Hal Bidlack

Hal Bidlack

Today is my birthday, as it is the 61st anniversary of my birth. At least that’s what my mom said, and as I understand it, she was there at the time. I’m told that I can start collecting Social Security payments in a year or so, which makes me wonder why I can’t have my money now, dadgumit! After all, this is really money I “lent” the government out of my own pay, right? I mean, the fact that the typical American will get back 2-3 times what he or she paid in doesn’t matter, I want mine! So, as I await the throng of birthday well-wishers, I wish to muse a bit about the cursed and vile world of… wait for it… socialists!

Even my kindly editor didn’t wish me a happy birthday. He claims that since I never told him, he can’t be blamed. That sounds just like the liberals who want… wait for it…socialism! And boy, did we see that socialist streak come out in full bloom in our recent snowmagedansnowpocalypse  blizzardnado  moderate snowstorm. The day before, I was driving my car (safety-inspected by the NHTSA) on the interstate (paid for with federal taxes), county road, (paid by county folks) and then my own street (paid by city folks), while listening to the weather forecast (NWS) I was a tad worried about — not the storm, but…wait for it…socialism! Oh, and there were also lots of airplanes (FAA) flying around (air traffic controllers). Socialist control of which planes can fly and when? In a free-market, we could have multiple companies providing, say landing clearances, for multiple planes at the same time for the same airport. Market solution!

You see, it only took a once-in-a-century blizzard (like this one and the one we had a few years ago) to see how quickly “big government” types sought to take advantage. We saw…wait for it…socialism all around us. We saw “big government” trucks patrolling the roads, supposedly clearing snow, but if that’s really the case, why did they have to clear some roads more than once? Because they are socialists, just like the government agent that is sent to nearly every home and business every day (post office). Through these workers, the government sets the prices (of stamps and such. And didn’t we defeat the Brits over the Stamp Act way back when? Why are we still paying for stamps?), keeps the competition down (just because UPS and Fedex claim they couldn’t possibly make money delivering to, say, Dickenson, North Dakota) and they wear uniforms. 

I also noted on my local TV stations (FCC) that they interrupted their regular programing to tell us about the storm, in part because they are nice folks, and in part because onerous government regulations require them to do things for the “public good.” Sounds socialist to me.  On those news stations I saw the government “rounding up” drivers stuck in the snow and taking them to various (I assume) secret government detention centers, apparently located in Wal-Mart and gas stations. Today, they actually kept the roads closed, just because I might, in a free exercise of my right to travel, slide off the road and get stuck. 

Which, of course, brings me to John Hickenlooper. 

In a recent nationally-televised interview, our former governor refused to declare himself a capitalist, to contrast him with some of the other Democrats running for high office. It seems that these…wait for it… socialist candidates think the government has a right to tell you what you can and what you cannot do with, for example, your nuclear waste and vintage flame throwers.

Typical leftists.

So, our Mr. Hickenlooper had a chance to declare that he was, in fact, a capitalist. But he backed away from the term, fearing it was a bit of a loaded term. He pointed out that he has years of success running private businesses in his background, and that labels tend to, well, label people with tags that may or may not be consistent on every single political issue every time.  As near as I can see, he is trying to make the case that pragmatic leadership, wherein each issue is carefully reviewed and solutions proposed based on logic, evidence, and reason, rather than simply declaring things he disagrees with as fake news. We’ll see how far he can go with that message. 

And so, gentle readers, I urge you not to be seduced by claims that difficult problems required complex solutions, carefully reasoned. I say, if you want to hike to the top of the Manitou Incline, during a blizzard, without any winter survival equipment, you can do it, and if you get stuck, expect a platoon of firefighters to come rescue you. After all, I pay their salaries, right?

Good thing those firefighters aren’t socialist! (wait…um…)

Hal Bidlack is a retired professor of political science and a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who taught more than 17 years at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

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