The call came from a cell phone on his tractor. The question "Who should we vote for, Stenberg or Bruning?" He and his wife would take time to vote in the rather inconsequential primary election in Nebraska but more important to the questioner was finishing his annual task of planting corn. My suggestion, "Deb Fischer." "Who is that?" was his response.
I told him that "she," Deb Fischer was currently serving in the State Legislature and that she and her husband were successful ranchers in the Sandhills. "In that case she probably understands how to read a balance sheet." was the response. "Thanks." End of conversation.
My friend and I are connected through aviation (which should he buy a Beech Baron or a Cessna 310, that sort of thing and he didn't take my advice there) and politics normally aren't part of our conversation.
He had little time to catch the seeming endless political advertisements on TV that accompany elections today. There was no time for small talk around a cup of coffee. The only time he made it to town was for a parts run. Sure, modern tractors are equipped with radios but the only time the Ag businessman operator listens is to catch the markets. The rest of the time communication is dominated by the business band trying to keep track of his hired help in a far-flung operation. The pressing business is getting seed in the ground in the short window of opportunity that weather permits.
A couple days later, he called happy to say that Deb Fischer had done well. Her upset victory had stunned the political pundits. What a novel concept, a politician with good business sense and who is not a lawyer. We already have an oversupply of lawyers in Washington and their evident lack of inability to "read a balance sheet" has put our country in today's dire financial straits. It is time to get people with good sense in the U.S. Senate and shopworn Bob Kerrey is not the answer.
Hope for Deb Fischer to be elected to the Senate brings to mind Representative Virginia Smith. The late Mrs. Smith represented Nebraska's 3rd District from 1975-1990. She too came from a farm background and well represented the interests of "we the people." When back home from Washington, she was approachable and would listen to the complaints that her constituents were having with the federal bureaucracy. Virginia then went to Washington to advocate for relaxing needlessly expensive restrictive rules on grain bin ladders for example. She was definitely not a friend to the EPA, OSHA or any of the other alphabetical agencies in Washington constantly making one-size-fits-all rules of little sense and less benefit. Those rules that become needlessly expensive for the small business owner to comply with. Virginia believed in a very limited federal government, much like the wise men who wrote our Constitution had in mind. For sure, she would not have voted for Obamacare as did our favorite Sen. E. Benjamin Nelson. She also would not have cast the deciding vote to approve the huge increase in taxes in adopting President Bill Clinton's last federal budget as did Kerrey.
Talking to my friend while he was at work on the tractor reminded me of my own past. I miss the long solitary hours of springtime planting. Like Mike Hendricks spoke of cross-country driving alone, one has time to think and reflect on life's happenings. Driving is foremost at all times, but the mind has time to put things together and arrive at solutions. One is away from the noise of the world, the TV, the radio, other people interrupting your train of thought, or ear buds with crappy modern music from the iPod. It is a time when one can listen to the quiet voice of God. Precious.
It has been interesting to watch members of Congress pontificating about J.P. Morgan Chase recent $2 Billion loss in the financial markets. They ignore the fact that it was J.P. Morgan's money. The Congressmen's typical response is to create ever more restrictive trading rules, as in Dodd Frank, while completely ignoring the ever increasing federal debt generated by their own decisions. Those decisions created a burden that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. It is time for that kind of irresponsibility to stop.
That is the way I saw it.