This is a link to an article by Mcjoan in the Daily Kos. It is about the importance of public land, and the need for the Democrats to be smart about this issue, which they often were not over the last 20 years. A stance defending the public lands can be a winner for them, but to use the tired phrase, “the Democrats have often snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.”

First a comment of my own. Have you noticed Bush never uses the word “public,” and rarely “citizen.” It’s always “the American people,” as in “I’m working to defend the American people from the terrorists.” This is an important difference from past Presidents because “a people” can also be the subjects of a king or a dictator, while citizens are never subjects. With a king there is no public, and the people are his subjects.

I don’t think this is just a matter of Bush’s rhetorical style.

Tagged with:
 
avatar
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Putting the "public" back in the land

  1. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    This is undated – sorry…

    “The bottom line is the timber industry can survive without destroying the last of our ancient forests and wilderness,” said Doug Heiken of Oregon Natural Resources Council, one of the plaintiff groups. “It’s time for everyone to recognize that the highest and best use of our public forest is as fish and wildlife refuge, drinking-water filter, air purifier, soil protector, recreation site, scenic vista, pharmaceutical storehouse, source of inspiration, and crucible of evolution.”

  2. avatar be says:

    DeVoto-esque – err…. light…

    it is incredible to me how political analysts are able to write articles like this and omit the role of the most influential extractive industry associations in these local governments. it would seem like the light might do the process some good.

    perhaps the authors roots implicate the product.

    perhaps i am too critical…

  3. avatar Monty says:

    Words and labels mean something. We should always use the term “public lands” in lieu of government lands. And the public should constantly be reminded of what Aldo Leopold wrote: “what good are 40 freedoms without the land to be free in”. “Physical freedom and space” is an important resource as clean air and water & in our increasingly over-crowded world public lands are the only remaining place where this resource exists.

    Sometimes, I like to go a step further and say “the public’s land.” Ralph Maughan

  4. avatar jimbob says:

    I agree–especially the point about Bush not using the words public and citizen. People think every point is just an attack on Bush, but it should be clear to anybody with a brain and eyes that Bush was put into that office to advance the causes of extractive industries, especially the oil industry. The republicans found a guy who was guileless and plain and the industries found a sympathetic individual who agreed and had ties to most extractive industries (in addition to viewing himself as a “cowboy”, although he’s an eastern blue blood. He, Cheney, and all the others also saw a chance to make piles of money for these industries and the defense industry. I may not have evidence but if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…….

Calendar

November 2007
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Dec »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: