This is the home of the 'serious' a4g. To visit my dark side, go to Point Five. (The dark side seems to post every day... Why do you think that is?)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Arrogance Supreme

"But what about Brown v. Board of Education?"

If I have to hear that argument again...

With the recent ruling on "the execution of teenagers" which is actually the ruling on executing adults ten to twenty years after they committed a crime while 16 or 17, a highly useful marker has been created by the Supreme Court in the outing of self-loathing individuals in our society.

For what is the argument over the Supreme Court's role in protecting us from the "tyranny of the majority" but a proxy for the larger question of man in nature and the inherent viability of democracy itself? It seems that anyone who takes a stand on this decision tips their hand -- the two camps are those that oppose the decision, who trust that the will of the people is best able to define justice, and those that support it, who believe that the will of the people is inherently suspect, brutish and cruel (although these same people don't seem to note the delicious irony that they, too, are people, and seem to trust their own will).

So what is the historical precedent for this feverish fear of majority decisions? Let's take America's most notorious example: slavery. Slavery, which a majority compromise rendered legal. Slavery which chained millions in bondage while salon conversation presented point and counterpoint. Tyranny, yes, stipulated. But a tyranny that drove deep wedges and cracks in this nation, with results of such violent retribution that no war in our history has equalled its penitential blood spilled.

Is history itself not an argument for the essentially self-correcting nature of democratic republics? Did slavery cease to exist when we would have liked? No. But neither has poverty, nor dictatorship, nor even gravity when it is not particularly in keeping with our desires not to hit the ground hard. The antebellum Supreme Court, which, self-annointed, delivers us from all evil, did not even side with the slaves. Yet we are now supposed to smugly smirk self-satisfied that the erudite intellect of five black-robed tyrants has protected us from our baser selves.

So no, I don't favor Brown. And no, don't believe that "black's would still be segregated" if not for the Court. We want change today -- now -- instantaneously, but the forge of history strikes its hammer slowly -- there are 561 years between June 15, 1215 and July 4, 1776. Five and a half centuries to tear down a king. And there are those that would give every ounce of his power back just to get their way today instead of tommorrow.

I for one would rather hold a rifle high above my head and let those who would lord over me know that I am an American, struck in the land of freedom. Through my blood runs the inheritance of patriots and martyrs. Untested though I am, if called, I will serve. I won't sell the terrible, terrifying uncertain adventure of self-determination for the fat, greasy comfort of a european entitlement cheque.

You'll take my liberty from me out of my cold, dead hands.
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