By David Tulis
Chattanooga city council’s homosexual member offers bluff talk to the election commission as it considers a resident petition for his recall.
Chris Anderson, through an attorney, argues that the motives of Tennessee citizens who live in his district are corrupt and tainted, and that approval of their petition to recall him is illegal and unconstitutional.
The letter by attorney and judicial candidate Stuart James traces what he says are trends in jurisprudence that disallow “discriminatory” purposes in the electorate. Assuming he is right in his analysis, let’s see how the trajectory he describes might end.
While African nations are taking steps to criminalize sodomy, Mr. Anderson is part of a U.S. effort to redefine marriage by erecting a homosexual scaffolding against its outer walls. His disputed Chattanooga ordinance establishes a “domestic partnership” that is unlawful in Tennessee and outside the legal authority of a municipal corporation. He wants to unseat marriage, which is given special status in law and its participants social benefits because of its cultural and societal power and usefulness.
Mr. Anderson and his homosexual coterie yearn for the day in which a new paradigm reigns and “discrimination” in favor of marriage is either a tort, a civil offense or a crime.
The people of Mr. Anderson’s district are dissatisfied with his representation on the city council, effectively the board of directors of a for-profit corporation in the municipal category. Their reasons vary, according to press reports. He is unresponsive to residents. He does not represents neighborhood interests disturbed by crime. He is overly focused on a gay rights agenda of which he made nary a mention in his campaign. He is avowedly homosexual, and homosexuals defy marriage and God’s law.
Weary of democratic government
Mr. Anderson wants the commission to believe that because of an ascendency of homosexual rights in American law, it is possible for commission members to condemn the petition as an “abuse of the recall process.” Mr. Anderson faults the petition for stating no motive for the recall. Then he faults the petitioners for having motives upon which it would be illegal for the commission to act.
“The amended petition *** is also improper form because it is vague and ambiguous. Furthermore, the petition is a pretext for removing an officeholder for discriminatory purposes. The petition does not give any reason for removal.”
Mr. Anderson, through his agent the attorney, complains that a petition is wrong-headed because elections are sufficient for his constituents. “If he is not doing a good job as the petition seemingly suggests[,] isn’t that what the regularly scheduled election is for? *** At the next election, if District 7 voters are unhappy with Councilman Anderson, they can vote him out of office just as they did with Mr. [Manny] Rico.”
“Is this commission,” whines Mr. Anderson, “going to approve every petition filed for a recall just because an officeholder does a poor job in some voters’ minds? Is this commission going to approve petitions simply asking for a recall without specific reasoning?” He wants the panel to prejudge the public; he wants the agent to control the principal. “Is this commission going to approve a petition simply asking for a recall without a stated reason? If so, what are elections for and why can the will of the voters be so easily undone?”
Caretaker of the voter, Mr. Anderson continues amplifying the point about the terrible burden voters face in having to go the polling precinct.
If the level of dissatisfaction with some voters causes them to ask for recall just because someone is doing a poor job, just how many recalls will this community have to face, and how many recalls with the voters have to endure? If the voters just want to have a question on the ballot asking voters to recall an official without a reason, how many recalls will the citizens have to endure?
He forgets throwing out politicians excites voters whereas regular elections are a bore. Behind the curtain in this argument is the idea that somehow recall elections are imposed top down. Rather, they are bottom-up. They bubble up from the people. They are more genuine than elections, which baffle the public because, whichever party they vote for, the government always gets in.
Mr. Anderson’s pleading supposes that recalls are imposed on people by government; rather, they are imposed on government actors by the people. I get the feeling that Mr. Anderson is projecting a sort of political hypochondria upon the people, imagining an ailment where none exists.
The poison pill
Mr. Anderson’s letter pretends to have an interest in legitimate and illegimate (discriminatory) causes to not organize a recall. It purpose is to poison the public well of dissent by granting himself a high-minded pretext to ignore the entire lot of voters in his district.
The recall petition, he grouses, “forces him to submit to a recall election ***simply because he is gay and for no other legitimate reason. The form of the petition strongly suggests an improper discriminatory motive.” He is being recalled “simply on *** sexual orientation” and urges the commission not to place “the state’s imprimatur on a recall that is motivated purely by discrimination against Mr. Anderson.” Allowing the petition, he says, validates “the true purpose” of the recall (italics added).
One distinction of first amendment jurisprudence is that federal courts are forbidden to take religious belief and to weigh and scrutinize its content. If that belief is religious in nature, it is accorded protection.
But Mr. Anderson insists that federal rulings require the election commission to dig into the content of voters’ grievances and to make distinctions as to legitimacy of belief. He requires the county election commission to weigh the content of religious and other opinion, to subject free Tennesseans to searching inquiry.
Mr. Anderson’s views of politics are like those of mainstream homosexuals. It is censorious. It touches on bigotry. It mocks anyone whose worldview has an intimacy with God.
At least one signer of the petition, I am sure, worries about God’s hatred of homosexuality and thinks on His promises of forgiveness to those who repent; this one is to be shunned. Mr. Anderson would identify the ogres marshaling electoral hordes against him as being from this camp.
The trajectory of his form of government is clear: Toward noble harassment of the commoner, a wheedling civil power pinching men’s consciences for the good of all.