On February 13th 2021, a pathetic minority of United States Senators landed decisively somewhere between wishy and washy on the question of autocracy versus democracy. As they were feigning reverence for the Constitution of the United States, they inadvertently highlighted the most fundamental problem facing the USA. It is a problem that has plagued civilization from the time of its inception and, from the looks of things, it’s not going away anytime soon.
When a democratic republic tolerates a reckless indifference to the truth by people occupying positions of honor and trust, it is hardly authentic. When we value government of, by, and for the people does it make sense to retain elected representatives who routinely engage in barratry, deceptive practices? Would an honest person take an oath as a juror and, while the trial proceeds, act as co-counsel for one side in the controversy? Would a judiciary willfully convert a whirlpool of information into a cesspool of disinformation through its lack of forethought and intellectual rigor? Would a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shrink from his constitutional obligation to preside over an impeachment trial?
In the United States elected and appointed officials often get a pass for integrity deficits. Then, when these same officials are called upon to pass judgement upon the behavior of others, and when in so doing they would be effectively implicating themselves by rendering an honest verdict, such a judgement is rendered meaningless. Why should we be surprised when such a long history of Supreme Court case law has effectively immunized the most dishonest political operatives from any consequence for deceiving and vexing the electorate.
To admit personal complicity, to admit hostility towards authentic democracy, and to admit just how unprincipled one is while simultaneously working to deceive one’s own constituency is more than can be expected from a prevaricating politician. Not serving the highest and best interests of an elected representative’s constituency should be enough to disqualify one from high office and yet, such unrepresentative politicians enjoy squatter’s rights to their form fitting seats.
While campaign finance, through dark money, has long been seen as having a distorting influence upon representative democracy, it persists. While corporations wield outsized influence that renders the “one man, one vote” principle meaningless, recent decisions by some corporations have highlighted the ability of such companies to disrupt the system of political patronage.
If a corporation can, by withholding campaign contributions from those politicians who actively deceive the public concerning election results, that corporation’s clients can also stop doing business with any company that contributes to the campaigns of politicians that lie about other things.
One popular meme on social media reads: “Universal healthcare is such a complex beast that only 32 of the world’s 33 developed nations have been able to make it work.” Why is our developed nation unable to make universal healthcare available to its citizens? Could it be the BS artistry and all the dark money? Could it be due to the House or Senate decorum that prohibits the questioning of a colleague’s motives and why one may be entirely subservient not to their constituency, but to the money brokers?
The U.S. electorate is not bound by such “decorum,” and one thing that became abundantly clear during the 2020 election cycle was the extent to which this country’s various forms of voter suppression had just one purpose. It was to make sure the Constitutional Convention formula, that would insure a black man or woman could never count as more that three-fifths of a person, would remain in force.
The racist riot of January 6th, 2021 happened because the gamesmanship that involved gerrymandering, the purging of voter rolls, the closing of polling places in marginalized neighborhoods, the voter intimidation, the vandalizing of the Post Office, the unmeritorious legal challenges to a great number of ballots, and the highly selective pandemic response didn’t work for the gaggle of bigots that assembled on the national mall that day.
The forty three Senators that voted against disqualifying an anti-democracy demagogue, from ever holding office again, have no plausible deniability with respect to their racism. They are unfit to hold any position of honor and trust. Any business that contributes to their campaigns for re-election, should be subjected to the most robust technologically advanced boycott in the history of boycotts.
It is not enough for elected representatives to pay lip service to constitutional imperatives. It is not enough for Supreme Court Justices to masquerade as originalists and textualists while ignoring the Declaration of Intent, the Mission Statement, the Value Proposition; the Cardinal Precepts as they were so carefully articulated in the Preamble to the United States Constitution. It is not enough to display the words “Equal Justice Under Law” above the doors to the Supreme Court building. Either make it real or take it down, because right now its only effect is to perpetrate a fraud upon the citizens of the United States and the rest of the world.