Post # 628 FORCE MAJEURE

In legal lexicon, the common law principle of “force majeure” [or, alternatively, “Acts of God”], if proved, is a determinative, equitable defense to any lawsuit alleging breach of contract. The term, itself, relates to the precedential rule that parties to a legal contract are released from the obligation to perform when extraordinary circumstances, beyond their control, prevent the fulfillment of the contractual obligation, viz., war, epidemic, riot, or disaster. In this short essay, we have taken the liberty of extending said term, somewhat, to include, overriding, or existential, priority.

It would require but little argument, to declare that the Nation is sharply, divided on many issues, such as exist between those who would deny women, the right of abortion, and those who support that right as a matter of personal liberty, the acts of State Republican majority Legislatures, enacting legislation aimed at  abridging the vote of minority citizens, the disputed existence of the need for gun regulation, the paramount importance of science and global warming, the subject of vaccination, on immigration, on the unsupported claims of irregularity of the previous presidential, election, on redistricting and “gerrymandering,” on questions of basic, universal equality, on taxation, infrastructure, excesses of police behavior, reform  of the criminal law system, on the environment,  free trade versus commercial protectionism, on women’s opportunities in the corporate marketplace, on free tuition for State Universities, on privacy, unionism, religious influence in government, the internet, capital punishment,  government responsibility for needy citizens, on health and safety regulations and various others.

Contesting parties have disappointingly and uselessly, eschewed the healthy, productive practice of peaceful, citizen debate, in their preference for the useless, divisive, practice of tribal, insular groups of identical opinion in acrimonious relationship with similar groups of opposite opinion. Influential lobbyists, seek to fashion  law and regulations to  suit their sponsor,[ conceivably, contrary to the interest of the American voter], members of the judiciary are improperly selected, based  upon their known views, rather than the appropriate criteria, of legal prowess and impartiality, big corporations undemocratically, enfranchised by SCOTUS, to make unlimited campaign contributions, and delusional conspiracy wonks, fervently peddling their paranoid ideations. The foregoing is but an incomplete list of the present subjects of National acrimony and division. The most shameful and dangerous expression of discontent was the large, delusional, horde of [Trump invited] election conspiracy stooges, which went so far, as to stage a violent and deadly insurrection at the Nation’s Capital Building, June 6, 2020.

The fractious and divisive character of the nation was significantly, exacerbated, by the entry into the political arena of Donald J. Trump, an ignorant but effective, demagogue, capable, somehow, of the acquisition of, a large and remarkably vocal, “populist” following. Trump, awarded the singular distinction, of Congressional impeachment twice, in his single, four-year term as President, bizarrely, has continuing appeal to the populist underbelly of our country, who seek to perversely influence and control voters and  Congressmen; which influence continues, unexplainably, despite his electoral defeat.

The Democratic Party has been repeatedly roadblocked in The U.S. Senate, in its numerous attempts to enact legislation in the public interest, by the Trump sycophantic Republican Senate, fearful of losing their seats due to the cultish appeal of the autocratic Trump. Outstanding among these un-American censors of Democratic-sponsored, needed legislation, has consistently, proven to be the canny, tactical Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, Senior Senator from Kentucky. This wily and tactical, Donald Trump supporter,  has publicly dedicated himself to block proposed Democratic legislation; included in which is “Build Back Better,” legislation providing, among other things, substantial financial support, for infrastructure repair and development, McConnell had previously, in arrogant, partisan manner, in like manner, blocked, a deserving Democratic nominee for Justice of the Supreme Court; and subsequently, as contrived, had three, unequivocally, conservative Justices appointed to the High Court.

The concern based upon the possibility of loss of their Congressional seat, due to Trump’s bizarrely continuing influence, has, apparently, influenced U.S. Senators and Representatives to support or oppose, Trump favored legislation, contrary to the foundational tenets of our Republican Democracy. In the immediately preceding essay, [ #627 “Bonfire of the Lemmings”], we stated that the salutary concept of a two-party system, has, of late, declined, as a practical reality, to one party,[ Democratic] supporting the principles of democracy and the other, [Republican] endeavoring to demolish them.

Last week, while the national teapot continued to boil, vigorously, and with great divisive rancor, an unusual confederation of powerful tornadoes struck the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and broad swaths of the adjoining, Mid-West. The unusual meteorological conglomerate of storms blasted Kentucky to absolute smithereens and effected commensurate damage in surrounding States. The devastating and unprecedented happening reduced all structures, including homes, to rubble, and was tragically responsible for the loss of life of many Americans, of all ages. This cataclysmic event, added to the existing contemporaneous persistence of Covid, unquestionably, constitutes a historically, dark, and epochful event.

There would appear to be, little vocabulary, sufficient to adequately, express the depth and quality of our empathy, for the victims of this vast meteorological tragedy. Nevertheless, the reader may find the following personal predictions, of the consequential alterations, to previously held political views, interesting and thought provoking. These predictions are founded, upon the eternal and pragmatic, political aphorism: “Your stand depends upon where you sit.”

  • We anticipate a complete change of direction in Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell’s previous, obdurate resolution, to politically block President Biden’s “Build Back  Better” Infrastructure Bill. The Senator from the State of Kentucky, the latter, the bullseye center, of the enormous meteorological holocaust, will find, on further consideration, that the Bill is not far too costly.
  • The voters in Kentucky and other affected “red” States may realize that Global Warming, in fact, is not a conspiratorial canard, perpetrated by the left wing, for political purposes.
  • The affected citizens, needing substantial financial and other assistance from the Federal Government, may, at long last, experience the epiphany that governmental assistance is not the dreaded “apocalypse” of “Socialism,” [whatever their meager understanding of that economic-political theory may be].
  • The uncomfortable realization by Evangelical Christians, that such severe meteorological events have natural causes and are not expressions of displeasure of the Deity [Ex: “The Great Flood,” “ The Destruction of Nineveh,” “The  Egyptian Ten Plagues”]; and perhaps, in addition, a learned, respect  for the environment, and understanding of the aspiration of a green, sustainable Planet.

To be clear, we do not wish to express any personal belief, whatsoever, in the desperate aphorism, that all bad things have some positive benefit, of one kind or another. We do not believe in such a nonsensical and Pollyannaish aphoristic rationale. There is no good side of the Holocaust, or, more recently, the pandemic. We merely seek to predict the possibility of the acquisition of some useful enlightenment, resulting from this horrendous event.

-p.

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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