One cautionary definition of democracy is that of three wolves and a sheep deciding on dinner. And that’s precisely why the framers of our constitution provided for two Senators to represent each state, no matter how sizable or populous. Then, the gamesmanship began when the so-called Great Compromise ensued, resulting in each non-white man or woman counting as only three-fifths of a person.
Less than three weeks after the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th President of the United States in 1861, Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America gave what has become known as his Cornerstone Address. On March the 21st in Savannah, Georgia, Stephens declared that disagreements over the enslavement of African Americans were the “immediate cause” of secession and that the Confederate constitution had resolved such issues.
Stephens, in referring to the Constitution of the United States said “The Constitution… rested upon the equality of races. This was an error. Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea. . .” Stephens invoked biblical imagery and used the word “cornerstone” to describe what he called the “great truth” of white supremacy and black subordination upon which secession and the Confederacy were based. He said “Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
While certain Supreme Court justices characterizing themselves as “originalists” and “textualists” are longing for the good old days; others have come to realize that the court, as presently constituted, will never willingly allow a black man or woman to become more than three fifths of a person in the eyes of the law. The so-called blind justice that declares “Equal Justice Under Law” has promoted an ideological fantasy and, to integrity challenged justices, it’s not even an aspirational statement.
They have enabled the same dark money malignancy that supports their nominations, confirmations and accommodations to metastasize throughout the body politic. They have allowed race based gerrymandering, the purging of voter rolls without evidence of death or a change in residence. They have facilitated political bribery. They have advanced the sociopathic fantasy of personhood for shell corporations that have been empowered with free speech rights. The Supreme Court, more than any other branch, has converted what Marshall McLuhan once described as a whirlpool of information in to a cesspool of disinformation.
Despite the assertions that the Court is not a cabal or packed with partisan hacks, there is no denying that the Supreme Court of the United States is a product of political process. That process is replete with deceptive practices. And all of it emanates from the entitlement mentality so carefully articulated in the cornerstone address of Alexander Stephens. The confederacy may have lost certain physical skirmishes, but it is alive and well in the Judiciary as well as the Legislature where the so-called will of the minority is in vogue.
While the judicial buffoonery of the court has come to light in spite of its increasingly esoteric sophistries, the legislative bodies have become populated with a cast of characters that could be described as the court jesters. Most are similarly owned and operated by the inheritors, hoarders, and skimmers of wealth. Their reverence for “the will of the minority,” as expressed through their affinity for and use of the filibuster, only serves the billionaires and faux corporations that take advantage of the nation’s resources without making any meaningful contribution to the public treasury.
Some minority rights are constitutionally protected by the formula where each state has two senators. However, the diddling with the districts, the slight of hand with respect to voter rolls, the Electoral College gamesmanship, the lack of any consequence for lying to the electorate, the voter intimidation, the poll worker intimidation, and the election supervisor intimidation all have the effect of corroding the democracy underpinnings of our constitutional republic.
Why administer an oath, whereby elected and appointed representatives are sworn to protect the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, when the person taking the oath has proven him or her self to be a domestic enemy of constitutional principle? Why does putting the interests of voters over those of donors seem like such an arcane, banished idea? How deep does it have to get? Are we so immersed in the cesspool of disinformation that we are no longer able detect BS?
Edmond Burke once described the colonists as “able to sniff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.” Somewhere, between the three wolves and a sheep deciding on dinner and an unprincipled Senator wielding the filibuster, is a democratic republic. We now have two senators for each state, the Electoral College, and the filibuster. This constitutes, not just a doubling down on the will of an entitled minority, but triple redundancy. At what point will we come to realize such a scheme is an anti-democracy trifecta?