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Euthanasia, a humane citizenrys last resort

Michael Cleverly

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last and the Whitehouse will be adorned by a downright moron. H. L. Mencken (1880 1956) To quote one well-known officeholder, Mission accomplished. As we now know, the mission is far from accomplished, but thats OK. As the saying goes, Rome wasnt burnt in a day. Even a boob like Bush, using the best 21st-century technology, cant totally screw up the entire country in a mere eight years I hope. One thing we can take away from the re-election of President Bush is the fact that more than half of voting Americans arent nearly as bright as the residents of Rabbit Hash, Ky.Ill explain. In a newspaper article passed along to me by one of my fans OK, my fan all right, one of my readers OK, the person who reads this column who isnt you. (Just bear in mind that I have it on good authority that this particular reader is a practicing physician, a card-carrying member of MENSA, an Olympic athlete and a popular calendar model.)Anyway, this article, as reported by Lew Moores of The Sunday Challenger, states that the good people of Rabbit Hash actually euthanized their mayor. Apparently, tragically, he came down with testicular cancer, so they put him down. To this day were the only place in the whole United States that had to euthanize a public official, said Don Clare, president of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society.Now I personally cant advocate this sort of treatment of officeholders because Im pretty sure Im being watched, but I will confess that I was finding the article quite encouraging. We thought it would take off. We thought wed hear about a governor, a senator or congressman, but were still the only one. Clare continued. The mayor, whose name was Goofy, was a mixed breed. He was elected in 1998 and was 15 years old when he passed on, three years later. Rabbit Hash is a river town with just three residents. It is 3.5 acres in size and is part of unincorporated Boone County, Ky. Rabbit Hash is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and was recently designated a Preserve America Community by first lady Laura Bush. The decent and wise folk of Rabbit Hash, unlike a great many Americans, knew a sick dog when they saw one and did the humane thing. At least they didnt mix a bunch of dioxin with his Alpo. Your basic politician is usually both stupid and greedy; you wouldnt think it would be necessary to go out of your way to make him ugly too. But there you have it. We have the same old president and poor Rabbit Hash has been without a mayor for a few years now. In 1998, when Goofy won his mayoral bid, he received 6,900 votes, beating three humans, two dogs and assorted other animals. The balloting system was simple. One dollar equaled one vote, anyone could vote, and you could vote as many times as you wished. The money raised went to repair the East Bend Methodist Church.As election fever swept the land this year, the citizens of Rabbit Hash felt it would be a good time to find themselves a new mayor. This time there are 17 candidates competing for the office: A donkey named Higgins, a potbellied pig named Lulu, a peacock named Jefferson Davis, a box turtle, a cat, nine dogs and three humans. One of the humans is a CNN reporter. All of the humans are considered dark horses, wrote Moores. I dont know how things turned out in Rabbit Hash. Given that the field in their election was a little classier than that of the national election, I tend to be optimistic. Well need an investigative reporter to find out for sure. Whether or not we as a nation can learn anything from this or anything else is unclear. Given that our democracy is suffering from an endemic hubris I doubt that were capable of learning anything from situations in far-off places like the Ukraine, but perhaps little Rabbit Hash can teach us something. The wealthy second-home owners of this valley have long pirouetted around the one dollar-one vote way of thinking, and the idea of euthanizing those we elect has given the rest of us some hope. I guess the difference is that most people are terribly sad when a good dog has to be put down, and, given the way things have been turning out, I dont know but that a lot of people would consider a dollar for a vote price gouging.


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