The echoes of our sad history keep reverberating. This time, the recollection that the deprivation of human rights under law and the natural person being trumped by property rights was with us from the start when the Constitution assigned more weight to the owners of people as property than to women, children and property-less folk, was prompted by a missive from John William "Jack" Conway, the incumbent Attorney General of Kentucky who's seeking another term.
Jack Conway, who was last heard from on the national stage when he offered himself as a candidate to become the junior Senator form Kentucky and Rand Paul, the Tea Party favorite was elected, isn't communication with supporters on his own behalf. Rather, he's alerting us to the prospect that Scott Walker, the terror of Wisconsin, is aiming to stir up some trouble in Kentucky to support another autocratic candidate for Governor there.
David Williams, who spent most of his adult life in the Kentucky legislature, is now seeking the governorship under the Republican party umbrella, after knocking a Tea Party candidate out in the primary, and cozying up to the poster-boy of the Koch contingent, Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Next we'll hear that Chris Christie is weighing in to emphasize that it's the duty of governors to impose discipline and austerity and sacrifice to remind the working class that they've got it good. After all, the owners of capital, whom we might now recognize as the 1%ers, used to count on the overseers to rely on whips and chains to keep the unruly on task.
Of course, Jack Conway doesn't use such blunt analogies. His message is couched in courtesies, as one would expect from a Kentucky gentleman:
“Now, we just learned that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has become the national poster child for stomping on the backs of working families, will be in the commonwealth to campaign against Kentucky Democrats,” says Conway. “Today I am asking you to join me in standing up for Kentucky working families and to tell Scott Walker to bring his anti-union agenda somewhere else.”
Actually, come to think of it, "stomping on the backs" may just be what set off the reverberations and led to the comparison between slave-drivers and these autocratic governors, whose definition of "consent of the governed" is just a tad off from the common understanding that the people govern and delegate some agents to carry out specific tasks.
Indeed, it seems to be rather widely accepted that what was wrong, for example, with involuntary servitude, was that it was involuntary. So, if people could be persuaded to consent to having their human rights restricted and abused, it would be not only perfectly legal (as was slavery and the deprivation of speech by DADT), but virtuous. If the people can be tricked into volunteering for military service, then their senseless deaths can be reclassified as "sacrifice." If the people can be tricked into signing away the integrity of their bodies in exchange for a modicum of medical care, then the imposition of a potentially life-threatening condition (pregnancy) isn't abusive at all.
Ah, informed consent! So often, the consequences are so different from what we intend, even if there's no malice involved. Sometimes, the rule of law just serves to disguise, who's depriving whom of what rights. Like the slave-drivers, those who govern on behalf of the 1%ers can claim to be just following orders. Deprivation under cover of law; it's an American tradition. Steve Forbes almost can't contain himself.