'In the name of God, go' | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 19, 2013

'In the name of God, go'

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM

WORDS TO LIVE BY: Oliver Cromwells legislative advice fits 360 years later in Arkansas.
  • WORDS TO LIVE BY: Oliver Cromwell's legislative advice fits 360 years later in Arkansas.
360 years ago tomorrow, on April 20, 1653, Oliver Cromwell spoke words to the House of Commons that seem ever so pertinent more than three centuries later in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tax cuts for the rich. A push for pay raises and longer tenure for the legislature. Greedy hand-rubbing by legislators preparing to cut up $100 million in general improvement fund swag. Catering to casino interests. Catering to the environmental despoilers and the wealthy employers of injured workers. If only Cromwell had inserted the word "gun" after gold in one pertinent quote, he could have been talking about the 2013 Arkansas General Assembly. Agree with me or not on the broader theme, I think most should agree with the exhortation in the closing line:

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

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