OP-ED: Should Bones Get the Vote?
Opinion | November 29, 2017
Like the old saying goes, “If these bones could talk.” However, the voice of over 66 billion human bones has yet to be recognized by the United States government. Many claim that voting restrictions against Osteo-Americans are clearly illegal under both the 14th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, while others wish to question the basic legal status of bones on fundamentalist grounds. On November 2nd, the Supreme Court will begin its hearing on Milmeister v. City of Omaha, a case that has the potential to extend suffrage to all Osteo-Americans. These are two opinions on the matter.
Not Just Humoring the Humerus
by W. William Thompson
The United States is supposed to be one of the most democratic nations in the world. We claim that democracy is one of our greatest values and that people should freely choose their own leaders. This propaganda flies in the face of a glaring injustice that continues to be perpetrated on a nearly second-by-second basis. It’s the twenty-first century, and yet bones still don’t have the vote. The Osteo-Civil Rights movement goes back to around 1882, when the Pan-Carpal Coalition staged a walk-out in our very own Medford, Mass. Over 2,000 people awoke to find their hands were just floppy skin-bags. Police were immediately called in, and the strikers were slaughtered, though newspapers at the time only report “broken bones, but no fatalities.”
After that, things settled down until Rhode Island v. Dawson went before the Supreme Court in 1925. Charles Dawson had been convicted of the murder of his wife, even though all witnesses and forensic evidence pointed to his skeleton. Dawson appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which ossal rights groups saw as a perfect test case. In an incredible 8-1 decision, the Court ruled in favor of Dawson, ordering Rhode Island to pay $80,000 dollars in damages and to try the bones individually. Chief Justice William Howard Taft wrote in the majority opinion “These damn things [Taft’s bones] call me a fatass every day. They have voices and everything. They’re assholes. Why can’t they be guilty of murder?” As a result, bones were granted sapient status.
Ten years later, Sebastian B. Phoomey, a fibula, successfully argued for the prosecution in Haverson v. Wisconsin , which led to bones being granted protection from involuntary skeletal servitude under the 13th Amendment, but they remained non-citizens. Instead, their status was revised from “sapient” to “literally a part of a citizen,” which granted them many constitutional rights, but not the vote.
That brings us to today. Mainstream America no longer sees bones as “body parts” born to do our every whim, but rather as equal partners in the civic and social life of our nation. The time has come for a new constitutional amendment granting all calcified body parts full citizen status. Let’s update our Constitution and bring America into a new age, where humans and bones alike can feel represented and proud to participate in our wonderful democracy.
W. William Thompson is the Staff Historian at Massachusetts General Hospital. His new book, “Red State, Blue Vein: How Varicose Veins Affect Political Attitudes,” will be out on December 12th.
No Bones About It
by Lucius A. Cincinnatus-Greabe
In 1776, John Adams wrote that people “who are wholly destitute of Property [are] too dependent upon other Men to have a Will of their own.” This wise insight was taken to heart and shared by many of our glorious Founding Fathers, and it is no coincidence that the first Presidential election, set up by the Framers, produced our least divisive, most successful, and overall best president: George Washington. The government must be protected from untempered popular pressure, as the general will is far too fickle and short-sighted.
Put simply, people with the ability to vote should have a vested stake in the community. Not only do bones not have any skin in the game; they don’t have any skin at all. If the hordes of unwashed tibias and metacarpals were to be given the vote, the people who actually know how to run a country would be unable to intervene. Business would be choked with new regulations and what little money we had left would be spent on medical costs for anyone with so much as a bone bruise.
H.L. Mencken once wrote, “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 heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” America is too great a place to sacrifice for just any ideal. We must not give bones the vote – or else one day a jawbone will be sitting in the Oval Office as the country goes to hell.
Lucius A. Cincinnatus-Greabe is a contributing writer at the National Review and Vice-Chairman of the William L. Beane Institute of Sabermetric Polling.