San Diego Review February 1, 1996
Mork & Mindy talk politics
Mork and Mindy no longer live in Denver, but hideout in Bolinas, California, where Bolinites keep cutting down the roadsign designating their life. Mork’s still beaming data back to Ork, where they recently requested Earthy political insights.
Mork: So Americans rebelled under King George and wrote the Articles of Confederation, their first constitution, in 1777, but it wasn’t approved by the 13 states until 1781, correct?
Mork: But the 13 states were so used to being independent, sovereign as they liked to be called, that even with the Articles, they argued a lot about foreign and interstate trade and who owned what land, etcetera. Therefore 12 states met in Philadelphia in 1787 to give better order to their confederation, right?
Mork: In Philadelphia in 1787 a group of mostly lawyers, merchants and well-to- do farmers wrote and rewrote state constitutions and a second federal constitution to allow trade to work better. Was this then where everyone got to be treated sovereignty and got the right to vote?
Mindy: No. Universal ‘personhood’ suffrage took many more years. Not until the 15th Amendment of 1870 and the 19th Amendment of 1920 were people of color and the fairer sex allowed to vote.
Mork: You mean neither Bill Cosby or you would have been allowed to vote? Wow! Bambozalozalousa!… But I thought the whole thrust of your revolution was that all men, of course I’ve learned when I say ‘men’ I mean ‘people’, are created equal?
Mindy: Well, yes but….
Mork: Is it that you earthies must say things many, many times before its meaning sinks in?
Mindy: That could be…
Mork: Like I was surfing the net and I found these articles about Philadelphia II which seemed to be arguing that “We the people” want to establish procedures to enact laws directly through the tools of Direct Democracy. Don’t you already have that? Haven’t you proclaimed the peoples sovereignty since at least 1787?
Mindy: Well, sort of. You see we elect agents who implement the laws we want.
Phily II is proposing to let the people directly vote and implement laws.
Mork: Well, who is “sovereign” then, your agents or the people?
Mindy: Well, the people are.
Mork: Then why is this Phily II proposal seeking to establish procedures? Can’t you just do it?
Mindy: Well, I guess because you need a process through which to work the direct writing of laws by the people.
Mork: But did your Founding Fathers have an established process through which they established the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution?
Mindy: No,…. I guess they didn’t.
Mork: In other words, they just did it because they assumed they were sovereign and then put some wording in their Constitution that said this would now be the Supreme Law?
Mindy: I guess Article VI of the Constitution pretty much did that.
Mork, pointing skyward: Ah, yes, we often did that on Ork. We called it “self actualizing.” Sounds like you ‘self actualized’ your independence and Constitution.
But I am still a little confused. Excuse my sometimes misunderstood-by- Earthlings colloquialism here, but why didn’t you go all the way and establish Direct Democracy?
Mindy: Perhaps people weren’t ready for it?
Mork: But you have been talking about being ready for it since 1787. In 1970 People’s Lobby had hearings before your US Senate Judiciary Committee and lots of people like your popular Ralph Nader said America should have it. Now in the 1990’s your former Alaskan Senator Mike Gravel says Americans should have it. Isn’t a kazillion billion dagillion nano-seconds of talking about these direct democracy things enough earthling time?
Mindy: Well, I think our representatives in Washington will have to discuss this some more…
Mork: Oh, those agents of yours, nanu-nanu. Those who your Constitution says are your servants, but who many of you seem to treat as you sovereigns. Sometimes you earthlings confuse me…..
Excuse me Mindy, I’d better down upstairs go into my dark and phone home. Ork wants some insights and this ought to blink their stellar lights.