remembers that when you vote to keep an incumbent in office, it’s a vote of approval of everything they’ve done in the past, and a mandate for them to continue the carnage. And not voting is always a vote for the candidate that you do not like as it takes away from the one that you do.