Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Politics and Religion

In 1966, a man named Dick Tuck was running for a seat in the California state senate. At the end of the campaign, when the dust settled and the votes were counted, Mr Tuck had gone down to defeat. In his concession speech, he made the memorable quote: "The people have spoken, the bastards."

Similar feelings are probably being expressed in many areas around the country as the votes from yesterday's election are tallied. Here in Virginia the Republicans - already owning the governorship and the House of Delegates - are poised to win the political trifecta: if they win a seat which is hinging on a total of 86 disputed votes as I write this, they will seize control of the entire commonwealth government. If this happens, I predict that the victorious party will slash taxes and ... eventually and of necessity ... the things those taxes pay for (see relevant stories here and here). It will then be interesting to see how long it takes before buyer's remorse sets in as people begin to understand that taxes represent something other than an excuse to demonize political opponents.

In other news, I note that today is the anniversary of the event that marked the beginning of what we now know as The Holocaust - Kristallnacht. The word Kristallnacht in German literally means "crystal night," but it's more often translated into English as "night of broken glass" ... the term kristall was intended to call to mind the image of broken glass glittering in the streets like crystal after thousands of Jewish-owned homes and businesses were vandalized by Nazi mobs avenging the killing of a Nazi diplomat in Paris by a young Polish Jew. The riots were orchestrated by the Nazi government, but were supposed to look like outbreaks of spontaneous and righteous anger. Kristallnacht set the stage for the deeper horrors of The Holocaust when the Nazis realized that they could exercise savage barbarity against the Jews without paying any price for their actions.

You might think about that as you reflect on why we traditionally separate church (and synagogue and mosque) from state in this country. Now, if only we could separate corporation from state, we'd be getting somewhere.

That's all for now. Just a couple of things to think about as you ponder the importance of carefully evaluating the people who want you to vote for them. Above all else, remember: don't let anyone else do your thinking for you.

Have a good day. More (and, hopefully, more cheerful) thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

4 comments:

KKTSews said...

For the first time, I worked as a poll worker yesterday. I must say, I was very positively impressed at the turnout (my precinct has a record of about 80% voting when you consider absentee votes along with in-person votes) and how polite everyone was. Ohio rather soundly defeated the bill seriously reducing the collective bargaining rights of public employees that was the "centerpiece" of the ranting/raving Republica administration last election. But they also sounding approved a useless change to the state CONSTITUTION, countering "Obamacare", which is effectively useless since federal law trumps state. Ah well, at least I get paid about $5 an hour for my time!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I believe the late J.C. put it well in terms of rendering to Caesar. Unfortunately, some people are giving it to the salad guy or maybe the old comedian.

Mike said...

"remember: don't let anyone else do your thinking for you."

I never do. What do you think about that?

KathyA said...

And there's lots to think about, isn't there?