This is part one of a two-part blog-post
This here is why it is so important to personally communicate with our state and federal officials, as well as be very active citizens exercising our civil duties and responsibilities!
The U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court, and integrity of the Union of 50 states has been under threat by a retro-popular sociopolitical mentality that is eerily reminiscent of Medieval Europe’s theocratic feudal systems. I address here one such local example out of many Texas Congressional members acutely bent on returning to those Dark Ages. Click his picture’s caption below for his full article and modus operandi. Following is my personal letter to the TX Congressman.
My personal written response to Mr. Murr’s article and posture:
Mr. Murr, Texas H.R. Dist. 53,
I read your July-Sept 2016 opinion-editorial (Op-Ed) article in HomeTown magazine entitled “What To Do When the Feds ‘Mess with Texas?‘” and I must say it was quite polarizing and partisan. I feel the claims made in your article may not completely represent those of your citizens in your 12 counties but your personal beliefs/opinions as is the Op-Ed designation. However, just in case it is based on a comprehensive survey of your 12-county citizens, I’d like to offer another perspective to those residents.
If there’s one factual statistic about Texas it is that it has become a more diverse culture of politics and beliefs than 30 or 50 years ago! The traditional sociopolitical landscape of Texas has and is quickly evolving into a ‘non-Caucasian’ spectrum, e.g. Texas is now primarily a Hispanic non-Caucasian demographic. Old Texas traditions are fortunately dying out.
While reading your first nine paragraphs, I couldn’t help but think this verbiage can represent any side of Texas sociopolitical issues: What does it mean to be one state unified with 49 others? What are the many benefits of being part of the United States of America? For starters, Texans and three other southwestern states are all protected and/or supported by federal law-enforcement staff and agencies from Mexican, Central, and South American drug cartels. Texans owe much gratitude to the commerce of 49 other states supporting Texas. These are just two benefits out of many! But sadly, the spirit of your article hinted of that old typical rhetoric of “Texas is better than the entire U.S. and can be a bully in federal politics if it so desires! After all, we are the ‘Lone Star’ state and we don’t need anyone! We can fly our state flag above the stars-n-stripes when we want!” This sort of arrogance I loathe as an 8th-generation Texan myself. Many times a year I remember the plethora of NATIONAL benefits we Texans enjoy as Americans! Your article hints of 1860’s secession, or worse… when Texas was a Republic and could not and did not stand on its own!
The very protections federal support provides economically, socially, and militarily (and you vaguely and implicitly touched on, if at all) CANNOT be provided by 254 Texas counties, let alone twelve. With due respect Mr. Representative, it is a give and take relationship with our federal union. Your three specific gripes: restrooms, equality, and Obamacare, are very minor issues compared to the numerous advantages Texas gains being an integral part of the Union of 50 United States! It would be quite arrogant for Texas to expect and dictate what is suitable for 49 other states to legislate, especially on such three MINOR issues you point out. Yet, you state later…
“There is little to suggest that Washington will ever curtail its intrusion into state and local affairs, regardless of the outcome of elections or change of administrations. So lets look at what we have done and what we can continue to do, both here in Texas and across the country, to take matters into OUR OWN HANDS.”
Wow! I am appalled by such mutinous cries!
I will contribute to the broader education or re-education of readers about the purpose of our U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land… even over Texas. But before I explain its purpose, let’s remember why we hold elections every 2- or 4-years, or it might vary depending on which state, county, and municipality voters reside.
Our frequency of political elections accommodates an evolving, changing spectrum of democratic civilization and its governing. Though arguably 4-8 years is seen by many as too long a term(s) in office, it is also reasonably argued that 4-8 years is inadequate for measuring the efficiency, feedback, accuracy, and success/failure of previous legislation and governing. Yet, there is no arguing this frequency/infrequency certainly does hold value for the SPIRIT of democracy! The people are heard. Therefore, there is rarely any cause for political hyper-tantrums or social anarchy when 2-4 years expires so quickly and the “voice of the people” can be heard and represented again.
The purpose of our U.S. Supreme Court is to be the final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress, and the highest law of all — the U.S. Constitution. This role DOES NOT make the Supreme Court all-powerful; in fact, far from it. Their power is limited or “checked” by the other two governing branches — Congress and the President along with his/her cabinet. Though governing a democratic people in this manner does not guarantee perfection in all cases at all times, but it seems to be one of the better governing systems in the world… when kept in parity and as pure as possible.
The democratic system represents in theory, and for the most part in practice, a system of governing which represents the “greatest good for the greatest number.” However, as history has adequately shown, it isn’t always pure. For example, in order for President Lincoln to have his 13th Amendment (via his Emancipation Proclamation) pass by a two-thirds majority in 1863 in the House chamber of Congress, Lincoln’s cabinet, aids, and lobbyists were forced to use ‘impure’ bribes and promises in order to capture certain Congressional votes or abstentions to get the 13th Amendment passed—the freeing of all slaves!
Our three-branched system doesn’t exempt the Supreme Court from impurities either. In 1857 the Supreme Court (Dred Scott vs Sandford) basically ruled that African-Americans were not part of the “sovereign people” who made the U.S. Constitution, were thus not U.S. citizens, and hence could not sue for their freedom. In this situation it is (pure?) good the federal Congress and White House later passed amendments that overturned this Supreme Court decision… and 8-9 years later did so with 5 slave-owning Justices (Democrats) and only 2 dissenting abolitionist Justices (Republicans).
It is worthy to note one example of the usefulness of Mr. Murr’s “democratic” battle-cry would ironically be our need to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in favor of Citizens United; which was a Republican-majority Supreme Court decision then undermining Mr. Murr’s “popular” democracy today. So it repeatedly begs the question, “How and why does a court case reach the final highest court of the land?” Research it and learn! Don’t just take anyone’s words for it or any politician’s battle-cry for it! Do the legwork and homework yourself!
Clearly, governing or ruling a people MUST be frequently evolving with several democratic “check-points” in the system to guard against a plutarchy (like Texas? 12 Texas counties?) from seizing and/or manipulating power and laws that DO NOT represent the majority of 49 other United States… and in which Texas is supposed to be part of. It is a give and take Mr. Murr.
As you correctly stated in your second paragraph:
“The Founding Fathers established our form of [Federal] government so that citizens, through their elected officials, could establish laws that reflect their desires; [and] particularly at the state and local levels.”
Though some/many Texans forget they are part of a bigger picture, a bigger Union and enjoying those many benefits of a Federal Team/Union—sometimes getting consumed by their own little world, or as you correctly said “particularly at the state and LOCAL levels”—having the protections of a Federal 3-branched Team is a wonderful blessing for ALL Americans, especially those who are not “in the majority” (oligarchy?) of social, political, or religious or non-religious sectors yet STILL deserve their individual rights, freedoms, and protections as American citizens, even in Texas.
Professor Taboo (here, in place of my real name)
My Conclusion For This Post
The theme of my written letter to Congressman Murr was centered on his rallies (threats?) of mutiny aboard the U.S.S. America, e.g. “into OUR OWN HANDS.” His assertions about the function and authority of our Federal Branches as well as the spirit of six Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, additionally a lengthy history of Supreme Court decisions upholding the separation of church and state… are simply and as a whole misinformed. His direct attacks on “Public Restroom Policy” and “Same-Sex Marriage” politically are nothing to ignore or dismiss, but their protection and/or legislation is unambiguously paramount! I’ll address their defense and other inevitable sociopolitical issues more thoroughly in my next post, 2017: Our Past, Present & Forecast.
Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always
This work by Professor Taboo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.professortaboo.com/contact-me/.