Blog 1984 – 03.01.2021
The Three Little Minions
The Three Little Minions
A cautionary tale, The Three Little Minions, but then what is to be expected from Despicable Me’s minions. That we all have a dark side to deal with is what keeps pastors, priests, psychologists, and psychiatrists busy, and politicians in high cotton to borrow a phrase from the ole South.
Yesterday, wearing my Abraham Lincoln, the basketball legend, tee shirt I watched again what I regard to be one if not the best Lincoln movie ever made. The Daniel Dey Lewis, Sally Fields, Tommy Lee Jones, epic saga of the closing days of the not so Civil War deals with the arm twisting, vote buying, deal making that had to take place to get passage through the House of Representatives of the proposed Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Senate had passed the legislation the year before and it had already failed to pass once in the House and Lincoln knew that he had to get it done before the War ended or it never would have the support to become law. In the brief and succinct two sections of the amendment Slavery is mentioned for the first time in the Constitution and dealt with in a way that the original framers had not been able to agree upon, choosing rather to kick that nasty can down the road forcing another generation to deal with its dark implications.
The famous Lincoln quote about appealing to our better angels came to mind more than once as I watched the political drama unfold. Abraham Lincoln was not a baseball player, though he was tall enough, nor was he a silver coated axe welding vampire slayer, but he was a common man and a hero of the highest order. He refused to allow slavery to destroy this great democratic experiment and kept the country together sometimes by the mere force of his own will. A lesser man would never have been able to pull it off but he did though becoming the last sacrifice himself on the altar of freedom in that Great War Between the States. It was not The Great War of Northern Aggression as the rebels claimed, and some still do, but the war to stop session and to forever abolish and end slavery.
Lincoln knew as all politicians do that Executive Orders and Administration Policies like his Emancipation Proclamation are easily reversed and changed according to the prevailing winds and sentiments of those in charge and that to effect real change a Constitutional Amendment would have to be written and ratified by the States. I grew up in a southern state, Tennessee, where many believed, and some few still do, that the War that almost succeeding in tearing this great nation in two was about States Rights. It was not, only one missed correction that our framers could not find agreement enough to resolve in the beginning of our country, the misbegotten state right to own, breed, work and keep enslaved people like cattle, counting them two thirds a person for the purposes of taxes and representation in Congress.
In the movie and in the real life story, during the floor debate regarding the bill, one of the biggest reasons put forth to vote against it was that it might lead to giving black men the vote and even worse allowing women to vote. Sadly there are still some who hold to such silly and stupid notions and would limit the vote to only those who look and think like them. May they never again be allowed to set the agenda, determine voter qualifications, nor determine the fate of this people, We the People, red, and yellow, black brown and white, male and female, We the People of these United States of America.
Who knew that lanky boy from Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois would grow up to split rails, split words as a lawyer and politician, and even become President at just the right time to keep a country from splitting over an evil it should have purged years before him and is still struggling with today. The face that comes before Lincoln’s on Mount Rushmore is of a man credited with penning the words “All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson wrote beyond his own ability to see about creating a more perfect union for the greater good. It is a Democratic experiment that still continues thanks to them and so many others who never had their names or faces carved in stone.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
From A Distance