Did you ever smell catfish bait? Itís like something died under the house and they mixed it into a doughball. It is that sweet and it competes real well with other smells you get down in the muck of a stagnant river.
Anyway, thatís the smell of politics down here in Texas right after our voters landslided onto a baited amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman, the better to keep other kinds of couples in their closets.
As a work of language the marriage amendment is very impressive evidence of the multiple illiteracies of our elected leadership. They obviously donít understand the concept of liberty, since they have crafted a definition of marriage that prevents some adults from choosing marriage even when they would be hurting nobody by that choice. But they also donít know much grammar either since the bare language of the thing seems to prevent the practice of marriage altogether (which is only bad grammar if itís the opposite of what you meant to legislate.)
So if you thought Bush was the worst leadership that Texas could throw up to the world (bad pun intended) and youíve taken comfort that his Presidential years are constitutionally numbered then think again. Weíve got a hundred more like him down here all fighting for power.
I donít mean to say that Texas people are way more hateful than your average state. Thereís plenty of mean shit in this world to go around. But if Texans were way more hateful and you could prove it, most wouldnít care too much. Theyíd just say, well weíre not that much more hateful. And theyíd go right on thinking less of you.
Neither does it seem that we have a leadership that much worse than say California, but we do have leadership that cannot lead and will therefore use hateful means to hateful ends in the fattest, laziest pretense of problem solving, which thatís a dangerous thing if the surrounding crowd has no pride whatsoever in their capacity to love.
So, the clocks in Texas have all been turned back an hour or two and the darkness will be arriving a little earlier each day, purely in consideration of the extra hours needed by night riders to take advantage of this new season of hate.
In fact, eight members of the Klan got so excited about the smell of politics that last Saturday they drove half a day to Austin to proclaim their love for the chance to practice real Christian morality in the aftermath of a landslide. I donít know how much gas they used along the way, or how much they thought about the meaning of those gas prices, but like I said, catfish bait politics does really well in a muck thatís already stinkin.
So if you woke up early Tuesday and heard Amy Goodman tell you about the phosphorus bombs that burned the people of Falluja to death, and you stayed up late Tuesday night to find out that among freedom loving people, gay adults need to be told what not to do, then you could hardly go to bed thinking anything but revolution, because if you didnít wake up pushing for some kind of revolution Wednesday morning, there is no question that you would just be begging to be pushed around one more time.
Greg Moses is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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