Overreaching from Both Sides of the Aisle
Reading through things this morning, I came across two different articles that point out that control beyond the scope of their mandate knows no political party. Both sides are equally capable of attempting to lay claim to control over constituencies that they shouldn’t. In both of them, I can see the “good intentions” of the people putting these forward. However, I truly wonder if they can see the “road to hell” they’re paving.
The first one comes out of Texas. You have Rep. Wayne Smith of Baytown, Texas, who is wanting to place a $500 fine and a misdemeanor charge on any parent who misses a scheduled meeting with their child’s public school teacher. His good intentions are to get parents to stop skipping the meetings and have more involvement in their children’s education. While I can understand and appreciate his intent, I cringe at the idea of putting this sort of force on parents. What would be the next step here? Taking children away from their parents when they skip meetings and charging the parents with child abuse? Thankfully, the chair of the House Public Education Committee in Texas, Rep. Rob Eissler, is skeptical about the law and it’s looking unlikely it’ll ever make its way to the floor in Texas.
The second example comes out of Washington. You have Initiative 957 filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance pushing to have an initiative put on the ballot in November. If the initiative passes, it would require anyone putting in for a marriage license to prove that they both able to have children and are planning to have children within the bounds of their marriage. If they do not have children within three years, their marriage would be annulled. Again, I can see the “good intentions” here. The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance is attempting to force debate on the issue of Same Sex Marriage by pushing an absurd initiative based on one of the foundation arguments for why heterosexual couples are allowed to marry but homosexual couples are not. The danger here is that the Far Right will take up this banner and push to have it approved. Granted, this is the Pacific Northwest where the Far Right is a definite minority, but that would not stop this from spreading elsewhere.
In both of these cases, you have one small group (or simply an individual) attempting to enforce their viewpoints or beliefs on the rest of the population using the force of law. I truly have to wonder at the hubris (or simple naivety) of someone who would attempt to use the business end of a gun to enforce their viewpoint on others in this country. Of course, the masses in this country fail to understand that this is what they’re doing when they ask the Government to pass a law supporting their beliefs. It seems anymore that it’s considered the standard to push personal belief issues on others through the force of Government no matter if it’s something that falls under the purview of the Government.
Obviously far too many people believe that the idea of ‘my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins’ doesn’t extend to realm of the mind as well as the realm of the physical.