Michael, Hello Again...
We are not that far apart in what we are saying. Two points however…
You say that:
If it is indeed the case that kashrut dictates that mentally impaired individuals cannot work in their present positions then it is not immoral for Rabbis who adhere to halacha to state this as a requirement for kashrut certification, nor is this position of halacha itself immoral.
Leaving religion aside for the moment and referring to all
affairs human and moral, I propose that it is immoral to see an injustice and do nothing more than to stand by and observe without acting. In defense of whatever action that must be taken I refer to Messrs. Jefferson and Franklin and quote part of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness".
As I interpret the above, these principles of action apply to individuals as well as to religious and civil authorities. In this of course, I am not calling for the overthrow of either Halacha or the Rabbinate. Nor am I calling for revolution. I am calling for various rabbinical authorities with the wisdom and moral backbone to make changes in halacha today as they have been made in the past. In that, to recognize that all men (and I use that term to describe all of humankind) have certain rights that must be guarded with great diligence.
Relating to the specific case in question – from the winery's point of view, that may well imply very strict supervision and that even at an additional cost to them. From the rabbinical point of view it might mean for example that if a person (mentally limited or simply out of ignorance) were to merely brush against a stainless steel vat or barrel the wine would remain kosher.
(b) You also wrote:
I see no issue with individuals voting according to their religious beliefs, or rather, individuals voting according to their morals which are grounded in religion"
We agree in full and not only in voting but in running for office. As a Jew, a Catholic or a Morman can vote in the United States, so can those people run for, be elected to and hold office, and that from being a clerk at the town garbage department, to serving as a member of the Congress, the Supreme Court or as President. They do, however, run either as independents or as members of a political party. Note please that I find huge social-moral differences between a political party and a religious party. Can we imagine anything other polite or not-so-polite laughter in the USA at the existence of "the Progressive Jewish Party" or the "23rd Catholic Diocese Party"? Not to misunderstand, if someone from the Habad or the Reform synagogue on Ocean Parkway or the Chicago Diocese were to run as an individual, I would have only praise for their initiative.
Part of the problem in Israel of the religious parties is that each of the members of that party in the Knesset (or those appointed as ministers) takes his/her "orders" directly from the head of that particular religious group, sect or even sub-sect. That to me is religious tyranny and not a process related to democracy. Indeed there will always be special interest groups within any elected system. And indeed there will always be political "bargaining". Those special interest groups may impact on us in many ways but should never be allowed to impact on the freedom or dignity of the broad majority. And so it is, too often, with the religious parties within Israel.
To return to a somewhat lighter note, in the play Oklahoma one of the truly great songs has it that "they've gone about as far as they can go". I wonder if we two have also gone about as far as we can go, not in this case with regard to Kansas City but with regard to the issue at hand. Perhaps best to continue over a cup of coffee?