(A new day dawning?)
The past few years have been pretty hard on small-scale gold miners in the United States. This is especially true in the West and Southwest where the anti-mining and anti-dredging mentality (if you can call it that) has been most vociferous and...as I hesitate to say...most effective. However, a new day may be dawning since the progressive status quo has been disrupted, if not fully slapped in the face.
We Earned the Right
First off let me make something perfectly clear. I am essentially a-political. I belong to no political party and for much of my adult life I've not voted in any election, big or small. This may shock or even horrify some of you, but I did what I felt I had to do. When I came back from my second Vietnam tour of duty in the waning days of 1968 at the ripe old age of 20, I was done. Stick a fork in me done. I'd experienced firsthand how the self-serving politicians and their brain trust had hung us out to dry in that war. Many fine young Americans died because of political bumbling and the constant drive by politicians to serve the agendas of themselves or special interests instead of us. Some of those who died were my buddies. After all that misery and horror I decided I would not be part of that political system any longer, right or wrong. Now I consider myself to be a contrarian with a good measure of conservatism running through my veins and certain libertarian views thrown into the mix. One thing I am not is a liberal, leftist, or so-called "progressive." Truth be told I despise those political viewpoints since they represent the same mentality I saw way back when in the anti-war movement of the 60s and early 1970s. Now don't get me wrong here. In a very obtuse way I actually fought for their right to march and protest but that doesn't mean they had the right to belittle us Vietnam veterans nor act like we were simply "capitalist tools of oppression" as I heard it put more than one time. Worse yet, we were called fascists and baby killers. We were neither. We were, for the most part, idealistic young kids thrown into a savage war in which we did our best, trying to survive to get back home again. We gave our all...and that's a fact regardless of the outcome. So I earned the right to remove myself from the political system and so did my friends if they too chose that course of action.
(We earned the right.)
Divides and More Divides
So fast forward to the past eight years. The libs, leftists, and progressives finally got their day in the sun with the outgoing president as their poster child. They've been after this sort of power for a very long time...probably going back to the early 1950s at the very least. They used the proven tactics of the left to get there too...instill divides in class structure, race relations, and religious beliefs all the while making not so subtle moves to convert the press and media into the propaganda arm of the government. Race and political correctness became the bludgeons they wielded to cow those of us who don't have any affinity for the American version of Marxist socialism. Next they passed all sorts of legislation or signed "presidential" orders that left us, the bulk of real Americans, out of the mix. Any challenge to their authority or world view meant you (yes, you) were a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, or any other sort of "phobe" they could come up with. All intimidation tactics that have been proven out in the past in social revolutions throughout world history. And let's not forget the constant pressure placed upon those of us who "bear arms." No leftist revolution could ever ascend to complete power as long as the people still bore arms that could be used against it. And we are the fascists? Do tell.
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Many of the oppressive rules and regulations that have come down the pike affecting small-scale gold miners are a result of this mentality. They managed to stop suction dredging in some states and institute "environmental standards" that are so convoluted and, yes...idiotic that only an "idiot" bureaucrat could decipher them. They raised annual claim fees to unacceptable levels and did their best to make things tough for us small-scale guys and gals. It's been a galling eight years for an old timer like me and at times, despite my best efforts to the contrary, I found myself slipping into a mental state that held little hope for a positive outcome to our issues, not to mention those affecting the nation at large. Still, I remember a conversation I had with a co-worker about three or four years ago. He was pretty upset at the time and becoming increasingly negative about the political situation in the United States. Like me, he despised so-called progressives and the downward trend in our political and social structures. Like me, he's a man of honesty, integrity, and solid values. He opted to work hard for a living and level himself up bit-by-bit to become a good provider for his family, not live on government handouts or sell crack on some inner city street corner. He never marched in protest, never rioted, never burned cars or broke windows, looted stores, or whined like a crybaby when things didn't go his way. Contrast him to those protesting the recent election and you'll see who really makes this nation work. You'll see the people who make things happen, quietly and without complaint. At the time I told him to take it easy. As bad as things might seem in terms of the negative trends he was reacting to, things would not remain the same. I said that history is replete with classic examples of the theory that holds "every dog has its day." I also told him that there would be a strong reaction to the progressive status quo and the attacks on every aspect of our social structure and cultural heritage. For every action there's an opposing reaction. And the progressive and leftist dogs have had their day. Not to mention the liars, cheats, scammers, and crybabies who just found out they can't always have it their way. Poor babies. What's really significant in all this, however, is the fact the real people of this nation rose up and said NO MORE. We are tired of the political correctness, the destruction of our core values, and the constant manipulation by those who never worked a day in their lives or sacrificed one iota of their time to anything other than pie-in-the-sky dreams and the "gimme more freebies" mentality. You know, every time I see one of these coddled college kids or neo-socialist protesters crying the blues on TV I smile. I do. I just can't help it...
We Shall See...
Right now I'm pretty proud of the American people. Especially those of us who've been shoved into dark corners the past eight years by a corrupt and essentially incompetent government. I mean on both sides of the aisle...so-called Democrats as well as Republicans. Unlike the masses of hysterical true believers who saw Obama as the great savior come to free them from fascism (i.e., taking responsibility for their actions), I don't see Trump as a messiah come to finally break the chains of leftist fascism. But he's a damn good start I think. And you know what? I finally voted...
Payback's a bitch, don't ya know?
(c) Jim Rocha 2016
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org