“IN DEFENSE OF RURAL AMERICA”
by Ron Ewart, ©2014, President, NARLO
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In our last column we took on the “shallow, hollow and just plain stupid Americans” that make up over half of the population. But these people we described do not represent the true nature and substance of America and in fact are an outgrowth of failed social policies over the last 100 or so years. The failed policy is Progressivism that is just another word for socialism under the guise of compassion in exchange for votes. Progressivism has spawned things like rising unemployment and sagging economies, the war on capitalism, rapidly expanding debt and deficits, open borders, unchecked illegal immigration, social justice, radical environmentalism, sustainability, smart growth, rapid transit, cap and trade and the fraud that is man-caused global warming. Sadly, liberals are the standard-bearers of Progressivism.
The current administration under Obama has aided and abetted this rising degradation of our American culture by apologizing to the world for some of the dark days in America’s history. By so doing, he has seriously diluted America’s rightful leadership position in a troubled world. As a result, the American glue that was holding the nations of the world together from eating themselves and others in religious and territorial wars has been dissolved in a cesspool of apologies and undeserved criticism.
Yes, America has had some dark days upon which we should take no pride. But there is a positive side to America. That positive side must be emphasized in our families and in all of our institutions if America is to have a future in individual liberty. If we continue to consume ourselves in guilt over past transgressions, not only will America and freedom succumb, but the world will be thrust into chaos from which it could take centuries to recover.
As many of our readers know, our previous articles have focused on what is wrong with us as a people and as a government and what we can do about it. However, in a sharp departure from that weekly focus, we are going to emphasize the great goodness that lies within most of us and build on a previous article we wrote in December 2011. We hope that it brings some pleasant and reverent thoughts at a time in America’s history that appears to be rather bleak. Perhaps, in retrospect, this time is not so bleak after all, but just another mountain to cross. Americans are great at crossing mountains and fording rivers, or even going to the stars. Won’t you join with us as we explore ……
“What Is Good About Us”
It is very easy to criticize or find fault with anything and everything, and it seems to be a negative human trait. Most of the time our verbal or written criticism is offered, without a request, for ego-driven purposes, to make ourselves look bigger, better or more perfect than the thing, or the person, or group we are criticizing. We’d like to reverse the trend and reflect on those things that are great and good in us, either as individuals or as a collection of individuals.
To us nothing epitomizes what we are capable of as individuals and as a society more than the sight of a large commercial jetliner (say a Boeing 747) lifting off from a long airport runway with a roar of immense power and speed, defying the force of gravity and arcing, bullet-like, towards an unknown destination. Only the vision, perseverance, skill and guts of a large number of individuals could have wrought such a successful and safe venture.
Just a mere 150 years ago, a blink of time in the life of our planet, we were crossing the new land on foot or with wagons, horses, mules or oxen. It is hard to imagine the spirit and courage that it took for those frail people to cross the wilderness with unspeakable injuries, illness and suffering awaiting them. What took the pioneers three to five months or more to do, we now traverse in 3 to 5 hours. From the days of Wilbur and Orville Wright at the infamous Kitty Hawk, we have pole-vaulted the technology of flight to unimaginable speeds and heights. What a great land we live in.
Yes. We are a people full of flaws, and yes, we tend to get in our own way from time to time as we are now. But look at what we have done.
Look at the cars of today with their aerodynamic design, their beautiful, bright colors and advanced instrumentation. Do you remember when tires only lasted 20,000 miles? Now they last 50,000 or more. Do you remember when an engine was burned out at 50,000 or 60,000 miles? Some engines now last over 300,000 miles.
Think of the dams and the great power-generating plants that we have built to provide power for our cities and towns. Think of the buildings we have built to house our people, our businesses and our factories and to continue one of the most awesome commercial and economic engines that ever occurred on the face of the earth ….. if Progressivism doesn’t kill it.
Just think of the wide range of scientific research going on right now in the areas of energy. Yes, there is wind and solar power, but other sources being researched now will deliver many factors of energy more than the current alternative sources.
Think of the research in food types and production to increase our food supplies. How about the research in and use of fiber optics, or the research in rubber, plastics, rare metals and new materials and fabrics? This research is fueled by the fires of commercial enterprise and in some cases, from the moneys that are collected by our government for taxes, as in the NASA space program that has taken us well above our atmosphere and beyond.
Look at the progress we have made in the world of medicine, even with all of its problems. But look what we take for granted for medical care in this country. We provide medical services in the United States that can only be gotten here, unless ObamaCare fouls it up.
Think of the research in genetics to unravel the mysteries of inherited diseases and other conditions and what part that research will have in finding the root causes of these conditions and their respective cures.
Look at the machinery that has been developed for the world of medicine. Magnetic Imaging machines, breathing machines, heart-lung machines, blood monitoring machines, CAT scanners, X-ray machines and more. We don’t know all of them because we are not in the world of medicine. All we know is that if something goes wrong you have a place to go where people care for the most part to see that your medical problem is resolved the best way they can. No, it’s not perfect, but it works better than it did 100 years ago when the life expectancy was 47 years old and is now 77 years.
Let’s take a little closer look at technology over the last 10 or 20 years and what the computer has done in providing a continuous flow of information so that people can learn more and do things quicker. Some of you may remember the old mechanical Underwood typewriters or the now-ancient IBM Selectric. We’ve come a long way, baby!
Watch how fascinated a child is as he makes keystrokes on a keyboard of a computer and sees the response on the computer screen. They absorb it like a giant sponge and love every minute of it. Think of what the Internet has done to not only the distribution of information, but the exponential expansion of communications between individuals and groups. Sure, there are social problems with technology, but we will adjust.
The Internet and search engines have become a boon to writers and authors. Before the age of the Internet, when we wanted to research something, we either had to buy a book or go to the library and read almost the entire book to find the information we wanted. Now, with a click of a button on our computer we open up a search engine on the Internet and do our research right from our own desk ….. in minutes.
There is no crisis here. There are just problems to solve and challenges to meet. Challenges are solved by enterprising individuals, working together with other individuals, towards a common purpose; that is, if government doesn’t get in their way.
Folks. We are going to the stars one day and nothing anybody says or does will stop that. No amount of fear of the unknown or naysaying about financing will stop our advance into the Cosmos. We will find the technology and the money. Ever since man first burned himself with fire and realized he could use it to his advantage or transported some object by rolling a log and converted that idea to the wheel, he has been forever driven towards more knowledge, more understanding and a wider, larger, broader world in which he can explore. In this quest he has been driven to go faster and faster, as his mind reaches farther and farther into the known Universe.
The doomsayers will tell us that we are going to run out of power. We are going to run out of oil. We are going to pollute the environment with our cars and our industry. Our automobiles are going to quit running and our airplanes will quit flying and our ships will no longer ply the open seas. The fraud of man-caused global warming will wipe us all out. Sorry, folks, it isn’t going to happen. With all the gnashing of teeth and the arguing over methods or cost, we will overcome these obstacles and venture into the vastness of deep space ….. in this century.
Some day in the not-too-distant future, we are going to develop power sources that will literally boggle the mind. Our vision is that each home, each office, each business or building will have its own centralized power unit. And in that power unit will have the source of power to purify our drinking water, destroy our raw sewage and gray water, heat and cool our homes and offices and provide the electrical power for our lights and appliances. One small unit in our homes, office buildings, or factories will provide all these uses.
Think of it. Those in your twenties watch how our planet will shrink in your lifetime. In ten or twenty years there will be airplanes that will leave the United States, sail up to the stratosphere or higher, glide at two to five times the speed of sound and land in Russia in a couple of hours. At 3,000 MPH we can go halfway around the world in four hours. In stark contrast, it took over two months to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing ship when freedom was born.
Personalized transportation will change dramatically. There will be air corridors for small, personal air units whether they use the principles of helicopters and small aircraft or some new strange power yet to be discovered. Maybe we will find a way to offset or neutralize gravity.
CONSCIOUS, SPONTANEOUS VOLUNTEERISM
One of the most commendable of all human traits is the desire by some to give of themselves in service to others, either as a conscious effort, such as those people who donate their time to hospitals, churches, associations, charities and other causes in the name of helping those less fortunate than themselves, or as an unconscious and spontaneous reaching-out at times of natural disasters or emergencies, small-scale or large. It is our understanding that volunteerism in America, as a percentage of its population, is higher than in all of the other countries in the world.
If you were to remove this one activity from society, it would collapse in very short order. No matter what government, churches or other institutions accomplish in aiding the plight of disadvantaged peoples, none of it would be possible without the self-sacrifice of these individual volunteers.
The problem in this country and every other country, for that matter, and every person that exists on this earth, is not poverty. It is not the disparity between poverty and wealth. It is not pestilence or flood, famine, earthquake or any of these things. What it is is pandemic ignorance and too many people lacking the knowledge needed to make intelligent decisions in life. For those who are willing to seek, the knowledge is truly there, especially now in the Internet World.
The answer to any of our problems is in the depth of our “point of reference.” A broader knowledge increases our “point of reference.” The answer is to always seek the truth and always leave your mind open to new information that might alter your knowledge of the truth.
In the end, we also must never lose sight of the fact that, the reason we as Americans are productive, creative, ingenuous, imaginative, reasonably happy and oh-so-generous, is that we are FREE. That freedom opens the door to our goodness. And the reason we are FREE is that we have laid down a system of government where individuals have unalienable, natural and God-given rights and where the government swears a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend those rights. But it is the people’s duty to hold the government to that oath so that freedom never flies away in the night, on the wings of apathy and indifference. There can be no goodness when corruption and evil are allowed to exist and where freedom is just a short entry in some dust-covered history book.
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NOTE: The foregoing article represents the opinion of the author and is not necessarily shared by the owners, employees, representatives, or agents of the publisher.
Ron Ewart, a nationally-known author and speaker on freedom and property rights issues and author of this weekly column, “In Defense of Rural America,” is the president of the National Association of Rural Landowners (NARLO) (http://www.narlo.org/), a non-profit corporation headquartered in Washington State, an advocate and consultant for urban and rural landowners. He can be reached for comment at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.