Sunday, March 07, 2010
On blowing your own balls off to spite your heart...
This has been irking me for a very long time: felons, in most states in America, don't ever get to vote again, YET we're constantly electing them into public office. Not only is it wrong to keep people who have paid their debt to society from ever voting again--especially considering that having been incarcerated, they've seen the real face of this nation--it's also anti-democratic and unjust. It doesn't fix anything.
I have a theory, and I'm not alone: for the most part, we're still living in Massachusetts Bay colony. We're still an almost hopelessly puritanical nation and culture, and that means there can never be enough punishment. Even with wave-after-wave of immigration, and we're talking in the tens-of-millions of people of just about every culture, it persists. How is that? Why is that?
I think there's a simple and complicated explanation. While Americans like to think that there's always going to be another "new wave" of wealth in this nation, I think old money and (most importantly) aristocratic privilege still rules this country and will for the foreseeable future. The image of the noose-wielding puritan patriarch haunts the social landscape of America where Old Testament punishment rejects even the New Testament message of forgiveness. Forget about the ideals of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, that blew past a lot of people in this country, and especially the quasi-aristocratic wackos who rule over us. The fact is, they hate the everyman and woman and want to make the rest of us suffer, mostly for their own sins.
I don't claim to know what the solution to this is except to never stop fighting it in every way humanly possible. We should insist on everyone having the right to vote, frankly, and even for at least those who have served their sentences in the inhuman dungeons of America where even privatized slavery is making its return with the ever-encroaching war on drugs. The laws regarding prostitution made the outlines of this puritanical hypocrisy patently clear to me in the DC Madam case with a two women dead, and the men, the "Johns" (especially the rich ones), merely walking away from it, and without a scratch. My dislike for these rich men will be with me for the rest of our respective lives. Never mind the "average Joe" ones, they didn't really deserve the attention some of them got.
It's the self-appointed patriarchs that I will always take issue with...