Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Deep, Deep Thoughts in ABQ City Council District Nine

In a parry of political ideas strikingly reminiscent of Socrates, Thrasymachus and the rest of the Greek boys in Plato's Republic, ABQ City Council District Nine finalists Don F. Harris (F = Felony?) and Tina Cummins exchanged deep, eternal philosophical ideas in a battle of press conferences and interviews Tuesday. Such was the depth of thinking exhibited by these two District 9 uber-scholars, that one is reminded of the need to get past simplistic Platonic ideals such as benevolent dictators and restricted citizenship to elites, and instead focus on more important concepts such as traffic citations, who has more traffic citations, whose citations are worse than others' citations, culminating in new "Allegory of the Cave" type insights about O.J. Simpson.

But we're getting ahead of ourself. Like most philosophically dense works, a discussion of Cummins & Harris' thoughts must first include studied reading. For this purpose, let us direct you to the ABQ Journal story by Jim Ludwick entitled "Council Hopeful Faced 19 Charges". (maybe a subscription, maybe not...the Journal "free articles" doctrine is a sort of Kafka meets Calvinism, surrealism-predestination, thing.) Really, go read the article first. I'll wait....

Okay, you've read the article. But have you really read it? Have you internalized the dense layering of political thought? Perhaps not. Maybe many, many more readings will be required before the typical scholar-to-be fully understands comments from Mr. Harris such as:

"Having her lecture me on traffic laws is almost like having O.J. Simpson lecture someone on domestic violence."

And, just as important, one cannot simply parse a stinging syllogistic conclusion such as this, without first comprehending the supporting statements Harris lays out regarding both why he has "19 Charges" and what the hell O.J. Simpson has to do with any of this. Yet, just as we must read between the lines to fully translate Samuel Alito's past vague rulings into probable future findings, we must take statements such as "I got confused about the filing dates" & "It shows I'm not perfect" to grasp the brilliant intellectual leap from this to O.J. Simpson. Not everyone could do it. Don F. (F = friggin' great logician?) Harris can do it.

But whereas Cummins was left with fewer comments in the ABQ Journal piece, she too demonstrates the high level of discourse present in the District 9 run-off. Probably reflecting that her years of previous City Council service didn't really warrant ever having a press conference, she sagely waits to have such a conference to announce that Don F. Harris has had 19 charges in Metro Court.
The former DWI-charged Cummins stated that she "was stunned by the number of allegations." Very likely, she was most deeply shaken to her Aristotelian core by the citation Harris received for "improper sunscreen material on windows". Cummins was "shocked and extremely disappointed" in a way that only a thoughtful political theorist can be. Hers is the position of the skeptic, the one unsure that benevolent dictators can exist in a land where improper window sunscreening is taking place.

This humble blogmaster believes that just as Plato's Republic has remained a seminal text in political theory for over 2,000 years , the thoughts outlined in "Council Hopeful Faced 19 Charges" will last well beyond next Tuesday's City Council Run-Off. Collected together with the rest of the Cummins/Harris philosophical oeuvre, future generations of political theorists may well look at the "Allegory of the O.J. Simpson" as the next great explanation of how a government and its people may work together.

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