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Dan Schinhofen: Civics class might be good idea for some

Last week’s Board of Commissioners meeting was interesting. No, we didn’t vote to get rid of manufactured homes, and no we didn’t and cannot take your wells. What was interesting, or most interesting, was a question I heard shouted twice:

“Who gave you the right to decide that?”

The answer I wanted to shout back was, “You did, you moron!” But I didn’t. (And they say I’m rude.)

Now the person who shouted that may not have voted for me or any of the other commissioners, but “We the People” did give us that right. More than that, they, “The People,” who took their responsibility to vote seriously did, and this is the government you all put in place. In a few months a few new members will be added and some will retire, but it will still be The People that put them there. (Don’t worry you can start hating them any time after they take office, although some are already onto that phase.)

There is a popular notion today that we are a democracy and what that always devolves down to is a mob, and that has been an interesting feature of many of our recent Board meetings.

It seems that a small group of people, that have no lives, have decided that they are The People because, as I mentioned, they have no lives, have a hobby of coming to meetings to shout us down, the people that “The People” elected to do the business of government for them, and they call it participating in government.

Public comment is important and it should be taken seriously, and used ONLY when you have something germane to say. Coming into a county commission meeting and yelling at us because the state is doing this or the hospital is doing that, really doesn’t help us do what we were elected to do.

This doesn’t mean I don’t value public comment because I talk to a very eclectic group of people every week. What I do not do, any longer, is to give time to the CAVE people. (Citizens Against Virtually Everything).

This is that group that is always on social media telling you your well is going to be capped, 3,000 Syrian refugees are moving to town and whatever else they read off someone else’s Facebook page.

The song I wrote about, “Something in the Water” was directed to them, not to “The People” that actually have lives and remember civics class. (If you were fooled by the Pimp then maybe this song was about you.) It has been an honor to serve.

It is much less of an honor to have people slander, lie and just flat make things up about you, but it seems, as an elected official, they get to do that. Whether they should is not in question because if they had any decorum or civility they would refrain from that and maybe, just maybe, spend more time volunteering for charitable groups, but alas, those groups don’t have meetings where you can get up and pretend to be a lawyer, or a hydrologist or whatever it was that they read about on the internet the day before.

So, getting back to the topic, this is how a republic works. The People get to vote for those others of The People, neighbors’, friends, or themselves, that they want to do the business of government for us all while, We The People, are busy having a life.

The vast majority of The People do just that. They are too busy raising a family or enjoying retirement to just come and watch their neighbors do the job they were elected to do. Much less spend time thinking of new ways to call them corrupt, stupid or #%*!%$#%$!*

If we cannot find a way to tamp down this outright hatred for government we will finally lose this republic. Our form of government only works by trust, and if we have all decided that “the guy we elected” is a crook, then why did we vote for him? Even when they show you up front they are lying and just want to get elected, we vote for them and then are surprised when they lie later. (Not all, but some currently running for sure).

Funny, but it seems now that the idea of trying to work with someone who has a different world view than you is somehow unAmerican. That is the furthest from a republic you can get. Not everyone thinks the same, that is why a republic is better than mob rule.

If you didn’t know that it was you who gave us the right to decide for you then maybe a remedial class at Great Basin on civics would be a good idea.

Oh yeah, and keep in mind, our families live here too. Just think about that the next time you hear we are capping your well because we all own wells too.

I believe in the republic, and am sure that the new board will have to deal with the same CAVE people, as some people are only happy when they are making you miserable.

Finally, when you’re dead, you don’t know you’re dead, it’s other people that suffer. Same thing when you’re stupid.

Dan Schinhofen is chairman of the Nye County Commission.

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