To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.
— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Joseph Milligan (1816)
One thing to remember – when working within a sociopolitical context, contagion is bidirectional. It almost, but not quite, mimics osmotic transfer. Hence, just as the modern, corrupted form of Liberalism infected the educational system, the worst attitudes and preconceptions of educational system infected Liberalism.
Our Intelligentsia In Inaction
Therefore it is perfectly reasonable that the elitism and pseudo-technocratic prejudices and insecurities of the intelligentsia aka America’s cleristry would strongly color the Liberal response to dissent against their doctrine and dogma.
â€œSo, tell me: are you a physicist? Do you have a degree in chemistry? Or a doctorate in infrared or ultraviolet light, spectroscopy, or associated sciences? Have you performed extensive studies into exothermic reactions, combustion, heat or light? Are you a state-licensed firefighter or other extensively trained rescuer? Have you written or published a single peer-reviewed paper on the flame (the visible part of the fire) or how the gases therein might become ionized to produce plasma? Do you even know plasma theory? No! Then how are you even remotely qualified in any way to say the house is on fire?â€ asked the Liberal.
â€œBecause the house is on fire, dumb ass, and is burning to the ground,â€ said the Conservative.
And there you have it, an apt and near perfect parable of how the intersectionality between the Intelligentsia and the Liberals view dissent by Americans against their agendas. In their minds only the “properly” qualified and certified people are allowed to comment. The rest – we groundlings and churls – must remain silent if and when we disagree with what our “betters” tell us lest we be charged as “Deniers” and anti-intellectuals by these educated elites for defying the rightness and validity of their self-proclaimed magisterium.
Rural America is the seat of America’s lasting wisdom and common sense. Its folk are normally prudent and possessed of sound judgment, without reliance on esoteric knowledge. As such, they can normally be expected to exercise sound judgment in and all practical matters.
Salts of the Earth they are sometimes called.
Most politicians and businessmen tend to avoid Rural America for this reason. Mendacity or “flim-flam” will not work for long among the folk of Rural America. Hence, whole swaths of America’s heartland have become “Fly-Over States,” carefully ignored by politicians and businessmen. This largely suits both parties quite well.
The problems, such as they are, arise when politicians or businessmen fail to fly over the region. A case in point:
A plane crashed in the middle of rural Tennessee.
Panic stricken, the local sheriff mobilized emergency responders and descended on the farm in force. When they got there, the disaster was clear.
The crashed aircraft was totally destroyed with only a burned hulk left smoldering in a tree line that bordered a farm.
The sheriff and his men entered the smoking mess but could find no remains of anyone.
They spotted a lone farmer plowing a field not too far away as if nothing had happened.
They hurried over to the man’s tractor.
“Hank!” the sheriff yelled, panting and out of breath. “Did you see this terrible accident happen?”.
“Yep. Sure ‘nuf did.” the farmer mumbled unconcernedly, cutting off the tractor’s engine.
“Do you realize that is Air Force One, the airplane of the President of the United States?”
“Yep. I surely do.”
“Were there any survivors?”
“Nope. They’s all kilt straight out,” the farmer answered. “I done buried them all myself. Took me most of the morning..”
“President Obama is dead?” the sheriff shouted.
“Well,” the farmer grumbled, restarting his tractor. “He kept a-saying he wasn’t… But you know how bad that sumbitch lies.”
Common sense as exemplified by the Tennessee farmer above has been the downfall of many a confidence trickster and their less honest kin, politicians over the years.
“Feeding the Monkeys” is slang for doing something that you know is stupid, unwise, and/or contra-indicated. It almost always has a negative result. It is also a very apt metaphor for America’s ever-expanding entitlement programs.
Feeding The Monkeys Is Not A Wise Choice
The maddening fact that these “safety net” entitlement programs bear greatest resemblance to animal husbandry than anything meant to foster, or even maintain, human dignity just makes the comparison more accurate and pointed.
All we’ll ever get by feeding the monkeys is feeding frenzies, hand-out recipients squabbling and stealing each others’ “Government Manna,” and uncontrolled population increase among the subsidized groups. Worse, after some time being “fed,” neither they nor their progeny are capable of “being released back into the wild.”
This holds equally true for any all corporations that were declared Too Big To Fail and/or those industries that are now or have been receiving copious federal subsidies.
It’s all the same. It doesn’t matter if they’re sagging and wearing Ecko, Sean John, or Apple Bottom, or they’re in Brooks Brothers, Hermes, or Ralph Lauren; the feeding frenzy is fundamentally the same as is the expectancy that the trough will be refilled.
Christian eschatology is quite climactic and rather garish. In the Christians’ view of the End Times the world will be destroyed in a cataclysmic struggle between the nations and peoples of the world, with the very heavens, oceans, and lands of the Earth heaving in wrath, flood, and fire.
Amidst this carnage four avatars of doom and destruction are prophesied to ride forth – the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse: War, Death, Pestilence, and Famine.
A Classic Depiction Of The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse
This is certainly a romantic image for the end of our world, but find myself in doubt of its basic premise as to how the world will end. I do not think it will be these horsemen: War, Death, Pestilence, and Famine that ride forth on terrible steeds to destroy civilization.
More likely it seems to me that it will be the the surviving brothers of the late and not lamented nearly enough Common Sense that trumpet our doom. Those four harbingers of doom: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim, already move amongst us.
We’ve little or no need for a Divine ending to our sad world. The heralds of destruction we will be slain by will be of our own making and our end will be slow and ignominious rather than the garish but somehow glorious ending predicted by the Christians.
I’ve often wondered about the decline and fall of America and of the Civilized World as a ragged and motley whole. Such grim musings have not been about whether it would fall or when it would fall, for I am convinced that it has already fallen but not, as of yet, dashed itself to bloody pieces upon the waiting ground.
No; my ruminations have been about when it fell from well-earned grace and why it did so. What small and unnoticed failure of our own people – for no outside force could be reasonably said to be to blame – precipitated our collapse and sent us spirally to our doom?
A likely answer to my quandary came from a highly unlikely source. It came in the form of an internet chain email filled with equal parts lament and wry wit which poetically pointed out our method of societal suicide.
An Obituary printed in the London Times:
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
Why the early bird gets the worm;
Life isn’t always fair;
And maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
Yes; we should all mourn the death of our longtime friend, teacher, and defender Common Sense and hang our heads in shame for either standing by while it died or, in the case of so many, actively helping its death along.
I have included this post in Reflections From A Murky Pond’s Humor category, but the only reason it contains any mirth at all is that Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain was possessed of both common sense and a rare, high wisdom when it came to the human condition.
Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
NOTE: There have been many variants of this email floating around the internet for the last 10 – 12 years. Many of the them ascribe the source of this wisdom to the late comic, George Carlin. Such an attribution is erroneous; the original version of this piece was penned by columnist and author, Lori Borgman for the Indianapolis Star in March, 1998.