Xenites will fondly remember an episode called The Furies where Xena put Ares, the God of War, on the spot. When she taunted him about being in trouble with the other Olympic Gods, Ares laughed and shook his head saying, "No. They need me."
The twilight of the Olympic Gods has occurred and the human race has gone on to mostly having only one God, but this one God has all the faces of the former dwellers of Mt. Olympus. The God of War face now has the name "Jehovah," and there is much written about him in the Old Testament. His exploits and terrorism made Ares's appear feeble and wimpish.
Like the Olympians, we still need a God of War and the last few weeks have shown us how little we have grown toward the light. We have traded the "rule of law" for the "law of might makes right." We have ceased to elect our governing officials by the ballot and have resorted to the Ares/Jehovah method of threats and violence.
You who have watched the drama play out on T.V. may have noticed the change in background when television remote reporters gave us the play by play of the ballot recount in Florida. At first there were representatives of both political parties peacefully and respectfully protesting, carrying signs and making speeches.
The day before Thanksgiving there was a huge difference. Now only one group was seen. They were carrying signs of hate and yelling words of accusation and threat. This group was made up of many protestors who had come in from other states. When a reporter attempted to interview them, the leaders prevented it. Now, the T.V. cameras seldom portray any of the peaceful protest groups. They have mostly retreated to places of safety from the violence.
At first, the hand counting of the votes from four Florida counties, ordered by law following the election, progressed peacefully. Everyone who had access to a T.V. set could watch the counters. Both political parties, in an orderly fashion, brought their protests of the process to the appropriate courts. The Florida Open Meeting Laws were expressed magnificently and viewers in other states were envious.
This changed dramatically following a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court and a television speech by the Republican presidential candidate. Bush inflamed his supporters with incendiary charges that the hand counters of ballots were "stealing the election." The protestors in the street became mobs of angry people screaming words of hate and threats. Some of this mob bust into a room where the Miami-Dade Canvassing Board was counting. They threatened the Board and the ballot counters.
Where was the press, you ask? It came in with the mob, but was persuaded to leave before the violence and threats to the Board were made. The cameras never caught and passed on to us the pictures of election officials being knocked down onto the floor, kicked and threatened. Dutifully, the media came back to allow us to hear a cowed Miami-Dade Canvassing Board's decision that they would do no more counting of the ballots. Mob rule prevented the legal recount of many of our fellow citizen's vote. Mob rule may well determine who our next president is -- not our votes.
Our country, where governments used to rule "by the consent of the governed" is now on its way to picking the next president by "rule of the mob." Surely Ares and Jehovah are smiling (up or down, according to your point of view) on us. This black Thanksgiving Eve has shown us that we simply have not learned to get along without the good auspices of a God of War.
Have our Furies blinded us from striving for "The Greater Good"?
Copyright 2000 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: email@example.com.
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