Yes, Progressives, God Made Farmers

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Photo credits: texastribune.org

©2013 Susan Stamper Brown

What was it about the Dodge’ commercial, “God Made a Farmer,” that stirred the souls of so many Americans during the Superbowl? Maybe it was the imagery of the dirt and grit of real America, not the white-washed concrete meccas many of us call home. Maybe for just a moment we were unplugged from our instant and superficial world and taken back to a time when we were captivated by God’s creation, not what our friends were doing on Facebook. Or maybe it was just the quintessential sound of American icon, the late Paul Harvey, whose voice wraps around you like a warm blanket on a cold day. His message was one you could expect for a happy ending, even at a time when happy endings weren’t en vogue.

Or maybe it was the unvarnished idea of the farmer, which is so often identified with America. It is the image of a tough life, one marked by hard work and honest living. A time when men were men and that was okay. A time when workdays didn’t end until the work was done.

When was the last time anyone gave a second thought as to from where their groceries came? Or, even cared? I haven’t in a long time, at least not until this commercial aired. When I need food, I drive to the nearest grocery store and buy some, and become irritated when the date on the milk isn’t as new as I’d like it to be. I’ve never had to provide milk for myself, and I’ll bet farmers feel a certain sense of pride when the shelves are full, and dates are fresh.

But why should we care? Because besides feeding us, American farms feed the world. According to the American Farm Bureau in 2010, one-third of the farms in the U.S. exported upwards of “$115 billion worth of American agricultural products.” All this from more than two million farms across the country. Not too shabby, until you consider in 1935 there were nearly seven million farms. And it’s getting worse.

Farming, like manufacturing, has begun a slow death in this country, sped along by a lazy younger workforce, many of which would rather stare at, as my niece so describes, “glowing rectangular objects” (smart phones), than produce something with soiled hands. According to the EPA, around 40 percent of farmers are 55 years old, or older. And according to the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture, farmers under the age of 45 dropped 21 percent in five years.

The EPA report stated, “The graying of the farm population has led to concerns about the long-term health of family farms as an American institution,” therefore the direct attack of family farms in 2012 by the Progressive-leaning Obama administration should have come as no surprise to anyone. After massive outcry, the DOL dropped its oppressive imperative banning children from working on their parents’ farms.

In their quest to upend all that makes this country great, Progressives have hijacked the word “progressive” in hopes to paint buttercream icing over the cow dung they call ideology. And many of us have theoretically ingested it, without thought, and have no idea why our stomachs hurt and souls feel empty. It came as no surprise liberals attacked the Paul Harvey Superbowl commercial. The Atlantic called it “racist,” The LA Times, “retro,” and some bloggers deemed it “religious.”

All is not lost though because a real and present war still wages for the heart and soul of America. On one side, there are those who would have us wholeheartedly embrace hedonism, self-worship, and bowing down to the god of government. And on the other side, there are those who provide for the needs of the others, and still find time to quietly celebrate God, family, country, sacrifice, and the virtues of hard work and self-reliance.

 

 

 

 

5 Responses to Yes, Progressives, God Made Farmers

  • This is also good. glad I looked you up Susan.

  • Susan, thanks for a good editorial.Well done

  • I won’t break your heart if I tell you I loved the Dodge ode to Paul Harvey/Farmer commercial. I know a work of art when I see it and I know you don’t have much of a heart to break so I know you can take it if I tell you I’m a frothing Green Party progressive and an Infantry vet and an agnostic and I would love to see a sincere program to repopulate the land with family farms.

    I believe the most important thing America raises on farms is kids. Kids who solve problems. Kids who prize loyalty. Kids with a view of reality. The land needs to be reused in that direction from mega-ag to something like 40 acres and a mule. It could take a century, but it would be a good investment.
    An example: Henry Ford was raised on a farm. He changed the world. Without an MBA.

    But to move the land into the hands of a lot of people now jammed into cities, you have to take the land from those dozen or so families who now control most of the land producing most of the food… and that’s socialism or something, ain’t it? God hates that, don’t she?

    So instead of putting tax dollars into funding small farms let’s buy more tanks or drones or fly the defense scty home to his walnut farm on the weekend. Every weekend. So he can keep his jowls in shape.

    Prizing profit has molded America into a society of monopolies.
    Food production among them. Have you looked at a real farmer recently? A real 290 lbs BMI 40 air conditioned cab $300K harvester GPS farmer just back from the Wyoming elk hunt and going to Belize next with the wife and brother in law Farmer? Girl, wipe the nitrogen from your eyes.

    If you really wanted to repopulate the land, you would need a multi-step program of collective farms first to train urban candidates who don’t know seed from shinola, then relocation and a permanent adjustable subsidy to support the new family farms under the understanding that they may never be profitable, but, that does not mean they are not a success.
    If you can remove a family from Chicago and replant them on a farm in Idaho, that is a success.

    Paul, what would you think?

  • Wow. This could have been a chance to talk about generational decline of family farmers due to perverse subsidies that encourage conglomeration and corn monoculture, or GMO lawsuits for seeds, or something that is, ya know, killing non-corporate farming.

    What do we get instead? What we always get: another hurting group being used as a political football for the worst kind of person in America: the political commenter. You know – the kind of moron ready to turn every serious and complex issue our country faces into some sort of dumb Lib v. Con BS column.

    Simply puke inducing…

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