American Consequences - November 2020

What's the Point?

Then I began to feel bad about comparing noble upland game birds to such lowly things as seekers of elective office. After all, the birds so excel the politicians in grace and beauty (not to mention taste). Also, I have a way of finding excellent game birds. But I do not have a way of finding excellent politicians. And, looking around at who gets elected in America, nobody else does either... We need a political version of my method of discovering what I’m hunting for, which is my bird dog Clio. She is a Brittany spaniel with a superbly sensitive nose. She can detect from dozens of yards (with no yard signs needed) pheasants in the tall grass, grouse in the high trees, and woodcock in the alder bush thickets. She pins them down and points them, giving me an opportunity to – so to speak – “elect” them with my shotgun. Hunting dogs are very smart. They can learn to pursue any quarry. What we need to do is train hunting dogs to sniff out virtue, integrity, firm character, worthy principles, and good leadership. Then put the dogs on the campaign trail. What happens after that will be up to us and our fellow “hunters” – the American electorate. One thing that’s important to remember when you’re in the hunting field is that you’re not the only hunter out there during hunting season... just like you’re not the only voter out there on Election Day. We hunters have to trust each other. But we also have to take precautions to stay out of

each other’s way and make sure accidents don’t occur. That’s why we wear blaze orange hats and vests. I suppose that voters wearing red MAGA caps and pink pussyhats is somewhat equivalent. Nonetheless, bad things can happen in the woods. An innocent hiker can get mistaken for a two-legged deer that left its antlers at home. A harmless mountain biker can be confused with a moose on wheels. And bad things, obviously, can happen at the ballot box. An idiot, according to the dictionary, is a person with a mental age under three. Some hunters are idiots. Some voters haven’t yet reached that stage of intellectual development. I mostly do trust my fellow hunters. But I’d have more trust in my fellow voters if voting required adherence to as many rules and regulations as hunting does. I have my state’s booklet of official hunting and trapping regulations at hand – it’s 40 pages long. Unlike voters with voting, hunters are required to prove prior experience with hunting. To get a license, a hunter must produce either a license from a previous year or possess a “Hunter Education Card.” Otherwise, a hunter is required to complete the state’s two-day Hunter Education Course. Below is what my booklet of official hunting regulations says about that course. I have changed the wording – using cross-outs and bracketed inserts – to show what a “Voter Education Course” might be like: In a Hunter [Voter] Education Course, you’ll learn about firearms and archery [legislative and regulatory] safety and


November 2020

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