It could also be that some unduly-optimistic particular person within the Eighties expressed the concept that, though energy tends to deprave these in cost, if they’ve “absolute power” they’ll govern and act in a beneficiant and evenhanded means. Lord Acton put this perception on the trash heap of fallacious concepts when he wrote in 1887: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
For good examples of Lord Acton’s fact we are able to have a look at the Republican absolutely-dominated homes of the Kentucky legislature. Not content material with having the ability cross and veto-proof any piece of laws they need, they’ve now modified the foundations in order that they will minimize off debate instantly after introducing a invoice. Practice and custom have been that when a movement to finish debate is made, anybody else within the chamber who nonetheless needed to talk might accomplish that for 10 minutes. Now under no circumstances, thus reinforcing the true Republican conservative precept of freedom of speech. Since these pesky Democrats haven’t any capability to vote a invoice down, why ought to the Republican majority should waste time listening to them?
On the docket for the present legislative session is “BR 14: AN ACT relating to public education and declaring an emergency.” “Amend KRS 158.183 to require a local board of education or board of a public charter school to ensure that no public school or public charter school offers any classroom instruction or discussion that incorporates designated concepts related to race, sex, and religion”
Now that’s a bedrock conservative Republican precept: Let the federal government prescribe what can and can’t be mentioned amongst its residents and lecturers. Keep authorities entrance and heart in our lives. Limit the liberty of speech of scholars. Maybe burn just a few books. After all, the GOP legislature has absolutely the energy to take action. And it’s declared an emergency in order that such restrictions happen RIGHT NOW earlier than one other younger thoughts is contaminated.
It can’t be that the proponents of the laws would have been the members of the White Citizen Councils of sixty years in the past? Or be Ku Klux Klaners 100 years in the past? Or slave house owners 150 years in the past?
And, in fact, the Republican legislators are dedicated to democracy, supported by free and honest elections – elections through which regard is given to preserving current wise areas of political leaning. That’s why the GOP will enact gerrymandered maps dividing town of Bowling Green into three legislative districts. They add in sufficient rural territory to ensure the votes of town residents are diluted, guaranteeing that the ensuing elected representatives are Republican. Can’t have too lots of them. Need a super-super majority.
And, because the male is dominant in our human species it solely is smart to redraw the district strains so that ladies are drummed out of the legislature. Lord Acton once more: “. . . absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
On the matter of the finances: Traditionally the chief department proposes a plan and the result’s produced by negotiation between the 2 elementary businesses of presidency. Using its absolute energy the GOP launched a proposed finances first. Why ought to it hassle observing common order when it doesn’t should? Heck, regardless of the Republican management’s spin suggesting it needs to barter with the Governor, it most likely gained’t even hassle to learn his submission. Why ought to it?
The solely intrusion into absolutely the energy now wielded by the GOP is the excessive esteem through which many pondering residents of the Commonwealth maintain Gov. Beshear for his management and compassion within the COVID pandemic. While the GOP cupboard and legislative members have finished their finest to advertise “individual freedom” whatever the lack of life (recall the freshmen GOP reps exhibiting up on the primary day with out masks?) the Governor has principally prevailed. Surely with its absolute energy the GOP can repair this in 2023. Or possibly not.
Michael Kennedy is a retired University of Kentucky geography professor.