There has been much talk these last few years about the 99%. It has become common for the average person to think of themselves as part of a majority. But not just any majority, the deserving majority that has been unfairly cheated out of a certain success. The notion of success, however, is not common in and of itself. The attitude of should-have is simply this - that I am presently entitled to a way of life which I envision for myself, regardless of whether or not I have worked for it.
Such a situation has led to various occupy movements, primarily designed to protest a system of society which has fostered our current circumstance. Ironically, those who are able to protest do so in the safety and sustenance of the very culture that has provided them for so many years. And these movements are centered around cities, where there is increasingly little concern for those outside of the urban environment. In fact, watching the news one would think that this nation of ours is simply a loosely connected chain of cities strung across the map.
There is, however, a world held within this so-called flyover country. In fact, that is where the true majority of our culture resides. And it does not think of itself as deserving. Out here in the middle, so to speak, there is a different view of things altogether than the statism that has overrun more populated areas. As you pass through the midwest you become amazed at just how much corn is in these fields, and you smell the many farm animals that also reside on such farms. There is a certain stench of which a mere whiff sends city-folk running away hand-over-mouth.
Those farmers who live in modest homes do not try to control the lives of their neighbors, but rather seek out friendships and cooperative efforts. This leads not to simple competition, but a complex one that goes to the next farm and helps bring in the fall harvest after your own work is done. And such families do not become overly involved with politics, they have real work to do today - with their head and their hands, dirty and hot and sweating. Although they do not have the creature comforts that you may find in the city, they do not despise their situation. So it comes as a shock to them that their view of the world is disdain to so many of those who have never really driven off of the asphalt roads of modern society.
The demands of those who place themselves within a deserving majority within the urban class are lost upon those who rose before the sun to feed animals - who never take a vacation from being cared for - and will be working long after everyone else has knocked off for the day. Not having a free cellphone and actually paying for your education and your home are not oddities for those who live in the rural areas of our nation. It is simply common sense, and luxuries like cellphones are what you buy when your bills have been paid and you have time to play around with the computer. Yes, there certainly are exceptions to my sweeping statements, but this time the exceptions are far from overtaking the whole.
Now, I am not a farmer and I did not come from such a family. But I have lived among them and I have spent most of my life residing in places that aren’t to far from them. I seek the creature comforts that one finds in the larger towns, but I have a certain heart for those who provide the foundation for the rest of us. We are the world’s breadbasket, not because of what happens in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago (and certainly not Washington D. C.). They have their place in the equation, for sure. But it begins with those who understand life on its most basic level - birth and death, planting and harvest, raising and slaughter. There was a time when we were aware of this, but with the diminishing amount of earth underneath our culture’s fingernails we have seen the rise of the absurdity of urban statism.
The greatest men and women in history have had their heads in books and their hands in some sort of dirt or work. That is what we have lost and that is what is assisting the death of our great and grand Republic. We lose our own imago Dei as well, for our Creator himself does not consider the feeding of birds and the clothing of flowers to be above his dignity.
Today I am making a journey on a short train ride through a portion of America’s midwest. As I gaze out the window I see the magnificent splendor of green fields dotted along with silos and farmhouses. County fairs are getting into full swing, and in a few months it will be time to harvest. One more summer, one more cycle, one more year. He still makes everything beautiful in its time.
This land between the oceans is vast and wonderful, and for a while we knew that as an intrinsic part of who we were. I suppose it was a matter of time before the many efforts to become lords and dictators of this land would chip away enough of its liberty that we would begin to feel oppressed. When we consider only the news reports and the perspectives of those from the city we might become overwhelmed and forget that county-by-county there is a spirit which is conservative both to the Bible and to the Constitution. Despite what the intellectual elites have to say, these two documents are far from contradictory, which explains why this nation has been blessed (and has blessed others) with more progress in the past 236 years than all previous human civilization has seen in over 6000 years.
That this country is divinely blessed is not a statement against all other nations and peoples, nor is it to be thought of as a guarantee. It is what happens when we build a society on divine principles of liberty. As we lose that, we lose our blessing - it’s the difference between building a nation by using the directions or by ignoring them.
The heartland reminds us that there is hope, not in change but in the security of the seasons which, although changing, pass through by the wise and sure hand of the Creator. The disconnect has been made between statists and libertarians, and there is no reconciliation to be made. What are we to do but to fight to preserve a way of life that a minority has ignored, devalued and despised while on a journey to positions of power and authority? This is hard, because those of us out here in the middle would rather live our lives than join in a continual conflict with those who have no concept of how the world works. We wish they would simply live their lives as well. It is the fall which makes us wish we were gods that could control one another. But that is not what we are created to be.