Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
By Liz Taylor
April 2, 1980
Mouse River Farmers Press
“Good heavens, you didn’t think I’d vote for that skirt chaser just because he’s a Democrat, did you? You must be out of your tree!” And that was my reply to a question about a political candidate recently, no names, please.
So much for religion, politics, and sex, along with a dash of mental health!
For some reason, folks think I should not take a stand on politics and so on, in this column. Well, it’s an opinion column and everyone who knows me, knows I have strong opinions on many subjects. However, I do not intend to expound on my views at this time, except in an abstract form, or perhaps on the national level. Apparently, it’s always safe to nip at the heels of the man on top, or so it would seem from listening to the national news.
In the course of a recent conversation with a young man about the affairs of the state, and indeed, about world affairs, I asked, “Are you a Democrat or Republican?”
He replied, “I am neither, I am an anarchist.”
I liked his reply, and was not too surprised at hearing it from one less than half my age.
An anarchist is one who favors anarchism (what else?) and for those of you who don’t want to look that up, although I did, anarchism is the theory that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable, and should be abolished! Doesn’t that sound like some of the ideas expressed in recent speeches by would-be presidents during some of our state primaries? Or is constant criticism of our current president and his cabinet just criticism and nothing more? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
All Americans seem to have one thing in common, we would like less government interference in our private affairs. We talk about it as we drive down our federal and state highways, in our cars with pollution control brought about by national law, and strapped in our seats with seat belts put there (again by federal law) to hopefully keep us safer if we have an accident.
We stop at a café for lunch and enjoy relatively pure food because the café had to pass inspection for cleanliness. And as we enjoy a sumptuous meal, some of our friends and relatives are also enjoying a meal, perhaps not so grand, but adequate, through the benefits of money and food stamps provided for them by our state and national government to help them over the rough spots in life.
I could go on and on about our less than perfect society, referring to our national parks so that you can all enjoy the outdoors even if you don’t live in the country, about our meat inspection programs, school aid, farm programs, and, of course, our military defense system. And much, much more. Perfect? No way.
How much government is too much? We live in the most freedom oriented nation in the world. How many of you know an American citizen who has defected to Russia? There are a few, but how many do you know? Do we have a fence, barrier, or “iron curtain” forbidding you to leave our nation to seek a better life in another land? No, you are free to go if you so choose.
Think about the advantages of being an American citizen before you criticize. And when you do complain, think about an alternative to the problem you complain about, and let our government representatives know what you think would be a solution, or even a partial one!
What would you suggest for getting our hostages out of Iran? Let you president or congressman or senator know if you think you have a good idea.
No, I’m not happy with the current state of affairs in America. I’m not satisfied with the high gas prices and low farm prices, high interest rates, and low farm prices and wages that don’t keep up to inflation. Maybe writing to our government officials with ideas is not the solution, but it’s the only one I have at the moment. So please don’t throw up your hands, take a pen in hand instead and “let the folks in Bismarck and Washington” know what you think! And tell your friends and neighbors what you think, and our city and county officials, and on down the line. Yes, I know I mentioned low farm prices twice in this paragraph, and I’ll mention them again. Hog prices the lowest in 6 years, cattle prices dropping so fast you wonder what’s happening, and grain prices no way keeping up with the cost of production and inflation.
The Farmers Home Administration closing the doors, or finances, to some of their borrowers in the spring of the year just before calving and grain seeding with no more justification than saying they are short of funds. When our government recently bailed out the Chrysler Corporation with enough money to keep our farmers and ranchers going for years, just to have one more make of car on the market. Not for competition with General Motors and Ford, because there is no more competition between them than there is with groceries bought at our grocery conglomerates and chains, and our appliance and implement monopolies.
Get mad, and write to your representative in government, and tell them it’s an election year, no matter who they are. And tell them to shape up or ship out and go make a living without a guaranteed wage and pension plan.
Speaking of writing, I receive letters about my column, and how welcome they are…whether they are for or against what I say. I did not realize so many people read this paper, or cared enough to comment. One of the more amusing ones I received recently was about the change in my picture at the head of this column.
“Is that a new picture of you and Bud?” This was in reference to the picture of me and the “bull” skull hanging on our corral fence!
No, it’s not Bud and I. Actually, I always thought he was at least as “bull-headed” as me, but that is not his head by me in the picture. It is the skull of a Hereford bull we bought about 15 years ago for $1,200 when $1,200 was quite a price to pay for a bull. Anyway, said bull had a bit of failing health one day, turned up lame, with a dislocated hip or knee, and I suggested butchering or selling him.
“No, he’ll get alright,” said Bud. Well, the bull didn’t get alright so all we have is the memory of a once good bull and a skull to hang on the fence. There was a time when I thought about hanging someone else’s head on the…oh, never mind!
Thought for the week: ‘God grant me patience, and pleas hurry!”
Next week: “Weather…or not.”