Editorial on Philosophy and Politics
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
"I have always loved politics. I love philosophy, and that's how I see politics.
Philosophy: the rational, abstract, and methodical consideration of reality as a whole or of fundamental dimensions of human existence and experience. (https://bit.ly/2W4aEg9)
When a policy is enacted, one thing that must be considered is how "human existence and experience" will respond. You cannot promote political policy without considering humanity's natural reaction to those policies. One common anecdote, though I cannot cite any profound, historical philosopher as the author, speaks to human nature very well: "Give an inch, and they will take a mile." We see this reign true in both toddlers and politicians.
Although I have always been fascinated by the subject of politics and the philosophies behind differing political ideals, I had never gotten involved until 2020. In 2020, three people were arrested in Moscow, Idaho while standing in the courthouse parking lot singing hymns. Yes, the idea of social distancing was taking over our lives at that point and some people had started to adopt the idea of mask wearing. I do not believe the hymn singers were practicing those aspects of the current new lifestyle trend. No, there was no legislation that would have caused any arrests related to not social distancing or not wearing masks. There is, however, legislation protecting the right to peaceably assemble and the right to practice religion, and the Bill of Rights does not list any contingencies accompanying those rights.
Moscow's local police force was told to arrest the hymn singers, and one of the charges that was used to do so was that one of the citizens did not identify himself. In the state of Idaho, however, an individual is only required to identify himself if he is suspected of a misdemeanor or felony that is punishable by more than a $300 fine. To this day, I have not heard of what misdemeanor or felony the arrested hymn singers were suspected of committing. This leads me to believe that there was no crime suspected, and that individual who ordered the arrests was on a covid protocol power trip, wanting to shut down an outdoor gathering. It appears the police, by citing "failure to show identification," cleverly performed the arrests in the best way they could think to do so, while avoiding consequences for breaching the Bill of Rights.
Soon after the arrests, there were rallies held in support of the hymn singers. Our individual, guaranteed rights were being breached two hours away from where I live. That was too close to home, so I had to attend.
During the rally, a fight was instigated by an individual who opposed our cause, but the local media reported that it was us, the hymn-sing supporters, that initiated violence. This was infuriating to me as an individual who had been present during the brief fight. The reporter had flipped the narrative. They made the civil rights activists look like violent perpetrators. This fake news reporting was also happening too close to home.
Moscow, Idaho, which felt like it was right in my backyard, is not a place I was willing to see the Bill of Rights getting stomped on, nor was it a place where I was willing to have fake news invalidate my real-life experiences. From then on, I have been attending every political event I can, in order to grow my involvement and witness everything first-hand, since apparently even the local reporters cannot be trusted with a story.
Fast forward to now, August 2021. Kootenai County, Idaho is considering an alternative form of government, for which a study committee has been appointed to perform any applicable interviews, data analysis, etc. to come up with a recommendation of what an alternative form of government could look like. I have been in attendance of those meetings, wanting to witness exactly how this process unfolds, learning all the nitty gritty details, hoping to form a thorough understanding before it is supposedly put onto a ballot for citizens to vote on.
During the last public meeting on this subject, the crowd got a bit mouthy. It was not our most polite move, but many of us attendees had become frustrated with the fact that there had been no opportunity for public comment as of yet. Thus, the crowd forced opportunities for their voices to be heard. The following meeting, during which the Sheriff was scheduled to be the study committee's interviewee, was cancelled last minute. This was followed by a rumor that the concurrent meetings may not allow public attendance. The reasoning being cited is "covid"-- the same thing that led to the social distancing frenzy that I believe attributed to the arrest of hymn singers two hours away in Moscow, Idaho.
An illness is no grounds for government to limit the people. However, government overreach is definite grounds for the people to work harder to sustain our current government limitations. We are part of the system of checks and balances, and "We the People" have been lazy. There should have been no interruption in the full enforcement of the Bill of Rights in Moscow, just as there should be no interruption of the public's political involvement in Kootenai County."
"Give an inch, and they will take a mile."