By Nathan Barton
Reality is a difficult concept for many people to grasp. And those who are “reality challenged” seem to be on the increase, these days.
One of the areas where this seems to be a particular problem is in the area of “clean elections” and “corrupt politics.” Many people apparently sincerely believe that we can end corruption in politics and ensure clean elections. That we can reduce and ultimately eliminate improper influence of all kinds and have honest and open elections.
They are wrong. History shows that political and business elections are inevitably dirty. That politics is not just corrupt, but corrupts people very fast and… in Acton’s words, ultimately absolutely.
One of the ways in which the political activists think that they can clean up elections and politics involves “undue influence” by OTHER political activists and politics.
Almost inevitably, such attempts to crack down on this undue influence involve mere trifles, like curtailing or outright prohibiting free speech and other basic, G-d-given human rights.
Such an attempt has wended its way to the FedGov’s Supreme Court, where the Nazgul will have the opportunity to decide if yet another snipping away at freedom is to be permitted, or not.
This comes from that infamous rag, “USA Today.” “The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether state laws that prohibit wearing clothes or insignia with political messages at polling places violate free speech rights. The case comes from Minnesota, which forbids apparel that seeks to influence voters, even if it does not name candidates or political parties. It was challenged by Tea Party groups that argued they were targeted. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit upheld the law as being in line with the prohibition on political campaigning at polling places. The court in 1992 upheld a Tennessee law that set up a 100-foot buffer around polling places. Federal appeals courts are split on the issue of political apparel, however, and states have different rules on what can and cannot be worn.”
As I understand it, the law (or at least the way it is interpreted) says that you cannot wear “clothing” (tee-shirt, vest, jacket, button, pin, sign taped to your back, hat, etc.) that says “Vote for Him” or “Vote for Her,” or even “Vote for It.” But also includes, “Don’t vote for Him,” etc. And can’t even have a political symbol, like an elephant or donkey (or the Statue of Liberty or a porcupine – or even my son’s political party symbol (He is a member of the Pink Flamingo Party – their symbol is a garden gnome.) . (Seriously, the symbol is, of course, a Pink Flamingo.)
Apparently the law not only prohibits symbols and slogans or anything that can be construed as one, but more. (Apparently, “Vote None of the Above” is also an improper influence on voters, as is Claire’s immortal slogan, “Don’t vote – it only encourages the b*****.” Nope, you can’t even have political colors, if I understand it. No Red for Republicans (and Communists), no blue for Democrats, no Green for Green or Cannabis types, no black for Anarchists, no black-red-white for National Socialists. And so forth. (I don’t know, do generic Socialists even HAVE a color? And what color do Libertarians use?)
At this rate, bunting and US flags will be banned from an area of 100 feet around voting places, because of the American Party or the American Independent Party or just because that flag “terrorizes” and “intimidates” immigrants and Hispanic voters.
It all reminds me a bit of the ancient Eastern Roman Empire, with its capital in Constantinople (now Istanbul), where the political factions (as close to modern political parties as they got) each had their own colors, which happened to be the colors of the faction’s charioteers: red, white, blue, and green. Later the red and white teams (or factions) were absorbed by the blue and green, and things got nasty.
No doubt, we’ll soon be at a point where no colors or symbols or words will be allowed. If anyone bothers to go to a poll to vote.
After all, if voting really made a difference, it would be outlawed.
Mama’s Note: I can see it now… the voting booths will be filled with naked people… and then they’ll all be arrested for indecent exposure. Best to stay home.
You took the clothes right off my back Mama with that comment.