By Samuel Strait – August 9, 2016 – My take as follows:
It would appear that our local Editor of the Triplicate, Robin Fornoff, is making another effort to resurrect what has become a largely irrelevant “opinion page” in the local print newspaper by offering a monthly column produced by Will Meriwether, a history and political science instructor at the local community college. In his inaugural column in Saturday’s Triplicate, we get a flavor of what it is to be. Yawn.
Titled “Like It Or Not, the Federal Gov’t impacts us every day”, Mr. Meriwether proceeds to lecture us about how he intends discuss the relationship between the local community and the Federal Government. Of course there is no “real time” way of making it a discussion, thanks to Editor Fornoff, so it will become one local man’s view, as if that really matters to most of us. It might of course be nice, if Mr. Meriwether, a history instructor, would start by explaining just why is it that the Federal government has such a big foot print locally, when the Constitution strictly prohibits most of which Mr. Meriwether states are Federal programs that impact both this State and us here locally.
It is some what amusing for him to begin his column with a laundry list of Federal programs that he describes as “beneficial” locally when all that they really do is create more hurdles for an already morbid economy. I’m fairly certain that calling dependency programs such as food stamps, cash aid, social security as more benefits to the local citizenry is his way of stimulating that same stagnant economy. So I guess this is how those benefits work; we , those of us that pay taxes, send our money each April 15th to Washington and in return we have seen no improvement in the economy for twenty five years. We can’t get the Feds to cough up money to fix last chance grade. The airport doesn’t have enough passengers to lengthen the runway so we are stuck with a pointless new terminal. No money to pay for the wastewater treatment plant which we can’t pay for. And 80% plus of land here tied up in Conservation with no compensation from the Feds for our lovely Parks and Wilderness areas. Just to mention a few of the “benefits” of having the Federal government impact our lives from 3000 miles away.
While I am sure Mr. Meriwether, were he to respond to this condemnation of our Federal benefits, it would go something like this, only the Federal government has the ability to think for us in order for us to get the “correct result”. Naturally this explanation completely ignores those pesky little details in the US Constitution that for the most part give the decision making powers to people a little closer to home.
His claim to be non-partisan does him no credit, as it is clear in his initial foray into editorial journalism where his partisanship lies and where his focus will be in the future. He can quote Moynihan and Jefferson all he wishes, but until the Federal Government retreats to the corner it was meant to occupy, its modern day benefits are far less than beneficial.
While I am sure that if Mr. Meriwether and any others were to respectfully read these comments and then use the opportunity that the Triplicate does not offer by responding, only then will there be an actual discussion. You will find that in many instances where my opinion is published in this e-paper, a discussion is possible and I am happy to share the space. I never shirk from learning something new. Political party’s in my old age have become largely labels and serve to me at least, no purpose other than act as road block to discourse. So Mr. Meriwether, have at it, let’s see what you’ve got!