Why Rural Americans Must Fight!

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Rural Americans standing on the ground at Bundy Ranch, Spring 2014.

 

Why We Must Fight!

– As the federal government has grown in size and authority for the past 50 years at a rate far surpassing any other period in our history, the explosion of laws, regulations and empowered bureaucracies have disproportionately disadvantaged rural Americans and rural America.

– Federal growth in size and authority is based on recent, novel and un-Constitutional laws concocting federal jurisdiction over an unimaginable hodgepodge of entities, activities and institutions from wildlife, water and granting animals “rights” to diminishing parental rights, States Rights, and Local government rights, responsibilities and revenues.

– Federal growth is created by federal politicians writing and enacting these novel laws. ALL federal politicians enacting these laws are Popularly Elected. This means that the President, all US Senators and all US Congressmen are each elected by a particular coalition of voters that compose a majority of those voting to elect or re-elect them. Because Rural American voters are a dwindling minority of American voters, Rural American concerns are a dwindling item in all the new legislation these politicians favor. In fact, Coalitions such as urban feminists, unions, environmentalists, minorities and socialists voting in the urban precincts made famous every four years in the startling Presidential Red/Blue voting results by County on the USA map demonstrate how an assumed ocean of Red voters are overwhelmed by the Blue spots on the map.

Not only are these urban coalitions dismissive of and mostly ignorant of Rural American concerns, they are generally quite pleased to “save” trees from loggers; or animals from hunters; or pretty places from roads; or rivers from dams; or grass from ranchers; or “nature” from farmers; or land from pipelines and energy development; or “wilderness” from too many people. Politicians gain and keep power by pleasing these urban majorities’ fantasies and their organizations. The power they wield is best exemplified paradoxically by Cattlemen’s Associations and National “Hunting” Organizations that embrace native species restorations like wolves and grizzly bears that reduce game populations (and thereby hunting) while putting ranchers out of business but helping the national organizations to maintain Washington “connections” and national memberships and revenues as they claim to be “broad-minded realists” and “politically savvy insiders”.

– Federal growth is multiplied and fine-tuned by federal bureaucrats that write the regulations to implement these new laws and then tell the federal politicians (year after year) that they need more money, more employees, amendments of existing laws and new laws to do all the things urban majorities will love and vote for more of. This growth is further multiplied by mutually self-serving public and clandestine alliances between federal bureaucracies and narrow interest groups like TNC, NRDC, HSUS, DU, etc.

– As federal authority and jurisdiction expand; State authority, jurisdiction and State government’s ability to provide for State residents naturally are diminished and their remaining authority is increasingly subject to federal bureaucracies, federal regulations and federal courts. Resulting lost State tax revenues necessitate difficult State tax hikes and/or States supporting and applying for federal largesse dispensed with federal “strings”. State employees view their future employment as dependent on support of and cooperation with federal laws, regulations, policies and programs no matter the concerns of or effects on rural residents. As State employees blend into federal programs and cooperative State employees are rewarded with higher-paying federal jobs, the state/federal distinctions disappear for state employees and state programs.

– As federal bureaucracies, in effect, swallow state bureaucracies; Local (County, Parish, Township) are left unprotected from the federal behemoth. Not only are Local objections to federal (and increasingly State) actions simply ignored or laughed at: federal incursions like Historic/Scenic Designations and Perpetual Land Use Easements financed by federal funds that restrict growth and continued Local economic health flourish. Continued federal land purchase and condemnation of private property eliminates renewable natural resource management and use as well as closes down more and more of rural America (Wilderness, Critical Habitat, etc.) much like the Scottish Highland Clearances in the early 1800’s created vast estates for British politicians (the Aristocrats that ran England from London like ours run America from Washington). The only difference being, Rural American Clearances are being perpetrated to create perpetual political power for elite federal politicians in Washington and the refugees they create are not put on “coffin” ships but left to move to urban apartments and drive cabs.

Federal and even some State bureaucrats and their political bosses now view Local governments (that represent Local people and Local conditions) as merely curious historic anomalies on their way to the dustbin of history along with Constitutional rights, respect for human life, and the US Constitutional Republic once thought to have been designed to prevent the rule (tyranny is a better word) of the majority over the minority for whatever the majority wants as described herein.

– Clinging to these federal politicians and federal bureaucrats, like remoras attached to a shark, is a gang of nefarious characters straight out of some actual account of 1920’s Chicago wherein bootleggers, brothel owners, kidnappers, and crime syndicates were all paying the Mayor and the Chief of Police and the cop on the beat to allow them to create a city for themselves that to this day is infamous for one-party cronyism and noted for vying with Washington as a murder capitol while driving the State that its’ “voting majority” controls (Illinois) into bankruptcy due to an unpayable debt thanks to reckless spending and corruption (just as Washington, DC is doing!) Some such “remoras” would be:

  1. Rich actors and media moguls seeking publicity as wise supporters of government anti-rural programs.
  2. Rich computer executives attached to a “cause” like global warming or saving (fill-in-the-blanks).
  3. National Radical Organizations in business to raise millions and pay themselves large salaries by appealing to narrow factions such as: Domestic Animals (HSUS, PETA, etc.); Wild Animals (DOW, Greenpeace, Peta, etc.),
  4. Rural Clearance (TNC, NRDC, CBD, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, etc.); Human Population Control (Planned Parenthood, Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization, Ecofuture, etc.).
  5. National Organizations ostensibly representing rural concerns while integrating themselves into the Washington power structure, hiring ex-bureaucrats and creating a faux illusion of support for rural concerns (Cattlemen’s Organizations, Farm Bureau, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, etc.).
  6. Universities and certain types of professors anxious for federal grants and federal cooperative opportunities that create larger budgets, larger staffs, bonuses and tenure in return for the sort of studies and reports that enable federal programs like the Harvard professor that was both advocate and contractor for the strategies, wording and obfuscations in the Affordable Care Act that misled the Congressional Budget Office, the Supreme Court and what he calls “stupid American public” and the voters “that cannot grasp economics”. In the field of wildlife, forest and range management such manufactured “science” is often referred to as “Romance Biology”.
  7. UN staffs interested in expanding the acreages, units and governmental matters worldwide over which they exert some semblance of authority and control.
  8. International organizations like the World Wildlife Fund that, like the UN staffs, are always in search of ways and areas that will expand their reach and involvement at the expense of local people and their governments.
  9. Lawyers and “consultants” that run, work for, and steer all of the above.
  10. Political radicals of all stripes that have deep antipathies toward everything from dams, humans, capitalism, and animal ownership to things like Christianity, marriage, the rich, banks and the USA. “Causes” such as these, while being pursued through other alternative paths to reforms, have their formal and open paths involved in both “new” and novel laws, and a more powerful central government run by bureaucrats supported by politicians that will sell what they want for the right price. Rural people, rural communities and rural concerns are either targets for all the above people or of no moment as they all pursue their own agendas by growing federal tyranny.

Who rural Americans must fight!

Rural Americans have little or no control over the current federal government. Rural votes are a minority of those needed nationally to elect a President or statewide to elect a US Senator except in a few rural states like Wyoming lacking urban enclaves. Urban voting coalitions and wealthy individuals and organizations elect and re-elect Senators that then serve their urban agendas and wealthy supporters that elect them. All this invariably involves treating Rural Americans and their interests like the Soviets treated Eastern European countries or European powers treated “their” Colonies hundreds of years ago. While rural Congressional Districts are numerous, they are dwarfed in number compared to urban Congressional Districts that, as a result, control the US House of Representatives.

Rural Americans will discover that state bureaucracies have been steadily staffed with and run by personnel that 1.) Sympathize with the novel notion that states “should do whatever federal government says”, and 2.) Are ideologues in harmony with many of the radical government changes that are eroding rural America today.

Rural Americans will find many good Local elected officials (Sheriffs, Commissioners, Supervisors, etc.) who are either unwilling to fight the forces arrayed against them or who are burning themselves out as they try day in and day out to make a difference in their realm of influence often with minimal support or opposition from their peers and many Local residents. This breeds a public mood of helplessness and resignation before forces that seem too powerful to oppose.

Those “remoras” described previously as riding on the federal shark are Rural Americans most implacable enemies. Talking to them, arguing with them, exposing them, etc. while momentarily satisfying is merely like shadow boxing. You might rejoice about what appeared to you to be a perfect “1-2”; nothing REAL happened.

I ask Rural Americans to consider that they should fight 1.) Whoever opposes re-establishing a permanent and powerful representation of Rural American concerns in the federal government, and 2.) Whoever opposes re-invigorating Local governments and reforming State governments from federal subcontractors into protectors of State residents and their concerns.

Forget about all those “remoras”, they are only distractions. It’s as if you wanted to speak to federal officials about how you are being treated and they tell you, “go over to that gym and play basketball with that professional basketball team and whenever you win come on back and we will talk”. They know, and you should know, you will NEVER beat them at their game, on their court, with their rules. You must change the rules, correct for any height advantage, and rewrite the game. Your purpose is not to entertain, your purpose is to win and the necessary changes will never come from the floor; the necessary changes must come from those that make the rules. Federal politicians (NOT bureaucrats) make the rules. Federal bureaucrats, state bureaucrats, state politicians, and Local officials enforce the rules: and one task is to correct the balance of power between them that has gotten so far out of kilter.

How Rural Americans must fight.

Rural America is being destroyed by intemperate and un-Constitutional federal laws; not by cockamamie philosophies, radical movements, or unbalanced individuals. Federal bureaucracies can do no more than federal laws allow or authorize. If federal laws no longer protect rural America as they had for over the first century of the Nation: we must re-establish the rural concern in federal lawmaking (and hopefully in federal law un-making) in Washington.
The US Senate was created with two Senators from each state to insert State considerations into ALL deliberations of the US Congress regarding all laws that went to the President for his signature. Additionally, all US Senators were given the exclusive power to approve all Treaties and to approve or reject all judge appointments to the federal courts as well as Presidential appointments to top federal offices like Secretaries of Departments. These exceptional powers gave each STATE the sort of power and consideration in all federal legislative activities that always protected rural America until recently.

When each State had two Senators, the majorities of US citizens in California and Illinois could not oppress the minority of US Citizens in rural Wyoming or tiny Rhode Island with laws that could benefit the larger state at the expense of the smaller states. Large states could not oppress small states like urban coalitions have been oppressing rural America in recent years. When each state has two Senators, those two Senators must protect ALL residents of “their” state or the Constitution provided that they would be replaced at the first opportunity by their State’s Legislature that had appointed them, that is until recently.

On 8 April, 1913 the 17th Amendment changed the way US Senators were “crowned” from “chosen by the Legislature thereof” to “elected by the people thereof”. This Amendment (passed in the dawning of the “Progressive Era” in between the 16th Amendment that authorized a federal income tax and the 18th Amendment that prohibited the “manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors” that was later repealed) changed US Senators from actual advocates for their State into advocates for whatever (usually urban) voting coalitions and supporters would elect them and keep them in office. One other unintended consequence has been that US Senators (the ONLY federal politicians that were designed to interject State concerns into federal laws) not only became shills for agendas that actually harmed (usually rural) State residents, they derived their never-ending hold on power from some cobbled-together-every-six-years combination of voters and rich folks with agendas that may or may not help or harm “their” state.

Finally, when US Senators went rogue (think ESA, Wilderness, etc.) and passed laws and supported bureaucracies that harmed the rural precincts of his state, the US Senator beholden to the State Legislature heard pretty quickly from rural residents and state legislators that if he did nor desist from harming rural communities the state legislator wouldn’t get re-elected so the legislator would threaten the US Senator about how he was about to be replaced by a scared coalition of State Legislators. Those “remoras” I mentioned lose a lot of their clout and rural State residents get more clout IN WASHINGTON where it matters when US Senators answer to state politicians susceptible to voter wrath.

US Senators appointed by State Legislators can be pressured to not only not pass laws harmful to rural residents, such US Senators can be pressured to repeal bad federal laws just like the 18th Amendment was repealed when all the harmful effects became evident. Repeal the 17th Amendment!
Your Local government is THE only voice for your community. Elect Sheriffs and County officials that will 1.) Stand up to federal oppression, and 2.) Work with their counterparts to reform state laws, policies and programs to put Local concerns as the first internal priority for State government. Obtain Local authority within the State to address federal abuses with the assurance of total State support for Local governments. If the last fifty years have taught us anything it is that the principle of Subsidiarity is the answer to these abuses we are enduring.

Subsidiarity is defined as “a community of a higher order should not interfere with the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.” Subsidiarity is opposed to collectivism and it provides that larger communities should take care not to usurp the family’s prerogatives or interfere in its life. In other words, history has taught us that not only federal government growth leads to oppression; but indifferent or hostile state government similarly breeds tyranny over minorities like Rural Americans.

Issues from what sorts of wildlife, how many of a species, how much land can be put under government ownership or easement, animal control methods, transportation access, etc. are but a few examples of things that Local government should determine locally and that state governments should support and protect local communities and their governments when involved in such endeavors.

So, elect Local officials that will re-assert Local authorities and jurisdiction while re-orienting state government politicians that you elect to a primary role of nurturing Rural Americans and their special needs and thereby wrenching state governments back from their recent role of enabling federal mischief and tyranny. There is nothing here that takes anything away from urban Americans other than their supposed right through their larger numbers to make Rural America into a fantasyland to benefit federal politicians that care less about federal oppression as long as they can maintain their personal power and stature just like all other tyrants down through the ages.

How to do this? Focus like a laser on these two things and proceed forthrightly like those that have been harming you to put back your representation (actually a veto) in Washington Legislative activity and reinsert vertebrae in state government spines. The rest of it will suddenly be possible like reduction of federal bureaucracy, the disappearance of bad federal laws and regulations or last minute discoveries of radical agendas suddenly imposed on you by federal bureaucrats the lie with regularity and work with radical groups clandestinely. Most of all you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and begin to believe you can restore local communities where local decisions maintain and grow rural communities and the families that compose them.
This fight is winnable and it is the only way to avoid bureaucrats and politicians that will tell you one thing today and then tomorrow or the next time it is to their advantage or the next guy or gal is in the position changing it around to your disadvantage. The laws must be changed to stop the oppression and if we are to ever dismantle the federal

Bureaucracies and have any hope for a better tomorrow.

Jim Beers, 17 November 2014

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