Get The Entire Picture

Jun 15, 2022

Today's feature is from The Outdoor Wire -- and our publisher, Jim Shepherd.

For many Americans, their level of enlightenment is directly proportional to the frenzy and decibel levels by which their “news” is delivered.

Already we’re seeing frantic emails warning of Senatorial “traitors” or “tyrants” who “broke oaths,” “went back on their words,” or “betrayed their country and constituencies” - because they agreed to a framework for possible legislation.

Hate to unnecessarily ruffle feathers, but that’s no more accurate than President Biden’s frequent off-the-wall claims about guns. It’s simply not true that nine millimeter bullets “blow your lungs out of your body.” It’s equally wrong to scream that agreeing to discuss legislation is agreeing to anything beyond discussion.

Agreeing to framework for proposed legislative actions is - brace yourselves- what legislators are supposed to do. Government - good government - is supposed to consider - carefully- before acting.

Consideration mandates conversation.

That sort of conversation isn’t held via bullhorn or signboard. All that frenzied rhetoric from advocacy groups on both sides of hot-button issues is far more interested in attracting your attention to shake the money tree than encourage civil discourse.

Since I’ve already spiked someone’s blood pressure, here’s another revelation: no matter the decision in Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court will not outlaw abortions.

Overturned in total, nullified in part, divided into three parts like Gaul, whatever the ruling, abortion will not be outlawed by the Supreme Court.

If/when Roe v Wade is overturned, the question of abortion will be returned to where it has belonged all along: to the states. Where vox populi- the voice of the people - speaks clearest.

At that point, the states will individually decide the matter according to the desire of their voters.

Will it make for a hodgepodge of laws? Probably. It won’t just make abortions harder to obtain in some areas, it will likely make them unlawful in others.

But the states will decide the matter, not the feds.

The United States of America was - brace yourselves - designed to be governed at the most local level possible.

Not a single member of the nation’s founders ever planned on having an overarching bureaucracy trying dictate law onto a citizenry forced into some sort of homogeneous mishmash. That was the absolute opposite of their intent.

They planned the federal government to be as small as possible. To only be involved in big picture problems, not micromanaging lives.

They realized that every law, rule and regulation would take away a small piece of personal freedom. But their nightmare has become reality.

Of course it’s happened at the old “boiling a frog” speed- gradually - but it’s always seeking ways to encroach further into our individual lives.

Ten years into our country’s history, it were in serious trouble. The Articles of Confederation - the original charter under which the country was formed- didn’t really form a country. It created a loose conglomerate of independent states.

The national legislature had no power to tax or raise an army. There were no executive or judicial branches.

At that point, James Madison and other smart people across the colonies got together and designed the three-pronged government we have today. Three branches: legislative, executive and judicial, each designed as checks-and-balances to prevent one group ever having too-much control.

But the point was simple: to prevent any single group or individual from ever being in the position to violate our individual rights.

Some experts make the point we’ve devolved far from that ideal. I’m inclined to agree.

Those same experts say we’ve allowed an Administrative State to assume power. That was a progressive goal in the early 20th century. “Progressives” said our system had “deficiencies” and they tried correcting them. They argued, somewhat successfully, that “experts” should write, enforce and adjudicate our laws. Essentially, the citizens allowed them to plant the seeds that have produced the weeds now clogging our proverbial garden.

Our distractions and fixations on other stuff, then and now, essentially let bureaucrats assume control of the country.

Madison- the original smart guy when it comes to how our government was designed, wrote: “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands..may justly be pronounced ‘the very definition of tyranny.’”

Today, politicians come and (eventually) go. The bureaucrats remain.

And our addiction to instantaneous everything is a major contributor. We want it all and we want it now. To the point we ignore the big picture. Distracted by the noise, we miss the really significant news. The fact it’s sometimes buried -or ignored altogether- tells you we’ve also allows our media to lose objectivity as well.

Take the “Breaking News” banner at the floundering news network where I once proudly worked. It stayed on the screen a majority of the time in a (failed) effort to attract - and hold - the ephemeral interest of inveterate channel surfers. The banner remained, despite nothing they were saying even remotely approaching “breaking.” Very little of it, even charitably, deserved to be called “news”.

Rushing to breathlessly report something is as nonsensical as the screaming hysterical of people demanding that government do something about…crime, abortion, guns, you name it. And to do it right now.

That’s where our founding fathers, warts and all, got it right.

In fact, the last words on how we should proceed on virtually every important issue (governmentally speaking) comes from our first president:

“It has always been, and will continue to be, my earnest desire to learn and to comply, as far as it is consistent, with the public sentiment; but it is on great occasions only, and after time has been given for cool and deliberate reflection, that the real voice of the people can be known.”

George Washington, Letter to Edward Carrington, May 1, 1796

As always, we’ll keep you posted.

— Jim Shepherd