The Header Image is my own original work. This post was written to be something of a joke. Take it with a healthy serving of salt.
I was watching some movies one afternoon with my friend (The Wizard of Oz and Taxi Driver to be exact) and reading some stuff [I was heavily into Gore Vidal, George McGovern and Chris Hedges during the summer of ‘16, when this was written], and I tied it all back to politics because the election [had] monopolized my interest [that] year.
I believe I’ve finally cracked the code. The perfect system of government. The ideal criteria for each magistrate. I was thinking, what we need is to bring the rule of law as well as the power of governance back to the people, not the ever-reelected political dynasties. What we need are workers councils, but of a uniquely American flavor, if you will. A Carthaginian Tribunal of 104, with each member having a different job. The poet, the physician, the farmer, the scientist,the magician…the clown, the janitor, the prostitute, the business entrepreneur, the barber, the chef, the film director, and not least of all…the taxi driver. The men and women of the Hands, those who work and built America with their labor. They who have experience in all corners of the land, at all rungs of the ladder. All of whom have some unique insight to offer in the decision making process, and first-hand experience of what the country needs. As true representatives of the people, they would serve as the new Lower House of the Legislature.
That leaves the Upper House, whom I propose we staff with the philosophers of all political, theocratic, and ideological backgrounds. This would include the Marxist, the Libertarian, the Minarchist, the Buddhist, the Utilitarian, the students of Plato and Kant and Huxley. Those who’ve experienced the mind on all its different planes: stimulus deprivation, stimulus maximization, meditation, lucid dreaming, astral projection, and perhaps even psychedelics. The great thinkers, the men and women of the Head, the balanced and worldly anchors. We must remove the blind loyalty to parties, tribalism and lobbying from the wealthy dominating the process. We need legislators who deliberate, not grand stand when they’re not rubber-stamping bills they haven’t even read. We need people who can think outside the box rather than march along to the status quo if it means contributions or a lobbying gig lined up after they retire. Short-term thinking must give way to planting trees whose shade the legislators themselves will never sit under.
Where does that leave us with executive power? We need a person who hides behind a mirror, not a curtain. Someone who reflects the will of the people, but with the power to bend that reflection of the masses into something more meaningful than we on the other side ever thought we could be. Imagine the President as less of a watered-down collection of our lowest common denominators and more of a profound fun house mirror. We need not someone who says “Elect me! I’m someone important! I can solve all your problems!” but rather someone who says “I’m nobody. And nobody is gonna solve your problems for you.” The President can alter the reflection into something beautiful but they’re dependent on the people to fuel their ability to do so. The Presidential candidates should be freed from the insane costs it takes to even run for the office, and they should report back to us every week not every four years. They are the man or woman of the Heel, for they live and govern under the collective heel of all their constituents.
This leaves the judiciary. For this office, only a triumvirate of the vulnerable could possibly suffice. The proverbial Strawman, mischaracterized by stereotype and bad faith arguments, without a proper education provided for him because of a misguided school system. The prisoner of tin and iron left to rust and rot by a heartless penitentiary system. An abused animal neutered of its natural instincts and strength by a society that has lost sight of what we truly are. These three would embody the needs and perspectives of our weakest and most downtrodden. After all, that is how our society and culture will ultimately be judged, whether we know it or not. We are only as good as the poorest and weakest among us. They are the men and women of the Heart, personifications of our empathy and suffering.
Cassandra, you may have written this with tongue in cheek but behind the fanciful imagery I’d say there lurks a healthy serving of truth and wisdom.
“Short-term thinking must give way to planting trees whose shade the legislators themselves will never sit under.” What a beautiful and sobering thought.
And what a gorgeous header image!