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A Voice from Fly-Over Country
April 15, 2013

Governed by Nincompoops
by Robert L. Hale
fitzgerald griffin foundation

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA — The first known use of the word nincompoop was in 1676, a full 100 years before America's Declaration of Independence. It is a noun that Webster's dictionary defines as idiot, fool, simpleton, stupid, or ridiculous person. Synonyms are buffoon, ding-a-ling, dingbat, ding-dong, dipstick, doofus, featherhead, half-wit, jackass, know-nothing, knucklehead, moron numskull, pinhead, lunatic, ninny, nitwit, nutcase, turkey, and yo-yo. You get the idea.

 

At a time when America needs statesmen to lead us out of the morass, we have the opposite -- nincompoops! With precious few exceptions at the federal, state, and local levels, these officials are nincompoops in every sense of the word.

   

The word nincompoop is not much used today, which is unfortunate. There is not a more appropriate word to describe the majority of those who have been elected to govern us in America.

America is suffering. We are suffering historically high unemployment. Over the last four years, millions of people have been added to food stamp and welfare programs, our national debt has increased from $10 to $16 trillion, illegal immigration has increased, racial divisions have widened, and crime rates have risen. The non-military segments of the federal government, such as the Transportation Safety Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, are arming themselves with unprecedented lethal force (to be used against citizens?). Drone armadas are being created to spy on Americans in their own backyards. The tax burden on Americans who pay taxes is dramatically increasing. Increasing regulations are driving employers out of business, further increasing unemployment.

At a time when America needs statesmen to lead us out of the morass, we have the opposite — nincompoops! With precious few exceptions at the federal, state, and local levels, these officials are nincompoops in every sense of the word.

We have a President who is ruling rather than leading. He is borrowing one-third of the nation's annual federal spending — thereby imposing $1 trillion a year in deferred taxes. Instead of working to understand the dilemma the nation faces, he is playing golf and spending tens of millions of dollars on vacations, while 100 million Americans suffer economically and 48 million are on food stamps. Instead of bringing people together, he is dividing us. Instead of articulating what we must do as a country to reverse our downward spiral into the ash heap of history, he is playing the Pied Piper and leading us over the cliff.

On March 21, 2013, the President equated Israeli-Palestinian relations with U.S.-Canadian relations. Nincompoop is too complimentary a description to explain his inane analogy.

Vice President Biden, arguing for gun control, informed his audience, "Gabby Giffords, my good friend, was shot and mortally wounded." Of course, that is not true; while she was shot, she recovered. Nonetheless, truth matters little when it comes to vice-presidential leadership. Biden has never acknowledged his mis-statement. Falsehoods in the name of political correctness have become the standard of American political leadership.    

Falsehoods in the name of political correctness have become the standard of American political leadership.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), voting to spend over $1 trillion more than revenue raised, claims the budget was "balanced in many ways." Spending exceeds revenue in all projected Senate budgets by no less than $400 billion annually. However, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said the Democrats' budgets balance by raising taxes and cutting spending by equal amounts. Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) acknowledges her budgets propose adding $5.2 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), responding to House Republican insistence that increases in deficit spending be accompanied by spending cuts, said, "That is in keeping with anti-government ideologues that are in the Republican caucus." Thus, a balanced budget is anti-government, according to Pelosi.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on the House Financial Services Committee said, "We have seen a very serious dropping of our deficit over the past year." Fact: over the past year more than $1.3 trillion has been added to the deficit. This illustrates the awareness of those who are supposed to represent the American people and provide responsible government.

Our deficit spending includes financing thousands of expenditures such as these: $384,949 to study "plasticity in duck penis length," $880,000 to study the sexual habits of Australian snails, $2.7 million to study why lesbians are at higher risk for hazardous drinking, and $2 million so prison inmates can teach wild horses to be gentle.

While elected officials fund these programs, President Obama closes 238 air traffic control towers, pares back our border patrol, cuts education benefits to military personnel, and eliminates hundreds of other basic services that government is obligated to provide.

American leadership isn't. It isn't because the examples above are not exceptions but the norm. Those we have elected — not only at the national level but also at state and local levels — think in this convoluted way. Spending is out of control and has been for decades. Instead of reversing course, America is being driven headlong into oblivion.

Can we reverse? Only God knows at this point. However, it will not be long before we all know, because unless we change leadership, the ship of state is about to run aground.

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A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2013 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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