Double Down Double Standard (Non-Poetic Version)

 

It seems my recent poem has caused many to have an attack of the giggles. Perhaps they think its unmanly to write a poem…or…something. If so, then by all means stay away from such girlish pursuits as The Iliad , Beowulf, or even that silly little National Anthem of ours. We wouldn’t want to clutter your “open” mind. Just keep that wind tunnel of yours wide open and clear of any obstruction between both your ears and behind those vacant eyes.

Once again let me remind people, that my reason for the angst is not the picking of berries blue and red or the foraging of fiddleheads. Uh-oh, did I just rhyme again? Get over it! It’s the lack of respect for private property and ambivalence to the double standard conservatives portray.

Did you know that long before our foraging and hunting traditions here in Maine, our Founding Fathers put a high premium on private property? Yes, so much so they were willing to die for it. They challenged the most powerful Nation in the world at that time, Great Britain, for Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

Oh, I can hear giggles the more. “Idiot! Not only does he write poems but he screwed up the most famous line in American History!”(giggle snort) I am well aware the line reads Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, but do you know that line was originally drafted Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

I’m sure there are different reasons why it was changed. I can imagine they realized that one is not necessarily born endowed with private property, hence, the pursuit. Still, this shows that our Founders placed private property on a very high pedestal, a thing to be protected.

Much of the anger by conservatives here in Maine against landowners who asked for this foraging bill is really seeded in the fact that most of these major landowners are of a liberal persuasion. They have bought up large tracks of land and have begun to block hunting , foraging, and recreation on their land. Yes, it makes me angry, too.

But the fact of the matter remains, they still own the land. Still, the anger remains and the desire to use or block the legislature from defending their rights because they appose our will and our want seems, ahem, poetic justice. The question remains, what of the Constitution?

According to the Constitution, private property rights trump all including the Bill of Rights. For example, when I was campaigning during the Q3 referendum if a homeowner took exception to what I was saying they could order me off their property. I had to go and exercise my 1st Amendment rights elsewhere. If a homeowner objects to my sidearm on their property and demands I remove myself, I need to remove myself and exercise my 2nd Amendment rights elsewhere. The rights of the private landowner overrule our rights to hunting, foraging, and recreating. So take your various pursuits of happiness and pursue them elsewhere.

Sadly, it seems we are willing to preach the Constitution when it works in our favor but trample it when it doesn’t. The issue is more than foraging and hunting traditions, berries and fiddleheads. The question should be asked: Is the Constitution the foundation of the Republic for all citizens or just a weapon to wield against our opponents to win elections?

Whenever I write against this double standard among so-called conservatives, the immediate retaliation is, “No! We are going to teach them a lesson!” or “Now, they can know what it feels like!” I have been a conservative all my life but this double standard on so many issues, not just this, is not conservatism. It’s something I don’t recognize. The politics of retaliation and me first, the future be dammed. It seems we are not interested in winning elections to make the Republic stronger but simply to gain the power to inflict our double standard on our opponents, payback. And faster the pendulum swings…

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The primary is days away as I write this.  Many have exhausted themselves in non-stop battle to get their candidate elected to the general election.  There are some truths and traditions to examine when it comes to the politics of Maine.

Most historians agree that in the last fifty years or so a disturbing pattern has developed in our State.  The voting populace has proven to be much more conservative than the politicians that represent them.  How then, in a representative form of government, can this pattern emerge?

While conservatives have the numbers to consistently win the majority, they lack the unity to truly effect change.  One of the defining strengths of many conservatives is their dogged adherence to truth and principle.  But this strength at times, yes it seems at the most crucial times, becomes the Achilles that brings another frustrating setback to the march towards consistent prominence.  So fundamentally attached to a certain nuance of the conservative standards, factions easily develop and splinter into various corners and, during elections, never the twain or twenty shall meet.

Governor LePage was the one strong leader, who seemed to bring them together over the divides of their several beliefs.  Now it seems, perhaps, the divides are yawning open again.  Moderates and liberals may regain their hold on power and conservatives could once again squalor in sectarian apathy.

Liberals have long trumpeted their belief that the end justifies the means and have implemented this to great effect.  Conservatives believe the means is just as important as the end.  One cannot be compromised to facilitate the other.  Unfortunately, within this strict approach to representation there has steadily crept an aversion to compromise.  Holding the ground and defending an issue against the onslaught of liberalism has now evolved into staking your territory and fighting with anyone who comes near.  This has resulted in the near death of unity within the conservative ranks.

The one consistency amongst Maine conservatives is the attack of any front-runner, who dares call himself conservative.  Should a conservative candidate emerge from the pack and push to the fore, it seems every conservative leader in Maine is bound by blind rage to lacerate, eviscerate, castigate and in all ways mitigate the demise of his or her candidacy.  This all in an effort to prove themselves much more the conservative than the sad representation, who had the audacity to give themselves the hallowed title of conservative.  The public preening of one’s own conservative narcissism has had a painful debilitating effect on Maine’s political landscape.

Whatever the outcome of this primary, the numbers showed that the front-runner race between a conservative and a moderate should not have even been close.  But old alliances, petty grievances, and downright dirty politics, have made this, perhaps, another chapter in the saga of missed opportunities.  Our founding fathers showed us the wisdom of true compromise. My fellow conservatives, win, lose or draw, it is imperative that we find and learn that lost art our forefathers perfected of finding our unified voice for the sake of our posterity.  Let’s not miss opportunity!