Jim Tate OP-ED page Edition 1. 8/13/2016
Clarification and explanation
It has again come to my attention that a lot of people do not understand me. Many think I am just a sour and mean and old fashioned old man….this is not necessarily erroneous, as I admit to these tendencies.
But my bigger problem is that my most effective means of communication is through the written word…..but I just cannot do it in 140 characters or less as demanded by the world today. But then I do not think many people can communicate a thought process in so few words….make a statement yes….but communicate a thought process no…
So I am going to try a new process. I am going to create a section on my blog for Op-Ed….I have sections for the farm, and conservation articles and for stories. So one more section won’t be a burden. In the Op-Ed section I will endeavor to communicate the thought process behind my opinions of the topics of the times.
My first topic will be on Felons and rights restoration.
Since the founding of our country there has been a list of rights of citizenship. Unfortunately the founders did not see a need to create a parallel list of responsibilities of citizenship as they had just fought a war for independence and the population was well aware of their duties as citizens. I am a firm believer in personal freedom and personal responsibility.
Let me illustrate how it was simply taught to me as a child…..I had the freedom to stand around or walk around and swing my fist wildly in the air. This was my personal freedom and my right……
Until my fist hit someone else in the nose….my rights had then just infringed upon someone else’s freedom and my responsibility became engaged…. I was responsible for the damage. I was responsible for the harm. I was responsible for the social repercussions. And worst of all I was responsible for the butt whipping I likely had in my future when mom and dad heard of it.
Today too many talk about their rights with absolutely no concept of the hand in hand responsibilities.
Our social justice code is based on the same concepts. Each of us has a set of rights and a set of responsibilities. When our rights trample the rights of another our responsibilities kick in and part of that responsibility in our legal system may be the suspension of some of our freedoms. The entire penal code is a listing of the possibilities of forfeiture for socially unacceptable behavior. We must also acknowledge that socially acceptable behavior is a moving target….those spankings that my generation got would quite possibly land today’s parent in jail. This is not necessarily a good thing as it is the duty of the parent to install a sense of socially acceptable behavior in their offspring…
Back in the old days it was the kids against the grown ups…they were all watching us and they all knew we were guilty…we just had to be caught….and the testimony of an adult was more compelling than the testimony of ten kids. And at my house part of the responsibility was getting to go cut a proper switch.
Todays parents will often fight you if you say anything un praiseworthy of their little darlings.
Goodness knows that I have committed more than one social blunder, and paid more than one price. Continues to this very day…remember the target keeps moving….
All of that is background for my opinion on the felons rights issues.
Our legal system has an absolutely valid process for the restoration of rights to reformed felons. I have absolutely no problem with this process. When someone has changed their ways and makes an honest effort to adhere to the moving target of social mores. When they have paid the assigned price in terms of money or time or suspension of rights. When they have demonstrated their ability to function as valued members of society and adhere to the rules of society. I am all in favor of them being reinstated as fully productive citizens with all the rights and responsibilities pertaining thereto.
This process has worked for decades, on an individual case by case basis. It is not cheap and it is not easy but is has been a part of the long established process.
My problem is with the carpet bagger political operative who wishes to strengthen his position in the mafia that the democratic party has become….The current governor is non Virginian political operative of Mafia Queen Hillary Clinton who somehow got installed on her model of You don’t have to live here to govern here…
His goal clearly was to attempt to deliver nearly a quarter of a million potential democratic voters in a swing state to the butcher of Benghazi by using the model of emperor obumer and bypassing the normal process and acting by executive order. This not only bypasses the established procedure. No one had done any due diligence or had any understanding of the applicability of the process to those on the list.
It is blatant political opportunism with no regard for the law. The governor is a very charming and engaging individual and could sell snow cones to Eskimos. I have seen people nearly swoon after meeting him. But that does not change the fact that he is a con man and a charlatan who is playing political games with our states highest office.
Unfortunately he is not the first to do so. His predecessor talked the talk of a conservative statesman while he worked to build his political future as well. Until greed and corruption were exposed leading to his downfall.
Americans and Virginians must demand accountability from our elected representatives and we must demand both freedom and responsibility…
Some of these politicians need to learn to go and cut a proper switch.