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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • That's What I Think: Some political wisdom from Twain and Reagan

  • Mark Twain wrote an essay in the spring of 1874 titled “The Temperance Insurrection” about women who did not have the right to vote but had the right to express themselves, so they publicly protested the ready supply of alcohol. He poked fun at them, of course, for that was what he did for a living. Nevertheless, about halfway through it, he turned serious and wrote the following:
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  • Mark Twain wrote an essay in the spring of 1874 titled “The Temperance Insurrection” about women who did not have the right to vote but had the right to express themselves, so they publicly protested the ready supply of alcohol. He poked fun at them, of course, for that was what he did for a living. Nevertheless, about halfway through it, he turned serious and wrote the following:
    “Would you consider the conduct of these crusaders justifiable? I do—thoroughly justifiable. They find themselves voiceless in the making of laws and the election of officers to execute them. Born with brains, born in the country, educated, having large interests at stake, they find their tongues tied and their hands fettered, while every ignorant whiskey-drinking foreign-born savage in the land may hold office, help to make the laws, degrade the dignity of the former and break the latter at his own sweet will. They see their fathers, husbands, and brothers sit inanely at home and allow the scum of the country to assemble at the ‘primaries,’ name the candidates for office from their own vile ranks, and, unrebuked, elect them. They live in the midst of a country where there is no end to the laws and no beginning to the execution of them.”
    Twain’s description of government office-holders in 1874 fits in 2014, in my opinion. So, too, does his description of the electorate. And, he hits the nail on the head regarding the number of laws.
    I wonder what Mark Twain would think about our country today?
    What would Twain say about a president (running for office and trying to portray a safer world thanks to his work) and secretary of state who allowed terrorists to kill our ambassador to Libya and other Americans, then sent an official out to the television talk shows with a contrived story that it wasn’t terrorism but a spontaneous uprising in response to an anti-Islam video that led to the killings.
    What would Twain say about an administration that allows the Internal Revenue Service to seek out conservatives, active in their opposition to the president’s administration, for special audits?
    What would Twain say about the administration fishing around in the private e-mails and phone records of journalists?
    What would Twain say about the administration’s allowing sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels to be used against out nation’s own Border Patrol agents?
    What would Twain say about Obama’s health and human services secretary going around to the healthcare businesses her department regulates to collect (extort?) money to help promote Obamacare.
    What would Twain say about the bugging of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office by Democratic party operatives to listen in on strategy sessions who then released transcripts of those sessions calling the senator insensitive to his opponent?
    Page 2 of 2 - And what would Twain say about voters who sat inanely at home and allowed the scum of the country to elect their own into office again because the tea partiers and ultra-conservative independents didn’t like Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion, didn’t think he was conservative enough and accepted the mainstream media’s contention that he was out of touch.
    I presume Twain would have something witty and biting to say.
    I’m not witty, so I’ll just call on you to stay informed about what the Obama administration has done and continues to do and tell your friends and relatives so that when the election rolls around in November 2014, maybe the conservatives will get up and do something about it.
    I’llend with this quote from President Ronald Reagan, who said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

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