Blog 1845 – 10.12.2020
Relax if you are seeing spots, it is not a symptom of some medical problem, just the result of thinking about all those spotted puppies cavorting all around. Today’s children story is an adventure with a tremendous assortment of cute spotted puppies and a particularly cruel arch enemy, Cruella di Vil.
More often such a story would co-star a bad guy, but this one features a bad girl and for all the praise I deservedly give women, they too are capable of cruelty and other dastardly deeds. Even fairy tales have their share of girls gone bad i.e. Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Snow White’s, the gingerbread house owner, and long haired Rapunzel’s jailor, to name a few. Women, real and in fairy tales, are more than capable of doing bad things, but till they have equal access to leadership and power we will not know the true percentages, will we?
I think strong women are ideally suited for leadership and one trait in particular they seem to have mastered better than most men is building consensus. Sadly many if not most strong men are so “my way or the highway” in their thinking and leadership styles that they bring out the weakest and worst in the teams that they gather to support them.
I have been accused of late of being too political in my blogs. And I do not deny the charge. Agree with my politics or not, we should all be thinking about the character and track record of those we choose to be our representatives and leaders. Fear makes many believe that we want an unchecked strong man, but history tells us over and over again that strong men often have but one agenda – to dictate and stay in power no matter who it hurts or how much it costs in the lives and in the freedoms of others.
It is a fantasy that a king is what we need or even a queen. Per the always in need of updating amendments U.S. Constitution, the President is elected to preside over the Executive Branch of government, one of three equally powerful branches. The other two are the Legislative Branch, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the third Branch is the Judicial Branch with all the Federal Courts crowned by the Supreme Court. The writers of the Constitution realizing that greed for power and influence are universal set up these checks and balances to prevent one person or group of persons from getting too much control or power, for too long at least. Compromises had to be made to get thirteen separate former colonies, states, to ratify the new Constitution and one was that every state would have equal representation in the higher legislative body, the Senate, no matter how few people lived in that state. The number of Congressmen in the lower legislative body, the House of Representatives, allotted to each state were to be and still are apportioned according to the number of people in the state. This results in situations like in Wyoming where by population they only qualify to have one Congressman for the whole state but still have two Senators. Unfairly Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico with far larger populations of American citizens have neither a Congressman nor a Senator to represent them. Some have suggested for some time that D.C. and Puerto Rico should become states. One of the reasons the thirteen colonies rebelled against British rule was because of taxation without representation and we have these two glaring examples of no representation and of over representation in some less populated states.
One other of the compromises in the Constitution that many believe should have been rectified long ago is the out-moded Electoral College. In the beginning of this Republic our Senate was to be more like the British Parliament’s House of Lords and the picking of Senators was not entrusted to the people’s vote but they were appointed by the State Legislatures. Some years ago we changed that so that Senators are also voted on by the people, but we still retain the Electoral College chosen by State Legislatures which has meant already that two Presidents were not elected by the popular vote, George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald J. Trump in 2016. In 2000 after the election a Constitutional Crisis was averted when the Supreme Court ruled against completing a recount of the votes in Florida where Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida and George W. Bush had awarded all the electoral votes of Florida to Bush, but also because Democratic Candidate, Al Gore, Jr., graciously conceded the race for the good of our democracy. Many hoped that close call would result in a doing away with forever the Electoral College. Sadly whether from weakness or worse cowardice, Congress chose as it has all too often to just keep kicking the can down the road to the peril of our democratic republic.
We are this time faced with an election that if close could be even more of a constitutional crisis threat than the 2000 election. The Republican Party of 2000 was way more conservative than met my taste but it was still a principled and predictable party. I no longer think the Republican Party of today can say those last two things about itself or expect people to believe it even if they did.
Daily more life long Republicans are announcing their support of the Democratic Presidential Candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.
I was very encouraged as I yesterday biked through my neighborhood, for many years a Conservative Republican bastion, that many more yards had Elect Biden/Harris signs than Re-elect Trump/Pence signs. I hope it is a sign of the times.
A dear friend said to me, “Why do you keep beating this drum, it is over?” The reason I do is because it is not over and will not be over until the last ballot is counted, or more correctly when the Electoral College meets on December 14 to decide who will be President of the United States in late January 2021.
Vote now, all of you who can, to make your wishes in this matter known.
Your friend and fellow traveler,