Posts Tagged ‘anit-hunters’

The recent victory over anti-hunting, anti-dog forces here in Oregon reminded me of why I quit politics. You can trust very few people, and everyone has their own agenda. It’s a dirty business, full of intrigue and dishonesty. But we have to get muddy and bloody because the other side is rolling around down there, often winning because we, frankly, have been too nice for too long.

If you value your freedom to do this ...

I relate this because while we won last month, there are more fights to come, both in this state and others. Next in the order of battle here:  Sauvie Island’s master plan. Oregon dog owners and bird hunters will face a more concerted effort than even the statewide dog training rules revision, because Sauvie Island is Portland’s (motto: Keep Portland Weird) playground. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, nude sunbather, animal rights nut, bird watcher and hairy-legged vegan activist will be trying to influence the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (read: remove dog training and field trials from the entire island – ironically, much of which was purchased and is currently managed with hunter dollars.)

In your state, as we were in Oregon, here’s what you’re up against:

Bureaucrats who are: cagey, not forthcoming with information they control, less intelligent than they think, prone to “errors” and forgetfulness when convenient (or often because they do make errors and forget). They often go out of their way to curry the favor of the squeakiest wheels such as Audubon,  rather than face their wrath (it’s the path of least resistance – a route bureaucrats crave). Ultimately, these pencil-pushers answer to an appointed commission and other political types … they will usually do what they think their overlords want done.

Or this, it's time to fight fire with fire.

Hired help. Remember, consultants, facilitators and others are paid by the bureaucracy you’re battling. The cliché “follow the money” was coined to explain this phenomenon – pipers play what those who pay tell them to play. No matter how hard they try to be unbiased, a paycheck is a paycheck and the prospect for more of them depends in whole or part on the outcome of the current assignment. We were lucky here in Oregon – a principled facilitator did her best to be fair under trying circumstances. You may not be.

And even your colleagues may inadvertently stymie the “greater good.” Friendlies can steer debate to meet their needs at the expense of others. I remember our bear-cougar debate years ago: muzzleloaders argued with  houndsmen who dissed bowhunters and they all hated the fly fishers. Benj. Franklin said it best: “If we don’t all hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately.”

Closet anti’s can infiltrate the process. They will hide their true affiliation until voting time. It pays to Google everyone on your committee and “out” them early and often in public venues.  (We had a “mole” on our committee.)

Scientists and other experts will couch their input in “objectivity,” but can skew data to their own (often questionable) needs. Or, they withhold data that conflicts with their agenda. They can simply ignore your requests and calls. Find your own vetted and trusted professionals. Remember, in most cases these folks work for a public agency and know on what side their bread is buttered.

And most of all, remember that the usual suspects will play dirty, make overtures of compromise, curry favors in high places, and use the process when convenient but  ignore it when it suits their needs. Assume the worst and plan for it when you’re up against the HSUS, PETA, and local co-conspirators (who may not admit their linkage).

Let’s not fool ourselves. We are in a fight to the death. The Audubons, Sierra Clubbers, PETA and their ilk have nothing to lose and are willing to step on toes, lie, cheat, and subvert the public process any way that helps them. We, on the other hand, have too often played well with others whatever their politics. Often, that’s become a death sentence for our side.

Unlike the past, we need to be ready to make enemies, take stands, and offend those who are out to take away our freedoms . It sometimes requires measures we’re uncomfortable with, but we’ll get over it. We are on the side of right.

The gauntlet’s already been thrown down – by the other side. They will try to bully, out-yell, or embarrass us into silence. They will try to win by coercion, shame, misdirection, persuasion, or attrition. Unless we start fighting fire with fire.

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