No. 636



Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all gaze into a crystal ball and predict the future with absolute certainty? This question came to mind after I read an article a friend sent me recently titled, “How to Catch a Wild Hog.” This article was written by Dr. Lowell E. Hedges, a retired associate professor, teacher of education and a former superintendent of Elgin Local Schools. It does not say if this is the Elgin Local Schools in Marion, Ohio, or the Elgin Public Schools in Elgin, Illinois, but that is not important for what I want to share with you here. Following is a brief condensation of the article, but the point will become very clear.
The article begins when Dr. Hedges notices one of his foreign-born students who has a facial grimace and begins to rub his back. It turns out the discomfort was caused by a bullet wound he had received while fighting the Communists who were trying to take over his country’s government. This student asked Dr. Hedges a surprising question: “Do you know how to catch a wild hog?” Dr. Hedges responded by saying, “I’m not sure what you are talking about. Tell me.”
The student continues, “You find out where the wild hogs are roaming and feeding and then you put some corn out in the field. Soon they will come and eat the corn. You keep putting out the corn. Soon more wild hogs will join the others and keep coming to eat the corn. After the hogs get used to your free corn, you put up a length of fence along one side of the feeding area. The hogs will get used to it. Then you put up another section of fence at a right angle to the first. After they get used to this, you put up another section of fence at a right angle to that section of fence and you now have a “U” shaped fenced area. Then you put in the last section with a gate in it. You keep giving them free corn. Now, the hogs are no longer out in the fields working to find their own food. They keep coming into the area to eat the free corn. Then one day you slam the gate shut when the hogs are inside the fenced area. The wild hogs are caught. They are your prisoners.”
I understood then that the wild hogs were really the people of his native country, and the free corn was the enticements the Communists were giving to the people. “That’s correct,” the young man said. “Now the hogs will not get anything to eat unless you give them food. You are in control. They depend on you to feed them, or they will starve. They can’t get out into the fields and the forest anymore to find their own food.
“The hogs,” he said, “were so accustomed to having the free corn, that they ignored the building of the fences that would eventually trap them. When the gate slammed shut, it was too late for them to realize what they had been blind to. The free corn was enticing, so effortless to obtain, but eventually the cause of their loss of freedom. The fence had been built and the gate had been shut.” At this point in the conversation, the young student, in a voice shaking with emotion and with fists hitting the desktop, loudly exclaimed, “This is what I see happening in America today. People are being offered free corn by the government. People are blind to the fences being built around them by the liberals – the socialists -- and that is what frightens me! Just like it was happening in my homeland.”
The American people do not learn from history. And history shows that socialism/communism does not work. At this point Dr. Hedges says, “I too wanted to slam my fists on the desktop and cry out in a loud voice for all to hear, “Wake up, America! The fences are being built! Don’t you see what is happening to us?” He goes on to say, “In the agenda of the new Congress governed by the liberal Democrats, there is much ‘Free’ corn being promised to the American people.”
Well, that’s the end of my condensation, but I believe I have painted a pretty accurate picture, at least of the intent of what Dr. Hedges is saying.
At this point I would like to go back to my first question, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all gaze into a crystal ball and predict the future with absolute certainty?” Can we continue on with massive deficit spending, a $9 trillion national debt, the loss of our manufacturing base and our nation’s crumbling infrastructure? Is Dr. Hedges right in that we must change course if our nation is to survive?
I have my own personal views based on my value system and what I believe is right and wrong, but I will confess that I am not smart enough to have the answers. I am not down on any political party, but I am down on people who do not have America’s best interests at heart. If you have thoughts along these lines, I would love to hear from you.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book: “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.”)