I received a text on 06 April 2021, “The U.S. flag is to be lowered to half staff immediately until sunset 07 April to honor the life of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida.” Are you kidding me? Why is an impeached Federal Justice given the honor of a flag at half-staff? I cannot be the only person who remembers this person’s impeachment trial, how he skated in the lower courts with flagrantly erroneous, at best, testimony to escape prison for taking bribes.
Why fly the Flag at Half-Staff?
Flying the American Flag at half-staff signifies that the entire nation is mourning. These mourning periods come because of natural disasters, special holidays, a local remembrance of a tragedy, or when honorable people pass who served in public office. The Flag may be ordered to half-staff by a state governor or the U.S. President.
Who was Rep. Alcee Hastings (D)?
Rep. Hastings “supposedly” represented Florida’s 20th District. Rep. Hastings survived a congressional redistricting, moving from the 23rd District to the 20th District. I continue to be amazed at how Congressional redistricting leaves the same faces in the same seats, bringing thoughts of gerrymandering to mind. For the record, gerrymandering is the practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage by manipulating electoral districts’ boundaries, most used in first-past-the-post electoral systems. While Rep. Hastings is not the first politician to take advantage of gerrymandering, but I often wonder why gerrymandering always benefits the Democratic Party in the United States.
Want to know the true character of Rep. Hastings (D), he still insisted on people calling him judge even after he was impeached. Want more on Rep. Hastings’ nature, instead of retiring to enjoy those retirement benefits he had voted for himself when he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, he continued to be re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Craven, despicable, hallucinating about his “glory days” as a judge, a terminal health diagnosis couldn’t even get him to leave the scent of power.
In the 60s and 70s, Rep. Hastings was an inhospitable person to people in Fort Lauderdale as a lawyer. A pattern he continued after being impeached, and I want to hear from those from his District to see just how out of touch Rep. Hastings was to the general population of the 23rd and 20th Congressional districts in Florida. Almost as an afterthought in writing the politician obituary fluff piece, the N.Y. Times adds, “He was also a champion of Israel.”
- The first black federal judge in Florida.
- The first black federal judge to be impeached in Florida.
Besides staying in office for 15 terms, that is the sum of his accomplishments. What a life; all that time in the U.S. House of Representatives and he never authored a piece of legislation, was not a voice of reason, never really did anything but suck up public money and keep winning an election by changing his political stance to meet the shifting tides of social issues. Begging the question, “Why is the flag at half-staff?” Besides historians, who will even remember this guy’s names in 3-months besides his family, except the fluff obituary does not mention any survivors, except his now unemployed staff in D.C.
Thus, I ask, and will continue to ask, why is the Flag at half-staff for this guy?
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
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