A couple of Sundays ago I was having a conversation with my oldest brother over the phone. We were discussing us being up here away from all our family. I told him it would be perfect if everyone would move up here. Then I’d get the best of both worlds. He said he would never live in a democrat run state. At the moment I couldn’t really think of any differences and he said, “democrats like to take the farm.”
I’ve thought some about this short conversation over the past week. I do see differences in the republican Arizona that I grew up in and the democrat Washington that I’m happy to call home now. The two that stand out the most to me in my life are the environment and diversity.
I love to be outdoors. I love spending Saturdays in the park with my kids every chance I get. I hate to see urban sprawl take over our beautiful natural world. And I believe that every part of this country that I’ve been blessed to live in or visit is beautiful.
I grew up in a small town that survived off of the saw mill less than 1/2 mile from my house and the two power plants outside town. My father worked for the saw mill. He loved the outdoors. We would go camping often, go on rides up on the mountain just to enjoy the view. I think we children were taught a great respect for the land.
The logging industry there was not a clear cut operation. My dad would explain to us how they worked with the Forest Service to cut down only the mature and old growth trees. As the crews came in and cut down the designated trees they would also clean up the forest floor which helped with preventing forest fires. It was a system that worked for our area. Without that dry underbrush being cleared out from time to time we ran the risk of having it ignited by lightning storms during monsoon season. Well eventually “those damn conservationists” won and laws were passed that eventually killed the lumber business in our community.
Growing up, our respect and love for our little mountain community was a personal thing. You took care of what you were blessed with but didn’t push that on anyone else. We didn’t exactly like being told by people on the other side of the country how to do that either.
Now, living in Washington State is a completely different story. The forests here have very little worry of being ignited by lightning storms. In the Puget Sound at least, there are very few and nothing ever quite dries out anyway. So all the laws that are put in place to protect the forest and wetlands from development are a good thing. We have parks and trails everywhere. People here love the outdoors. They want to take care of them just as much as we did in Arizona but it’s more of a public issue. I don’t think either way is wrong, I think the system that works for your community is the best one. But I must say that I tend to like the public one better. I like that my children are taught in school to respect and care for our earth. Because that is a big deal in our little family. Any time we go to a park, before we leave, I call out, “OK cubs scouts, find three or more pieces of trash.” I like that they are educated about the terrible things that man is doing to the earth. I love having so many parks and green spaces set aside to enjoy and keep our environment healthy. I like the feeling of living in a community that talks about the issues of our local environment and wants to do something about them. I don’t feel like the democrats in government have “taken away the farm” by passing laws that protect the environment. I feel like they have given us all more to enjoy by saving some of it. Without those laws Washington might look more like the concrete desert of Phoenix.
I truly believe that it is our duty to care for this land. The earth was given to us for our use and benefit but it’s not something we should take for granted. It’s a blessing that needs to be nurtured as it nurtures us.
I guess what I’m trying to say is different areas and climates should be managed differently. So living in a democrat majority works for Washington, I think. But unfortunately when Federal laws are passed that effect every area, they may not be the best choice for ever one.
Part 2. another day.
As a side note: I think everyone should read about this, I had no idea it even existed but it doesn’t surprise me in the least. It sure has made me think twice about ALL the plastic I buy. PLEASE DON’T LITTER!!!!!! AND PLEASE RECYCLE!!!!!!