At 55 years of age now, I’m starting to think about the place where I’ll finally retire. Before this past Saturday, there were two places to make that list: Knoxville, Tennessee, where I attended college, and Texas Hill Country, down around Boerne or Kerrville.
However, there’s a new place to add to that list and I gotta tell ya, it was breathtaking – Durango, Colorado. I landed at the Durango-La Plata County airport Saturday morning as I was scheduled to speak nearby at Ignacio at the Sky Ute Casino and Event Center for the La Plata County GOP Lincoln dinner. My dear close friends and motorcycle riding buddies from Ft. Lauderdale, Uncle George Cable and his lovely wife Dede were my hosts. They own Cable Marine in Ft. Lauderdale and you cannot find any two people with bigger hearts.
They immediately took me to downtown Durango, which sits along the Animas River — you remember, the one where the EPA dumped toxic metal? Funny – did anyone fine them?
Well, Durango is a stunning and spectacular town and it has maintained its simple western charm. I can also tell you I did indeed feel the effects of 7,000 feet altitude. But I could just imagine going for runs along the Animas River, and going biking or hiking along the many mountain trails. And I certainly want to return to Durango to take the popular train ride from there up to Silverton and back through the San Juan National Forest heading past Mount Eulos. I’ve been on the other side of the mountain range in Montrose, and must admit that Durango and the four corners area of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah is very appealing…except for something everyone shared with me.
There seems to be a trend occurring out in the western states — I call it the “locust effect.” It’s the migration of liberal progressives from California, who were none too happy about me coming to LaPlata County to speak.I heard this as well during my recent speaking visit to Billings, Montana as well as when I was in the Bitterroot Valley in Ravalli County and Hamilton, Montana. It appears California’s progressive socialists, who’ve come to realize their own home state is failing, have decided to escape to better and wide open spaces such as Montana and Colorado. However, what these folks don’t realize is it’s their perverse ideology of governance that causes the failures and they bring those same ideological agendas to their new hosts — hence my reference to the “locust effect.” Folks shared with me in Durango, just as in other places, that the first thing these locust do is come in and take over city councils, and often, school boards. From there they begin to infect the host with their paralyzing toxins and the slow process of destruction begins.
Get this — one of the vital tourist attractions in Durango is the Silverton train, an old school train ride which runs off a coal-fired engine. The locusts of Durango went after the coal mine that supplies the train, not realizing their toxic religion of global warming means one of the largest revenue-producing sources in the city would be shut down.
At the dinner I had the chance to meet a Mr. Al Harper and his son who own the train and they invited me back for a ride. They explained what the insidious objective of these liberal progressives would mean for the town of Durango — not that the progressive leftists would care. Y’all remember what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stated – they’d bankrupt and put coal out of business. In Hillary’s case, she expressly told an out-of-work coal miner that “they” – meaning government, would take care of him.
See, when you consider the rugged American individual spirit that settled Durango back in 1880, those settlers weren’t looking for anyone to “take care of them.” It was that pioneer determination that settled so many western towns, which today are threatened by the locusts of progressive socialism that undermines the indomitable entrepreneurial American psyche. After all, remember, if you own a business, you didn’t build that. Amazingly, in this new America, you can say something so counter to who we are and still be elected president. Twice.
The liberal progressive left’s animus towards the coal industry in Colorado has resulted in some 60,000 jobs lost — this at a time when our economy under Barack Obama hit a disturbing low of 38,000 jobs produced in the private sector in May. And we have a workforce participation rate at dismal 62.6 percent.
Einstein once quipped that the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing and expect different results. So why do these liberal progressives leave California, bring their same failing philosophy and believe there will be anything different? As a matter of fact, I had a wonderful dinner table conversation about that with former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a man who was once a Democrat. Why is it that leftists move into communities that are doing really well, communities that understand what liberty is, only to bring in their failed vision of tyranny?
Saturday night at the La Plata County dinner I shared with the crowd the prescient and relevant definition of Lincoln when it comes to understanding liberty.
“The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names—liberty and tyranny.”
The folks who settled Durango, Colorado did so understanding Lincoln’s definition of liberty. And the same could be said of those who settled California — those courageous rugged and independent-minded Americans who breathed in the fresh air of independence. However, the modern-day two legged locusts who’ve appeared out of nowhere and are migrating everywhere embrace Lincoln’s latter definition believing it is their liberty to do as they please with others and the product of others’ labor — for what purpose?
There is a beauty that exists all across America, and Durango is just a small reminder, indicative of such grandeur. However, if we’re careful, these people whom we cannot explain will sweep across this bountiful and blessed land and ruin it all for no other reason than because they can. It’s time to break out the insect repellant and make a stand, fight back, and repel the onslaught of the liberal progressive locusts before it’s too late to pass on this beautiful land to subsequent generations.
Folks, when you stand on Main Street in Durango, Colorado and lift your eyes to the hills, you understand why we sing “God bless America.” We do not sing “government bless America,” because it cannot.