Gather ‘round, readers, and you shall hear a corollary to Sarah Palin's butchered tale of Paul Revere. The former Alaska governor opined that the famous ride was to warn those in power - the British - of an uprising.
In truth, Revere called the Minutemen - commoners seeking relief from tyranny - to arms.
"These are the times that try mens' souls," penned Thomas Paine in his pamphlet urging revolution, Common Sense.
These days I'm similarly as concerned as was Paine at bold moves executed by a few politicians and their supporting cronies as they move to institutionalize what they believe life in America should resemble. My focus today is on one local issue and one national issue.
At the heart of the matter is a small group of people who think their opinion outweighs the vast majority of citizenry, and who are scheming to execute their plans - no matter what taxpayers think.
Listen, friend, to the opinions of two legendary figures, Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, regarding America's common people.
"God must have loved the common man," wrote Franklin, "because he made so many of them."
And Lincoln, when asked to what basics he returned when making important decisions, replied, "I trust the instincts of the common man."
Now to the issues at hand.
First, locally, there's the issue of what to do with an abandoned stretch of railroad.
Commoners surely know Covington's mayor advocates turning the abandoned rails into trails. The common man may be unaware, however, that the chairman of the "rails to trails" movement is the mayor's husband. The Covington city council consulted their constituents and voted against purchase of the abandoned railway. After the mayor's wearying revisiting of the subject, the council voted to never again consider the issue.
This is no attack upon the mayor, her husband, nor advocates of "rails to trails." I dearly love freedom of speech and defend the right of those of a different opinion to voice it. In fact, instead of arguing point-by-point, let me urge you to access www.NewtonTrails.org on the Internet.
Read for yourself what those "countless supporters" advocate. Discover what a CID is, and how raising taxes on the common man - so that the few intelligentsia desiring hope and change can achieve their warm and fuzzy feeling - is supposedly a good thing.
This old, common man recently took his old Jeep on a journey around town, counting signs supporting and opposing "rails to trails." Surprise! Most trendy signs in favor are nowhere near the abandoned rail line - excepting the mayor's house, of course. Property owners actually living in a dwelling bordering the rails who choose to display a sign overwhelmingly oppose the venture.
The situation is analogous to Arizona's common citizens, common people overrun with illegal aliens, favoring a tough immigration law; they are castigated by politicians in our nation's capital who think they know what's best for Arizonans.
Those who manipulate policy at the expense of the common man may think they're playing a game. It's not. It's messing with people's lives. And that's a risky business.
America's State Department is charged with representing America to the world. Policies and stances are supposed to reflect the majority of America's rank-and-file common man.
Well, several months ago I registered with the State Department to receive daily email updates in four areas of personal interest: Democracy, Human Rights and Refugees; 21st Century Statecraft; Africa; and Recovery Act Information.
To my alarm, I've discovered the current administration to be orchestrating startling courses of action in these areas of concern never voted upon, nor even discussed, by the common people.
Please access www.state.gov on the Internet. Explore what is being done in America's name on a global stage.
If you oppose "rails to trails" and resent the efforts of a self-styled oligarchy to have their way at the common man's expense at the local level, you'll be appalled to learn what President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are orchestrating at the Federal level.
An excerpt from the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads: "...When a long train of abuses and usurpations...evinces a design to reduce them (the common man) under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
It's my fervent hope that elected politicians will follow the will of the common man. I hope that another actual armed rebellion may never be the only course of action left for America's common man.
Sarah Palin missed the boat about Paul Revere's ride. He wasn't warning those in power. He was calling freedom loving commoners to arms. In the 18th century he cried, "The British are coming."
Today the cry would be, "Gather weapons and ammo."
Nat Harwell is a Covington resident. His column appears Sundays.