I found out yesterday just how close midterms were. I swear this is the fastest semster EVER! I have to turn in my first midterm paper a week from last Tuesday! I guess it would be irresponsible of me to go to Buttarspalooza instead of researching and writing that paper and staying caught up on my studies, so I guess I'll have to blow off some steam on my blog rather than let my hair down at the big party.
I agree, Senator Buttars ought to have every opportunity to fully excercise his civil liberties, including his freedom of speech. Free speech is a valuable tool for democratic peoples. It allows ignorant (reminder: ignorance is a three syllable word which refers to a lack of knowledge or understanding, and not to an ornery attitude), prejudiced, pernicious, and dangerous people to expose themselves for what they are, thus warning the general public of their intentions and probable future actions. So you see, I don't have a problem with Chris Buttars expressing himself freely. Surely when he directed his hate politics at African Americans on public record last year, some good but misguided voters must have decided he crossed a line they weren't comfortable with. Come to think of it, I would surely hope the reason he was reelected was not because the majority of his constituents really are members of the KKK or Arian Nations (and in my back yard!), but rather that they were uninformed and voted carelessly out of habit, relying on party politcs rather than their own intellect and values. Not that I appreciate that sort of voting strategy, but the alternative is terrifying by contrast!
So, do I think a senator should be removed from office because he exercised freedom of speech? No, of course not! Do I think a senator should represent his constituent's values and act upon them in senate proceedings? Of course! BUT...our senators should represent us FIRST from within the framework of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I think language which excludes individuals and groups from civil liberties is necessarily inapropriate in our state capitol and serves as a warning of cancer within our legislative branch. I believe continued red flags such as we've seen from Buttars are just cause for...what do you call it when you fire a senator? Impeachment? Something else? Anyway, we ought to fire that biggoted old fool's ass! Come to think of it, we should fire Waddoups ass too because as our state senate president he should have fired Buttars' ass last year.
Let me tell you what Waddoups did last year when Buttars' directed his inapropriate use of free speech toward African American children. He removed him from his position as judicial committee chairman, but not his position on the rules committee. Then, when the excitement died down, he reinstated him. And that's exactly what they did again this year and will probably do next time. The really scary thing is that Buttars isn't an anomaly in the Utah senate. Waddoups, in the press conference concerning the matter, explained they were releasing him from the judicial committee in order to allow him to more fully excercise his right to free speech without being inhibited by his office. He also expressed his support, and the support of all of Buttar's peers in the state senate, saying nobody disagreed with WHAT he said, just HOW he said it. OMG! So apparently the consensus among our entire senate is that African Americans, Latin Americans, Gays and others are disgraceful, the most dangerous threat to America, comparable to radical muslims, and the meanest buggers they've ever seen. Only, they would have codified (sugar coated) it. Wow!
Some people are of the mistaken impression that if the majority vote for something, that makes it constitutional. WRONG! The constitution and bill of rights were designed to prevent minorities, both individuals and groups, from majority tyranny. Our founding fathers were trying to prevent us from doing to "others," Mormons for example, what was done to the puritans who fled Europe, especially England, to the Americas for reasons of religious and political persecution. How quickly we forget what it's like to be the persecuted minority and become a majority perpetuating injustice upon "others" within our own community. As soon as we set foot upon this continent we were persecuting and exterminating its native inhabitants. And of course the more things change, the more they stay the same. Were we all asleep in history class? Apparently!
So, one more time...senators are citizens too, and entitled to freedom of speech just like we ordinary citizens are. Democratically elected senators are obligated to represent and act upon the values of their constituents. But senators are also obligated to serve in their legislative capacities FIRST from within the framework of the Constitution and Bill of rights. When senators, through excercise of their freedom of speech, reveal agendas which exclude individuals and groups from civil liberties intended for all Americans, we ought to fire them regardless of whether or not they were elected in a democratic manner. Senators like Buttars are actually the greatest threat to the constitution and the very fabric of American life. Hate politics are never appropriate in the state senate!