Every once in a while, common sense pops up
It isn’t every day that someone from Pennsylvania makes me look at things in a new way, but that’s what happened to me recently.
State Representative Jesse Topper represents Pennsylvania’s 78th District. Rep. Topper was speaking about high school football.
I don’t know about you, but when someone from rural Pennsylvania speaks about high school football I pay attention. Other than mining coal, there aren’t a lot of other things to do in rural Pennsylvania. Topper, who coaches football at Bedford High, had the following to say
I’ve had the opportunity to watch this football team at Bedford prepare for this year. And we told them, wear your mask, social distance at meetings, split your time in the weight room. They’ve done all those things. We’ve said if you follow these protocols you’ll have the opportunity to play.
To now come back to them and say, “You’ve done everything right; but you know what we still don’t have the will to let that happen.” And I think back to those words “It’s not worth the risk.”
We know, must of us up here have either played or been a part of athletics, we understand that there is inherent risk to what we do. That’s why there is an ambulance that sits out by the football fields on a Friday night. We know that there is risk.
But always that risk/benefit reward ratio has always been left to the families—to determine is this worth the physical risk. Well, I don’t see any difference in that now.
Those comments struck a chord with me, and I suspect they will with many Oregonians. Maybe I’m just lucky, but if it wasn’t for the hysterical news coverage, the unprecedented erosion of our civil liberties, and our economy being shut down, I’m not sure I would actually know that COVID-19 is ravaging our country.
Tragically, some of our elderly neighbors in Mount Angel have passed away...as people tend to do when they get old. Dying is the risk of living.
We’ve seemed to have lost sight that life is about balancing risk and reward. Reasonable people don’t take foolish risks, but they also understand life without risk is impossible.
Once upon a time, Americans lived their lives understanding that risk is everywhere. But they also saw reward everywhere. Somehow, we’ve become afraid of risk and reward. We have allowed politicians of both sides to stoke our fears—deciding for us where we can go, whom we can meet, and how we can worship.
The problem with politicians is that they’ll take all the power we’re willing to give them.
I stumbled across an interesting word the other day: Kakistocracy. It means “government by the least competent.” In Oregon and throughout our country, we have given a Kakistocracy unprecedented control over our lives. But it appears that politicians are as incapable of fixing our problems as they are uninterested in trying.
For obvious reasons, social scientists had to come up with a word to describe out-of-control corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, and indifference. They call it governmentality. But every once in a while, common sense pops up, even among Republicans; so I’ll give Rep. Topper the last word:
Quite frankly, when the governor was out in a protest in the streets of Harrisburg he was asked, “Did you follow your own protocols?” He goes, “No I didn’t because I felt the cause was worth the risk.”
Dan Crowe is from Mount Angel. His wife decides the right balance of risk and reward for him.
Well we cannot just allow one person in Pennsylvania to discern for everyone which causes are worth the risk and which are not. That decision needs to be left up to parents and up to families. Is it worth the risk? I believe that in my case it is, maybe some other people don’t; but at the end of the day if we’re going to leave that decision only up to one person then we have a problem that is far greater than COVID-19.
|Post Date: 2020-08-24 19:48:46||Last Update: 2020-08-17 20:20:49|