(A satire out of sorts)
The lid on Pandora’s Box refuses to budge and out pops an explosive date, apparently somehow akin to July 4, 1776: January 6, 2021, and now a judicial decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, all joining the Black Lives matter movement, the Cancel Culture movement, the dozing Woke movement, the Second Amendment (pro and con) movements, the Covid 19 “pandemic”, etc., in a constant stream of pejorative laced diatribes next to which putrescence seems a delightful desert. And just when the Democratic Party Congressional majority and its allies were regaling us on public and commercial television, on all available channels, about how noble and just they’ve always been. But I’m confused. Are protests and riots and arson and mayhem permissible indicia of a vibrant libertarian democracy or not? Or are they, as most philosophers believe about most things, as relative and inconsistent as truth or the “currently recognized laws” of physics. Is two plus two four, or isn’t it?
Black lives matter protests and riots and arson and mayhem are good! Challenges to the validity of elections are bad, at least if they involve voters who reject Democratic Party victories (think 2020). If they reject Republican Party victories (think 2016), they’re good. Destruction of government legacy property, say, in the Capitol, is bad, treason and sedition even. Destruction of legacy monuments honoring historical figures is good, positive, a sign of more tolerant times around the corner.
Apparently, the answers, “depend”, and the “depends” are variable. Hmmm, “depends” good name for an adult diaper.
So, with what depends are we dealing?
Evidently, as long as the protests and riots and arson and mayhem deal with pre-approved themes, they are good. But only if they deal with themes sacrosanct to the conglomeration of government functionaries (most unelected), traditionalist politicians of diverse political parties, the corporate media and the Internet “mogulith”. If not, if they oppose the themes dear to the conglomeration of government functionaries (most unelected), traditionalist politicians of diverse political parties, the corporate media and the Internet “mogulith”, they are horrid. A manual on the issue should be coming out of the United States Printing Office any decade now, with regular amendments and supplements to follow.
The foregoing is not as unreasonable as some of the treasonous and seditious among us may believe. After all, our form of government is best described, not as a democracy but as a hypocrisy. Poor confused me, for some reason thinking of geese and ganders and believing that there is an underlying equivalency in the right of the citizenry (in whom, purportedly, governmental authority rests, at least according to the Declaration of Independence) to protest and even, to change the nature of their government when it fails to meet the premises on which it was established. But as the conglomeration of government functionaries (most unelected), traditionalist politicians of diverse political parties, the corporate media and the Internet mogulith make clear to us (sort of), only power counts, and its exercise need be neither logical nor consistent. Just loud, with a monopoly on the use of force and on the right to manipulate the justice system to suit its purposes. Especially if it is reinforced with obligatory viewing of legislative proceedings run by kangaroos.
All together now: God bless America (unless the concept of “god” is anathema to you), the home of the brave (unless being brave contradicts the day’s acceptable norms) and the land of the free (assuming “free” means free to follow orders).
As Yakov Smirnoff says “what a country!!”
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.