Although it won’t solve all of our country’s problems, one fix seems obvious. We need a constitutional amendment to abolish the House of Representatives. Democracy can be achieved with one legislative body, and we can enlarge the Senate by having at least three senators from each state, so that in every state at least one senator will be elected statewide every two years (for a six-year term).
A Facebook friend, maybe someone I’ve met once, maybe someone I’ve befriended only because we have a lot of common friends, noticed that it was my birthday recently and left me a FB message: “Happy Birthday to my favorite Lib.” Does he think I’m a liberal, I wonder, because I’ve posted a message recommending abolishment of the Second Amendment? Or because I’ve posted proposed legislation requiring every person and company involved in the manufacture, sale, ownership, and use of guns be held liable for all murder and mayhem perpetrated with those guns? I can see how someone might get the impression that I was a die-hard liberal from those posts. That someone would be correct.
But, if I’m one of those liberals, the l-word which is a dirty word these days to so many other Americans, then what does it mean that I did not berate the jury that found George Zimmerman innocent of homicide in the death of Trayvon Martin. What does it mean that I defend pharmaceutical companies in civil litigation, when any true liberal ought to think that someone suing such defendants must always be in the right or must always be given money regardless? What does it mean that I’m much more sympathetic to police officers these days and much more appreciative of the risks they take than I was when, as a much younger lawyer, I prosecuted police brutality cases?
Could it be that labels for people, as convenient as they may be, are ultimately lies? That truth about people and labeling of people cannot reasonably co-exist? When it comes to mental illness, for example, could it be that our elaborate names for various diseases shield real knowledge of the people who purportedly bear those diseases? It’s a question that is never far from my fiction.
A surprise cloud disfigures the otherwise light
Blue sky, blown up the mountainside by the brisk breeze,
Reminding us that summer won’t last forever
Even in the heavenly hills around our lake.
As I turned to hold you
Under a black sun
Whose gloom blanketed us
With the weight of death
I still heard your sweet breath
Still smelled your hair and
Sucked into me your scent
To keep us as one
I still felt your side’s sway
The wisps of hair which
I pressed to one last time
One last memory
As I turned to hold you
You were not yet gone
But you had no way to say
You still felt my warmth
The cry for justice echoes throughout the country, and tens of thousands march believing that justice has been denied Trayvon Martin. The same people who would have applauded a guilty verdict now attack the very same system, the prosecutors, judge, and jury, because they disagree with the result. Since when did emotions need to be rational?
God knows that jurors can get it wrong in an absolute sense, the OJ Simpson case easily coming to mind. I’ve presented many cases to juries, both criminal and civil, and recognize how sometimes jurors can fail to see the facts the way I feel they should have been seen. But that’s the system we have, for better or worse.
When you attack the Trayvon Martin verdict, remember that, in a different society, George Zimmerman might not have been tried at all and never put at risk of conviction. When you attack the Trayvon Martin verdict, remember that only the jurors in this case heard all the evidence with the responsibility of sorting out the mess, that only the jurors in this case were sworn to applying their collective judgment to the verdict, and that only the jurors in this case were instructed by the Court as to the law to apply. And when you attack the Trayvon Martin verdict, remember that the same jurors you now vilify would have been geniuses in your view had the verdict gone the other way.