How the West Was Won

I’m just saying.

You know how the West was won?

By the federal government, that’s how.

The federal government bought Louisiana.

lewis-and-clark-paintingThe federal government sent Lewis and Clark to Oregon.

The federal government sent the US Army to invade California and steal it from Mexico.

20080728indianreservationThe federal government sent the US Army to kill every Native American who objected to the notion of Manifest Destiny, and created federally funded and administrated reservations upon which to segregate the survivors and their descendants, thereby eliminating competition for Western lands.

golden_spike_ceremony_promontory_utah_may_10_1869The federal government provided financial incentives for the robber barons to build the railroads.

The federal government subsidized ranchers by leasing them federal lands for two cents an acre upon which to graze their cattle.

1850homesteadThe federal government gave 160 acres of land to anyone who would live on it for five years.

The federal government built hydroelectric dams for at that time cheap and plentiful energy, which allowed developers to build air-conditioned housing in hot places.

fig-18-interstate-hwy-systeThe federal government built an Interstate Highway system.

The federal government bailed out the airlines after 9/11.

bank-run-1931The federal government bailed out the banks in the last Depression, and again in this one.

The billionaire Koch brothers, now busily funding the Tea Party’s efforts to deconstruct the federal government, exist and thrive because of a United States created by the federal government.

Can we spell hypocrisy?

koch_brothers4

‘Cause they can’t.

I’m just saying.

9 thoughts on “How the West Was Won

  1. Evelyn says:

    Great review of how history really unfolded in this country. And I might add, the federal government encouraged the slaughter of the bison to deprive the Indians of their “warehouse of supplies,” and the federal government encouraged the demise of native Americans by diseases introduced by white people.

    Like

  2. Janet says:

    Hypocrisy never goes out of style, alas.

    I recently finished a bestseller that contained four homonymic spelling errors which totally stopped the otherwise wonderful narrative flow. Your work never contains these errors, so thank you to the responsible parties – I can enjoy Kate’s adventures without those jarring “Huh?” moments.

    Janet

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  3. Plenty of both good and bad in US History to go around, Evelyn.

    And thanks, Janet! There was a series by Arthur Lyons about Jacob Asch, a journalist who became a PI. Good books, but he spent one of them looking for a stolen Hittite horde.

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  4. Elaine says:

    You obviously don’t have a clue about the Tea party, which seeks to ‘change’ the federal government in order to inspire ALL Americans to better themselves by being responsible for themselves and caring toward others. Our current Feds will do all in their power to promote poverty, financial and spiritual, since that is their base of power, which they can’t afford to lose. If an American actually does well, they’re automatically penalized. I’m just sayin’

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  5. With respect, Elaine (and I mean that sincerely) demonizing people who hold public office only discourages other good people who might run. The hypocrisy is undeniable–“Your guys suck, mine will be perfect when they get in! Especially when I can buy and sell their vote.” And the Koch brothers will.

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  6. Tried to post a link to this blog on FB, and it got deleted! The comment says “The link you are trying to visit has been reported as abusive by Facebook users.”

    I am with you 110%… and yes, there are abuses on all sides of politics, but the Tea Party has a more reactionary platform – and you know, you “can’t go home again…” Our country needs to change and grow FORWARD not backward.

    Looking forward to meeting you at Bouchercon!

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  7. sheila says:

    First..your view of how the West was won, is accurate if not our Pollyanna schoolbook history..

    Second..when you get “this link has been reported” on facebook, just go out of it and try it again..it’s an error, usually..

    Third..nobody is ever going to agree on politics..just like religion..it’s too emotional..

    and….Fourth..I LOVE your books!

    Sorry, several comments inspired me to comment..so I did! ;o)

    Oh, and last but not least..Evelyn! I’m sure the whites who carried measles, etc. meant to expose the Native Americans..knowing they would have no immunity! And the crazy, rich, hunters who over hunted the Buffalo, as hunters will, did it to deprive the Native Americans…NOT. The atrocities against Native Americans were bad enough! To say that medical ignorance and greed were organized by the govt. is silly!

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  8. Mary Kay in Portland says:

    And you’ve said a mouthful! I’m glad the 8 years of W’s “amateur hour government” have ended and hope that we can eliminate the unprecedented poverty that is ailing our country.
    I’d like to have a JOB again. My son should not have to support his mother.
    I’d like to be able to AFFORD health care, which doesn’t appear to be happening soon.
    Thank you for keeping me in touch with great literature and progressive thought.

    I love your writing; Keep it coming!

    Like

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