What I Learned From a Rodeo Clown in Missouri

Even though my formative rearing took place in strawberry fields and near other crops and I remain more comfortable in rural areas than urban areas even today, I really don’t know much about horses and livestock.  Sure I’ve ridden horses, and I’ve milked cows but we never owned either.  I’ve hitched and ridden in various wagons and buckboards, hitched and pulled stone sleds and plows, but never on a regular basis.  While I was always quite effective throwing a cast net, primarily from being taught while in elementary school by a high school boy who essentially took me under his wing as a kid brother, I cannot lasso anything with a rope.  My cast net tosses, however, have a full spread as David (RIP David A. who taught me a lot about repairing engines and having pride and respect for the Hungarian ancestry we shared, and RIP to his Dad, Mr. Leroy, another of those good men from my childhood and early adulthood.  The times they took me to their camp on Grand Isle will always be cherished memories) instructed me in a mouth technique which compensated for my smaller than average hands both then and today, but I’m a joke with a lariat.

With the above, you can probably guess that I’ve attended rodeos, have some familiarity with rules and events, but I neither have or claim any expertise.  Still, all of the recent attention given to a rodeo at the Missouri State Fair has taught me a lot about why the political science definitions and historical remembrances of terms such as “conservative” and “liberal” and planks of Republicans and Democrats are different from those used by today’s media and political pundits regardless of qualifications.

Anyone can search for their own version of events which took place in Sedalia.  I’m merely listing this one.

Regardless of what you read or your own personal feelings about the rodeo clown, much of the commentary does clarify political positions of the “conservatives” of today.  While everyone seems fixated on race, my focus is not about race but entirely on what the commentary about the clown and rodeo mean as to one’s political ideology.

I’ve seen this or had it sent to me from a variety of sources.  I’m citing this particular “Apology to Obama You Have to Read” merely because it has the fewest Facebook likes than the others I have seen with just over 7000 likes.


The Apology

One could write a nice historical account about the first 3 paragraphs, but for some history no longer seems to matter.  At this time I’m more interested in that the “conservatives” favor spending tax money on such events.  Regardless of source, the 97th General Assembly of Missouri appropriated in excess of $500,000 collected from residents of the state assist to help finance this event.  Half of a million is not much, some are arguing, but it is your money.  In the distant past, the 41st General Assembly appropriated $40,000 (guess how many years ago that was).  Of course a sales tax on state breweries assured that early funding, so higher business and corporate tax rates to finance such events apparently don’t eliminate too many jobs in “conservative” tax ideology.  In 1999, the General Assembly approved $4.3 million in funding for that year.  Fortunately, organized labor money in the amount of $300,000 helped build the $950,000 media center and live broadcast booth at the fairgrounds.

So from all of the defenses by Rush Limbaugh and conservative media about what occurred the other day with a rodeo clown, I’ve learned that the modern “conservative” wants government funding of public projects, individual and business taxes as the source of revenue, and organized labor organizations to contribute.


I’m wrong you say.  OK, you are correct in that the government only provides a portion of the current operating budget of approximately $4.5 million.


What is the origin of the remainder of the money?  Well, you and I pay a $6 admission fee just to step on the public grounds.  If we are a participant selling our wares at a booth, we pay between $600 and $900 per day in addition to electrical costs ranging from approximately $90 to $400.  Parking, entry, processing, stall, pen, and other exhibit fees are also the responsibility of the participants.  If you’re a delivery driver who must park, pull out the sum of $75 for that privilege.  Still, thus monies are a matter of choice within the free enterprise system as you only pay to stay.  The taxes, however, are part of the “conservative” limited government mindset.


The next 2 paragraphs are especially enlightening about modern “conservative” ideology.  “I’m especially sick of these punks in the middle class who won’t stop complaining about you. What’s their issue?  OK, you haven’t done anything….”  Apparently, the desire is for an authoritarian or totalitarian US President as the separation of powers in the Constitution are invalid.  Everything must be done by the President.

“You’ve made all of this ‘work’ crap obsolete by increasing the entitlement state more than any president ever in history!”  That position I finally understand.  In the modern “conservative” ideology, individuals and society are no longer responsible for doing anything.  The President, and the President alone, is supposed to do everything.

The Same Ole same ole

The remaining paragraphs I can’t help but look at from a historical perspective with the exception of the IRS statement.  Whether the charge is from a modern “conservative” or modern “liberal,” the endorsement and defense of allowing elections and candidates to be influenced by anonymous entities floors me.  Forget that documentation has been presented to Congress for years by the National Tax Payer Advocate, aren’t you the least bit concerned about who is buying your vote and has the ear of your representative?  I am, but apparently that is radical thinking on either political side.

As for spying and arming others, I wonder what has changed.  Even before the Patriot Act, I think Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer had more Americans taken into custody during the Palmer raids of the post WWI period.  What about the Red Scare post WWII, Nisei during WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, and numerous others before I was even born?  Arming others?  Pick your region of the world and the administration of any US President.  Pre Iranian Hostage Crisis Middle East or the aftermath, Southeast Asia prior to and following events in the Gulf of Tonkin, Bay of Pigs, Contras, and too many others to even attempt at listing.  Is it right or good foreign policy?  I can’t make a blanket statement.  Even with individual events and specific occurrences that happened, whether the US position was positive or not is still to be determined.  Yes it would be nice if everybody could get on the same page immediately or at least within a year or two.  It did, however, take the English colonies from declaring independence from England in 1776 until 1789 to establish a lasting form of government.  Even then, it took until the year 1814 when you start seeing a United States of America as a separate body from England.  With that, who enforced the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 until the American Civil War?  The enforcer was not the United States but England.

Corruption, lies, cronyism, and so one are once again the wonderment as to what has changed.  The only US President that I could honestly say came close to achieving what he promised was James K. Polk.  I don’t think 54 40 was truly expected, but the US probably got the best of the deal.  Now was Zachary Taylor sent to an area on purpose to create a situation to gain public support?  I think that answer is obvious, but how many people walking the street today would have a clue as to what I’m referring or even know who James K. Polk was?

Now I will agree that when you burn someone in effigy or have a caricature of them gored by a bull, respect for that individual is low.  When citizens do such things to the individual they elected as leader, how can one expect for people in other countries to display some respect to that individual?  What I think is lost in translation, however, is that when the leader is laughed at, the target of that laughter is the real joke.  That joke is the people who are free to criticize, but criticize because they want President Barack Obama to solve all of the problems without anyone other than him lifting a finger, let alone pouring any sweat.

I don’t see why the so-called “left” is up in arms over race.  What I see is that the modern “conservative” belief is everyone else is getting something for nothing so they are entitled to something for nothing as well.

Now I’ll agree that too many are receiving something for nothing.  I’ll also state that some who receive nothing would give back a lot if only allowed the opportunity.  I’ll argue that President is not to blame, and even Congress with the Constitutional authority to address most of the issues brought forth in the apology are not to blame.

The blame rests with the person who looks back at me from any mirror and the person who you see in your mirror.  Until we change ourselves, we have no chance to inspire others to make changes with themselves.  I hear Lincoln getting mentioned often like in this apology, well why doesn’t anyone follow what Lincoln advised on how to reconstruct or rejoin the United States of America after a terrible 4 years in which more Americans lost their lives from events on the battlefield than in every US military operation both before and after combined?  I guess that’s not a part of modern “conservative” or modern “liberal” ideology as well, because it requires effort from all and sacrifices by all before you get to point a finger of blame.

“We all agree that the seceded States, so called, are out of their proper relation with the Union; and that the sole object of the government, civil and military, in regard to those States is to again get them into that proper practical relation. I believe it is not only possible, but in fact, easier to do this, without deciding, or even considering, whether these States have ever been out of the Union, than with it. Finding themselves safely at home, it would be utterly immaterial whether they had ever been abroad. Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restoring the proper practical relations between these States and the Union; and each forever after, innocently indulge his own opinion whether, in doing the acts, he brought the States from without, into the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, they never having been out of it.” (11 April 1865).