Chronicles in Ordinary Time 104: “You’re the least worst candidate I’ve got”

I heard the above line on a British Cop Show from a number of years ago… It did not come out of a Press Room covering today’s politics. Another cop in the show told an associate, “you’re ambitious, ruthless and amoral—every team needs a player like that”

How did we get here?

A guy I know is angry at a god he does not believe in [how does one become angry at a chair he doesn’t believe in? think about it], because that god doesn’t protect people from harm, does not answer prayer and allowed the Holocaust to happen. Not to mention, thousands of years of continual brutality toward fellow humans. How can one possibly think we humans deserve to be kept from harm?

mites_eyeElectron microscopy: mites on the head of a fly

I told this friend of mine that in the vast span of the Universe, we humans are like mites crawling on the head of a fly; totally insignificant; and yet Scripture says that we are beloved of God; even though we are of dust.

Arthur C. Clarke was on an interview show, discussing the notion that if god created the fixed laws of physics, then he can’t possibly be in charge of the Universe—god can’t travel faster than the speed of light; so it would take light-decades, light-centuries, to travel between galaxies. God can’t really be all-powerful, because he can’t break one of the fixed laws of physics…

Sadly, Mr. Clarke apparently hadn’t heard that the Creator of the Universe is Eternal, Infinite, Omniscient, and outside of time. An entity without a physical form, who can be in all parts of the Universe at once. The Creator has no need to travel between galaxies, because the Creator is simultaneously in all parts of the Universe. The concept of Infinity; one that is beyond our grasp, for we are but mites…

I haven’t seen anything in Scripture that says the Creator is obligated to keep us from killing ourselves. “How can [He] allow children to be trafficked into sex slaver?” I think the answer to the latter question is, how can we allow this to happen? We in America sit on our rotund backsides and do little or nothing to stop problems that we can do something about. Even if we can’t actively join the battle, we can support those who can.

We can get involved.

The Creator does not choose to halt our rapaciousness. Scripture says that the Creator has tried killing us off a few times before; and that it was an unsatisfactory solution. Free Will means the choice to do wrong; as well as the choice to do Right. The choice to be selfish; the choice to be cruel; or the choice to act out in Love.

The Creator’s answer to our inhumanity was to enter time and space in the form of a single cell implanted into the womb of a teen-aged girl living in the rural Middle East. A girl who would face scorn for being a whore.

Jesus’ earthly life ended in torture; betrayed by friends. And He returned from the dead; he returned from Hell. The story of Jesus’ life continues for two Millennia. Jesus came to heal broken souls; to heal people like me. Makes no sense. Love often makes no sense.

By the time that Emperors started using Christians-impaled-on-a-pole as light for their backyard barbecues, followers of Jesus knew that faith in a Messiah pretty well guaranteed a painful death; and yet they persisted, because they knew the world needs healing. They were willing to die in order to save humanity… A.LincolnThe world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

I think it is clear that government by the people and for the people no longer exists in this country. There are bunch of people in Washington DC who were sent to do a job, as our representatives in the Legislative branch of our government. A bunch of people, getting paid a lot of money* for their lifetimes, to do a job that they simply refuse to do. This can’t happen in the world of the American worker, because the employee will get thrown out on their ass; and it will take about 10 minutes to find a replacement. A different rule operates in Congress. I can only hope that a bunch of worthless politicians get thrown out on their asses come November; and more in another two years.

That this nation…shall have a new birth of freedom…and shall not perish from the earth

I left out “God” because I’m not convinced that our country really is ‘under God’ nor that the Creator really has concerns about the survival of our nation. I’m not sure that a country that continues to manufacture cluster bombs, even though a majority of countries have banned them, can be called a ‘nation under God’:

Despite official U.S. government denials and downplaying during the Vietnam War from 1964 to ’73, the United States dropped more bombs per person on Laos than have been dropped on any country in the world in any war.

The U.S. Defense Department estimates as much as two million tons of ordnance were dropped on Laos, much of it focused on the Ho Chi Minh Trail that paralleled the Vietnamese border. The North Vietnamese used the trail network to transport troops and supplies into South Vietnam, where American troops were fighting…

The report does not ask or answer the question that comes to my mind: Why in the Hell were we bombing Laos? I don’t ever recall hearing anything at the time about the “Laotian War.” Do they just make up rules as they go along?

So let’s keep God out of the discussion. We aren’t that qualified.

A new birth of freedom

I think Trump is an abomination, and that the Republican above is in lament. Trump wants to build a wall to prevent people who want freedom from coming here. He wants to reduce the immigration of people with brown skin.

I don’t really think Clinton is all that much better, partially because she considers a Large percentage of the citizens in this country to be “deplorable”. I also think that she thinks that she is above the laws that keep members of the military in prison; and that she can’t be trusted.

One of the leading Independent Presidential candidates has almost no governmental experience, experience which appears to be necessary in these times, if one is to make any headway.

The other leading Presidential candidate has ideas I simply cannot endorse.

But the election isn’t about me, nor about my preferences. The election is not about my making a statement about the quality of the people running for the highest office in the land. The election is about the country.

The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes (currently 270) for the office of president or of vice president is elected to that office. The Twelfth Amendment provides for what happens if the Electoral College fails to elect a president or vice president. If no candidate receives a majority for president, then the House of Representatives will select the president, with each state delegation (instead of each representative) having only one vote. If no candidate receives a majority for vice president, then the Senate will select the vice president, with each senator having one vote. On four occasions, most recently in 2000, the Electoral College system has resulted in the election of a candidate who did not receive the most popular votes in the election.

Even if Jill Stein or Gary Johnson somehow comes up with the majority of the popular vote, the election is decided either by the Electoral College or the [Republican] House of Representatives. The Republicans are unlikely to vote for Stein or Johnson.

My ‘magical thinking’ hopes that for some reason in the next two months Hillary will choose not to run, and Bernie Sanders will take her place. I’m not holding my breath.

Of the two most-likely-to-receive-270-electoral-votes candidates, one clearly has no desire to continue Lincoln’s dream of “a new birth of freedom;” at least not for people with brown skin.

This leaves me with two choices—throw my vote away or vote for Hillary; hoping that she receives 270 electoral votes; and hope that enough politicians-who-refuse-to-cooperate-with-a-Black-President get fired. Maybe then we’ll have a functional Supreme Court, and the possibility that some legislation for the people will actually come about.

I want a third choice, but the election isn’t about my wants. Even if an Independent candidate receives 55% of the popular vote, the Election will still be decided by the Electoral College or the Republican House.

270 Electoral votes for Hillary; or Trump.


* compared to the earnings of their constituents


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: