Years ago I knew an Army First Sergeant who rejected one of the most common informal names for the people in his position. He refused to be called “Top” or “Top Soldier” because, he was fond of saying, “scum rises to the top.”
His truism was again proven true, (hardly the millionth time since I heard it from him) this time in the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson again begged forgiveness and promised an “internal investigation” of an open-air party at 10 Downing Street in May of 2020, with nearly a hundred invited bureaucratic and parliamentary guests, during the peak of the Lockdown for the Pandemic Panic there in London.
At the time a household could only have ONE guest in an outdoor setting. It is no wonder that people are demanding he resign for his incredible hypocrisy, even if more than a year and a half later.
Realizing I am showing scant – no, NOT A scintilla! of respect for Johnson or his office, it just again shows that scum rises to the top. Especially in government. Of course, those screaming for his resignation have but to look in their mirrors to see yet another example of the same phenomenon – even if they aren’t at the very top. Yet.
It is, of course, just another reminder of the failings of a democracy. Especially a democracy in the 21st Century. When the popularity contest used to choose both The People’s Representatives and the Big Cheese of their nation-state is ever more corrupt than when Jackson’s supporters paid for votes with corn whiskey or Tammany Hall anointed mayors of Manhattan (well, New York City) and governors to rule from Albany. And when both Democrats and Republicans think that winning an election to Congress is tantamount to deification. (And almost certainly a license to print money for themselves, their families, and their friends, mentors, and big campaign contributors.)
In Johnson’s case, he acted no differently than at least a dozen Governors of American States, from Newsom (another party, as I recall) to special trips to vacation resorts and other fun and games from Michigan, Washington, and Minnesota. And of course, just today, someone was pointing out that Uncle Joe himself seems to “forget” his mask for most of his speeches and such these days. To say nothing of the sweetheart of the House of Representatives (ask her!) who sneaks off to Florida (one of her favorite whipping horses, I understand) to dance the night away without social distancing, masking or much else on. And then blames Florida when she tests positive for the Beer Flu.
Again, what rises to the top? Once upon a time, it was cream – but that was before homogenization and all that extra stuff added to the natural, organic product. Diluted, polluted, and contaminated – just like a once tolerable federal republic was treated to become just another sick democracy.
(Non sequitur: I’ve often wondered why they were “banana republics” when in reality, they were at best tinpot dictatorship and oligarchies pretending to be republics. I guess “banana democracies” doesn’t have the right ring. I fear, though, despite all the moaning, we are well past the banana republic state of things.)
We’ve many more current examples of what comes out on top, don’t we? From Faucet (age 81, highest paid government employee in American history) to both Schumer and McConnell, both Pelosi and McCarthy, just at the top of the list. These people are incapable of governing themselves, much less the institutions (government bodies) that they lead, or whole nations.
Ah, but with democracy, we can get the BEST kind of scum available, right?
We shall end this with a great quote from Mark Twain: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”