Turning Americans away from public lands

 

Toward the end of his excellent essay “The Changing Face of Woods Work,” Hal Herring gets to the core issues of what is — yes, Hal — a “vast right-wing conspiracy” (HCN, 10/30/17). The goal is to create, in the minds of as many people as possible, a distaste for anything associated with the federal government, while impoverishing them and forcing them into helplessness. It’s an incredibly simple principle at its core: Steal, or buy at fire-sale prices, the vast natural and human resources of the United States for use by corporations, so that a few people can become almost infinitely wealthy and powerful. Placate the masses at the same time you slowly erode all their safety nets, take away their rights via the judiciary, and make education and health care too expensive to afford, until the masses become beaten-down and compliant. This conspiracy was hatched decades ago by folks like the Koch brothers, Dick Cheney, etc. Right-wing talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh were paid to essentially brainwash, slowly through the years, millions of Americans, so they would vote for politicians who would carry out the marching orders of the bigwigs who bribe those officials with campaign contributions. Think tanks like the American Legislative Exchange Council literally write the legislation for the politicians. It’s pretty blatant now with Donald Trump. In past decades, we could have fought against him, but a large enough chunk of the population has now been brainwashed by right-wing radio, books, and TV “news.”

The latest salvo is to raise the admission prices to our national parks so high that Americans become disgusted and stop visiting them. When they no longer visit the parks, they will stop caring about them and won’t fight when they are taken away. Many folks who live around Olympic National Park would love to get their chainsaws into those thousand-year-old trees. I know this; I just visited the area and spoke to people about that. There are so many things for me to be sad about, but watching as Americans turn against the idea of federal public lands and allow them to be sold off, clear-cut, fall into disrepair, or be fouled by mining, drilling, etc., breaks my heart as nothing else. Americans, especially Westerners, have been given so much in terms of this beautiful and rich land and its wildlife, and now we are just giving it away. 

Crista V. Worthy
Hidden Springs, Idaho