Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

August 14, 2013

We the People: Butch, Sundance and Sequestration

By Bob Hoyt
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Denying women reproductive health care makes sense to Conservatives. They think it’s their business to impose their personal religion and politics on everyone. They don’t understand why college students are sensitive about having their loan interest rate double while Wall Street fattens itself on more tax cuts.

The poor (we always have with us) who need food stamps are puzzled about why their end of the national table is getting sawed off, while CEOs on corporate welfare eat juicy steaks and lobster at the other end. And lots of folks are still trying to figure out how putting 700 more miles of fence on the Mexican border and operating a military prison in Cuba boosts free markets. Be prepared for more cliff jumping nonsense in September when Congress returns to its job of doing nothing after their August break from doing nothing. 

Right-wingers lead such sheltered lives that (bless their hearts) they think everyone in America is mentally fit and physically capable of holding down a well-paying job (even if none are available). Tennessee Conservatives who can correctly pronounce the word “No” qualify for a statesmanship award. 

Conservatives regularly try to abolish part of the federal government — education, IRS, commerce — everything except the defense department.  Will the Tea Party collect the taxes after there is no IRS? Defense will be all that’s left after they eliminate Social Security. And the defense department won’t have much left to defend. All our roads and bridges and schools will have collapsed.

If Obamacare is repealed and nothing takes its place, we can all jump off the cliff with little to lose. It’s the duty of the Conservative posse to urge us over the edge by repeating the notion that if we don’t jump like lemmings, we’ll be left behind and the “government” will “get us.” 

Jumping off a cliff doesn’t frighten Conservatives, of course, because they don’t plan to jump with us. They want to herd us over the edge so they can keep fixing the economy to suit themselves. If they keep us fretting with new distractions, we’re not likely to find ways to work together because no one will be looking for common ground.

Democracy requires that the people should govern. How we do it now is not perfect, but doing away with government and jumping off a cliff while holding hands at the urging of politically challenged individuals is no way to fix things. Conservatives seem to think that our founding fathers expected us to jump off a cliff to protect the greedy and the powerful. Radical Conservatives think that democracy should take care of itself, but their imagined right to rule must be guarded and propped up with gerrymandering.

There’s a famous movie scene where the two lead characters leap off a cliff together in their last chance to escape a bunch of no-goods who are pursing them with big pistols and lots of ill will. Jump brother, jump!  On the way down, who will care who is right and who is wrong? One thing is certain — the Constitution won’t matter a gnat’s knee by then. It will be Butch and Sundance all over again. Lots of luck landing in the river and not on the rocks. And don’t expect to be jumping in the company of Wall Streeters and Conservatives. They’ll be looking for even stranger ways to stick it to We the People. 

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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. “We the People” is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in “We the People” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at jwund@frontiernet.net.