Us vs. Them
I believe after one has lived past a half century, you can reflect over your life experiences and make a fairly sound observation of where things are at today in comparison, whether it be geophysical, social, political, or economical.
I see a more defined polarization in each of the categories mentioned above. For example, we understand that from a geophysical perspective, in the 1950s, over 60 percent of our population in this country lived on farms and ranches, and grew up learning how to produce food and fiber from the land, while the balance lived in town producing products and providing services, all for the common cause to sustain life for the populace here in the United States. Today, less than 5 percent live and work on farms and ranches, still producing food and fiber, not only for the country, but to export to other countries in need. I am continually impressed by the fact we can produce more with less off the countryside…..less labor, less time, and less acres. Without larger machinery and equipment and biogenetics provided by our agribusinesses, this would not be possible. The balance of our now doubled population, however, has migrated into expanding cities taking up employment in providing mostly consumer goods and services.
In my lifetime, the ‘80s proved to be an era when there was a large migration of people to the cities in search of work. As many of you my age may remember, farming and ranching operations were going broke, due to low commodity markets and the effects were compounded in areas experiencing drought. Although not as severe as the 1930s, the result of the economic downturn of the ‘80s was similar in that the children in that era were advised to go find a good paying job in town, and get away from the farm…..so we did.
This set the stage then, for a shift in our society, as the children of those who migrated to the cities, were born and raised in the cities. They did not have the opportunity to learn about farming the land, or raising livestock, working in some seasons from daylight to dusk, seven days a week, whereby the job was a way of life. Socially, children raised in the cities learned to work according to union standards, whereby you only worked 8 hours per day at one job, five days a week, and had weekends and holidays off to play. To me, this created a new attitude in work ethic we contend with today, and that is that no one should work more or harder than this, or it is considered inhumane. (I might interject here that according to the Book I read, we are to work six days a week and rest one.)
Political polarization is, in my opinion, the result of this changing society.
The Democratic party I that I remember in my early life, was all about helping out the farmers and creating opportunities for people looking for work The theme was based on a foundation of providing support for those who wanted to have their own business and be an asset to society. Today, it appears the Democratic party has been infiltrated by a group of individuals who are more about “power and control” for the elite who think the government should be the provider of all sustenance for its people.
Earlier in my life, I viewed the Republican party to represent large businesses and big corporations. However, it now appears more like what the Democratic party used to represent, as far as providing an environment for starting new business, etc. I also see the GOP today as having two separate interests that prove to yet be defined in this year’s election cycle, and that is those who support a more conservative based government for today’s working class as opposed to those who have large corporate business interests, such represented on Wall Street.
These changing interests within the parties themselves have resulted in two polarized parties that are unable to work together for any good of the general public, meaning they are unable to define their own mission, let alone be effective in standing for something significant. The only thing they agree on is to contradict each other’s positions!
So, to recap my thoughts, I migrate towards the thought that is not so much as we against them, or the Republicans verses the Democrats, but rather urban verses rural, which was originally perpetuated by a depressed economy within this country’s history. All of us have roots to the land, but our second generation of city dwellers have been brainwashed through propaganda within their environment to place their dependence on government to sustain them, when they should be joining the rural folks in fighting to restrict government control of the land and water resources to enable adequate food production for our growing population and a stable economy. If our resources are turned completely over to government control, we will be subjected to the tyranny of a dictatorship, and our freedoms will then be lost.
I will conclude with this…the words I heard from a government employee in a training session now several years ago…” it is a known fact that when there are no more farmers and ranchers left, it will be up to the government to manage the land.” Woe be it to us, if this should ever happen. For us in the country, we need to continue to invite our neighbors in the cities to the country and educate them on the importance of keeping our freedoms and reconnect with nature. Most of them would love to have that connection again. And presently they are listening to propaganda that demonize those of us who depend on the land and water for production of food and fiber. It is important for those to understand that sheep on the range do not require a barn to live in and that we are not polluting the waters of the United States.
For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, and fine apparel, and there should also come a man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand here” or “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:2
Earl cartoon by Big Dry Syndicate for the June 25, 2022, edition of Tri-State Livestock News
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