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America must beware of the kicks from a dead mule, especially a political one

·3 min read

The United States of America is being, as PeeWee Gooslin was, kicked by a dead mule. A true story ensues.

The mule died and PeeWee’s old man took off to town and told the boys to bury that mule while he was gone. They dug a little and drunk a little and laid the mule into a too-shallow grave with some of its legs sticking out of the ground. They knew they couldn’t leave it that way and so they decided to break that leg so Doug got hold of that dead mule leg and pulled it back as hard as he could, and about that time it slipped out of his grip, flew back like a catapult, and caught PeeWee smack dab on the side of his head.

So about that time the old man come home and there was PeeWee bleeding and bruised: “What happened to you?”

“Paw, the best I can tell you is I got kicked by a dead mule.”

One must beware the kick of a dead mule. Or even a real sick one. Trumpism, which is idolatry and shared hatred, lacking political substance, will pass with its founder and may be said to be a dead mule politically. But it hasn’t been buried enough.

And all four legs are kicking.

The hind leg is kicking at the very fundamental, hallowed, principle of letting everybody vote and counting those fairly and accepting the outcome. If, as a young America lawyer say, 30 years ago, somebody had said that a legislature, or a Congress, marbled with lawyers, would cheerlead for laws that let the executive branch change the outcome of elections, I would have scoffed. How do you scoff?

The other hind leg, and I cannot explain how a mule could have two, is kicking at a fundamental core ingredient of democracy, making decisions based on truth, not lies, and there is a difference. Right now there are millions and millions of Americans who believe, or pretend to, that the last election was rigged. Now, they have to either continue to believe that or else admit they have been fools. Their willingness to believe anything scares the living you know-what-out of the rest of us. Their willingness to idolize a liar of mythological proportions guarantees that we will have more liars in office.

A front leg of a live mule mainly steps on things, but the front leg of a Trump mule kicks. Claimed “conservatives” are vouching safe unto government the power to decide what school teachers can teach and what they cannot. They will be forbidden to mention that the Civil War had anything to do with slavery and required to teach that the South actually won.

The mule only gets one more kick, so go for it, mule. Encourage people to abuse their Constitutional rights. Scare people into hoarding firearms to the point that the Second Amendment becomes dangerous. Encourage giant media companies to be arbiters themselves of First Amendment rights by abusing it to the point of being a threat to the country. Encourage the leader of the minority party in the United States Senate to take upon himself the power to see who gets on the Supreme Court.

Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney. He can be reached at

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