This is a Maine Examiner contributor opinion
About 40 years ago FORD Aerospace was responding to a DOD Request for Proposal. Our Palo Alto headquarters sent a Proposal Manager to guide that effort and one of the first things he did was gather the resumes of the people being proposed to staff the contract if we won. He read those resumes, compared them to the qualifications requested by the solicitation, and called a meeting of the proposal team. He began that meeting by saying: “Gentlemen, we have our work cut out for us because you are selling the Government an empty wagon.” I recall that because he confirmed exactly what I was thinking.
world has long been full of what another mentor referred to as ‘feather
merchants’: The kind of folks who are long on rhetoric and so very short on
delivery. Even more sadly, many of us
are quite comfortable with knowingly consuming the empty words of feather
Consider Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This stunningly unaccomplished woman was elected to a seat in Congress and now travels about the country proscribing a new economic system for the U. S. Although she reportedly has a degree in Economics from Boston University, she repeatedly confirms her lack of any subject matter knowledge. Most recently she ‘sold’ the people of her district on demonstrating against the Amazon Headquarters proposed for New York. She celebrated defeating one of the worlds richest men, striking a blow against corporate greed, and preventing the exploitation of workers who would be earning an average of $150,000. Paying people that much would only drive up the cost of housing and transportation was part of her rationale. Furthermore, New York could spend the $3 Billion not ‘given’ to Amazon on ‘investments’ in the district. But there is no $3 Billion because that was the reduction in a ten-year estimated tax bill of $30 Billion Amazon would pay. The numbers can be disputed but the fact remains New York has lost tens of Billions in Amazon taxes, 25,000 jobs and the taxes those would pay, and the secondary and tertiary economic benefits of those employees spending whatever fraction of their incomes New York might allow them to keep. Cortez sold her constituents a spectacularly empty wagon with virtually no effort.
We’ve been barraged over the past week or so with claims by Jussie Smollett of an assault against him in Chicago. As of this writing, Mr. Smollett is in custody charged with paying two associates to stage the attack and under suspicion of mailing himself a threatening letter, laced with crushed Acetaminophen, the week before the attack. Far too much of the media unquestioningly spread the story that Trump supporters had beaten the gay, black, democrat activist, doused him in bleach, and hung a noose around his neck. But, police were less than impressed with his claim that he had gone out at 3 AM on one of Chicago’s coldest nights to buy a sandwich at Subway, had been attacked by racists, then come home with his sandwich intact and waited hours to report the attack. They sold their readers an empty wagon. In fact, some (like me) might consider the reporting of Covington High School incident, The Air Force Academy incident, the Drake University hoax, and others documented February 18 by the Daily Caller a pattern of desperate attempts to sell an empty wagon narrative of hate crimes in the Trump era.
even worse is the sad story of the ‘investigation’ of Trump Campaign collusion
with Russia. Consider first, the simple
documented fact that Russia has ‘interfered’ in every US election since at
least the beginning of WWII: Nobody should be hyperventilating about
interference. But, what might one do if
their intent was to help Russia or other enemies of the US? Our economy is our strength. The lifeblood of
that economy is abundant, affordable energy.
Might such a traitor seek to stop offshore drilling, ban fracking,
prevent the building of pipelines, sell off our Uranium reserves, and put forth
a massive hoax of imminent catastrophic climate change based on models that
have yet to predict actual past results given known past input conditions? Might such a traitor propose banning all
forms of transportation and enforced social programs that could not be funded
if all income were confiscated? So far, the story of Trump collusion is an
utterly empty wagon but real evidence and actions suggest there was at least de
facto collusion by the feather merchants.
Few of us react well to being scammed and the world’s feather merchants deserve neither tolerance nor attention. When will enough be enough?
Ken Frederic is a native of Ellsworth and graduate of UMO. He and his wife, Betty Ann, retired to Maine in 2012 after 43 years as a Department of Defense consultant. They now live in Bristol and are active in the community, St. Patrick’s Church, and Republican politics.