Monday, November 13, 2006
Charlie Rangel got it right
Congressman Rangel raised the ire of not a few Mississippi residents, including Rep. Charles Pickering (R-Miss.), for telling the N.Y. Times on Nov. 8, Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi? Indeed, and this coming from a man who represents the garden like environs of Harlem.
I expect that this type of sentiment is a lot more typical than our federal overseers would like to admit. Truthfully, why should someone who inhabits the lofty cliffs and wild craggy heights along upper Manhattan's western shoreline of the Hudson River give a rat's behind about the folks who inhabit a swampy feverish nowhere, to their existence, over a thousand miles away? I often find myself asking the same questions about other parts of this far flung union of disparate states.
For instance why should I care if a bridge to nowhere gets built in Alaska or for that matter why should Alaskans be forced to pay out some of their hard earned shekels to help Florida re-build after a hurricane? The United States was never meant to be a forced mutual aid society, but instead a loosely confederated voluntary association, with strictly limited and enumerated powers delegated to federal authority. This meager set of federal duties is laid out very specifically in the now largely ignored document known as the U.S. Constitution.
I don't blame Charles Rangel one bit for his sentiments any more than I do the proud Mississippians who are outraged at his frank and truthful comments. The answer for them both is a sensible and amicable separation along the lines of what occurred in the former Soviet Union nearly two decades ago and what the South attempted to accomplish 145 years ago along the murky waters of Charleston Harbor. Until then we should all stop whining and get used to the child-like state of bondage our federal masters wish to keep us forever chained in.