Friday, March 19, 2010

Remember When?

Calling clogged lines to your congressman . . . Writing e-mails that receive automated replies . . . Signing petition after petition . . . Contributing to Republicans' campaign chests . . . Marching and marching and marching on D.C. . . . We who love liberty are doing what we can, but . . .  Remember when Americans made their objections to intrusive government known in far more effective ways?  For instance:

[Laura's husband] Almanzo's knee-jerk reaction against government interference in people's lives was told humorously in a story that [his daughter] Rose related to Mark Sullivan, a literary friend.  Because of the thin clay subsoil and hilly terrain on Rocky Ridge it was impossible to plow most of the acreage.  Nevertheless, her father did like to turn up an acre or so of relatively level land for oats or millet for bird feed, and he also liked to grow a little popcorn for the family.  One day, while he was plowing with old Buck, his thirty-year-old Morgan, a young agent from the Department of Agriculture parked alongside the road and walked into the field to ask some questions about his farm operation.  When he informed Almanzo that federal regulations prohibited him from planting more than two acres of oats, the farmer retorted that if the fellow did not immediately leave his property, he was going to go get his shotgun.  The agent, who was writing this down, offered Almanzo an opportunity to change his words for the record.  At that point the old man made his meaning perfectly clear, in Rose's telling of the story.  He said, "God damn you, you get to hell off my land and you do it now.  I'll plant whatever I damn please on my own farm, and if you're on it when I get to my gun, by God I'll fill you with buckshot."  (from Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend, University of Missouri Press, 1998; p. 199)

A little less talk, a little more buckshot, please!  Of course, in our time this little exchange would probably have ended up more like Ruby Ridge than Rocky Ridge.

God bless the folks rallying tomorrow at the Capitol.  And may this anger, this outrage, this indignation, this feeling that we have all been violated at the intimate core of our American sense of self-governance not abate until every one of these scumbag pols is voted out of office.  They ought to be tarred and feathered and run out of D.C., but I'll settle for seeing them pack their bags and whimper off into oblivion. 

It is far beyond the time to ditch those who think that they get to rule the people in favor of electing representatives who believe that, in America, the people rule.  Elections have consequences; so ought not doing the will of those who elected you.

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."  And we are, Mr. Mencken, we are.

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