The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

It’s Not Your Help to Give

Posted on | October 12, 2013 | 67 Comments

Nothing so infuriates me as when a person, entrusted with authority by an institution, becomes so arrogant as to imagine that the authority they wield — the perks of their office, their power to reward or punish others — is their own personal possession.

Anyone who has ever worked in a large organization knows the type: They play favorites, rewarding their pets, surrounding themselves with sycophants, claiming credit for work they did not do, backstabbing rivals and generally fostering a cliqueish mentality that sabotages morale and undermines overall effectiveness.

This is a common problem of organizational dynamics. The selfish attitudes of the Bad Boss tend to create a toxic environment where people spend more time playing “office politics” than actually doing the kind of work that advances the organizational mission.

It is unfortunate to read Rosie Gray’s account of the sorry state of affairs at FreedomWorks these days, which gives liberals a chance to gloat over the ruin of a once formidable institution, and to mock the Tea Party for having its leadership thus corrupted. Selah.

Yet I would turn your eye away from that squalid scene to something that should enrage you even more. Lee Stranahan has lately been unleashing a steady stream of stories about the Pigford scandal.

In the latest, “The Paranoid Racism Of Shirley Sherrod,” Lee cites the former U.S. Department of Agriculture official on her encounter with a white farmer who sought assistance:

During his first visit with me, Roger talked nervously about his service to his country. I didn’t perceive it as nervous talk because I didn’t know him at the time. I perceived it as a white man showing that he was asking me for help but at the same time showing me he was superior. He talked about having been on a submarine and his service to his country. Referring to the foreclosure, he said, “I don’t believe my country will do this to me.”

Did you catch that? The farmer “was asking me for help.”

No, ma’am. He was asking the U.S. government for help.

My libertarian soul abhors this, by the way. If it were up to me, the whole system of federal farm subsidies would be eliminated. If a farmer can’t make a living on the farm, let him find some other line of work.

Uncle Sam shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.

The story of the Pigford scandal is a perfect example of how such a system of government largesse can be wrongfully exploited, and the fact that race was the basis of apparent favoritism is in some ways incidental to the fundamental problem. Our universities, for example, have been corrupted by the provision of federal aid, including research grants that are often used to fund redundant or useless studies in the social sciences. The entire Higher Education Bubble which Professor Glenn Reynolds has described is a direct consequence of federal meddling, including the student-loan racket.

And it is the selfish arrogance of Shirley Sherrod, even more than any accusation of racism, that should enrage us most. Here she is, a public servant entrusted as a steward of taxpayer resources, permitting her resentment of a farmer’s perceived attitude of “superiority” to influence her decision to provide him whatever assistance to which the law may entitle him. Sherrod evidently regarded her government job as a personal possession, so that her exercise of official authority conferred upon her some special dignity, so that even a U.S. Navy veteran was required to approach her with an attitude of deference and supplication.

Was the white farmer racist? Was Shirley Sherrod racist? I don’t give a damn, but government officials are not a privileged caste, and we should not be required to kiss their ridiculously overpaid asses in order for them to do their taxpayer-funded jobs.

Now, go hit Lee Stranahan’s tip jar. He’s doing the Lord’s work.




67 Responses to “It’s Not Your Help to Give”

  1. FreakFlagFly
    October 13th, 2013 @ 7:35 am

    I encountered a mostly benevolent side of this phenomenon while working in a Navy comptroller shop. Feeling good about having the power to fund or not fund projects. It’s something that needs to be guarded against.

  2. teapartydoc
    October 13th, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    No one should have this kind of power, Moby.

  3. Dandapani
    October 13th, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Concern troll.

  4. SGT Ted
    October 13th, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    One of the critical things they teach you when you join the Military is that ALL CITIZENS that aren’t serving OUTRANK YOU. Even if you are a Commissioned Officer of high rank.
    The Civil Service needs to foster this exact attitude within its ranks.

  5. What Liberals do not grasp about charity | The Daley Gator
    October 13th, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    […] This is not to say that Liberals do not give to the Salvation Army, or Red Cross, or Toys for Tots or to churches, or any other number of charitable ventures. This is not to say, or infer that Liberals are not caring, or charitable. The whole purpose is to point out how Liberals always look to a government solution first. And yes, their own feelings and egos have a great deal to do with that. RS McCain has a look at another issue with Liberal’s definition of charity that you should read. That issue? Arrogance! […]

  6. ZION'S TRUMPET » The “Royalty” Superiority Complex of Government Bureaucrats
    October 13th, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    […] It’s Not Your Help to Give […]

  7. JCCentCom
    October 13th, 2013 @ 11:47 am
  8. Diggsc
    October 13th, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    My Democrat troll radar is pinging wildly.

  9. Chance Boudreaux
    October 13th, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    Another reason to limit the size and scope and Budget of Government.

  10. SgtPolite
    October 13th, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    It’s Not Your Help to Give : ANOTHER REASON FOR SMALLER GOVERNMENT #tcot #tlot #p2 #teaparty

  11. KATYSaccitizen
    October 13th, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    “Government officials are not a privileged caste, and we should not be required to kiss their ridiculously…

  12. lafayette41
    October 13th, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

    It’s Not Your Help to Give

  13. craig_s_bell
    October 13th, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

    RT @rsmccain: It’s Not Your Help to Give @Stranahan @HatingBreitbart @instapundit @ElectionLawCtr

  14. revshafer
    October 13th, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

    It’s Not Your Help to Give

  15. Big Government, Surrogate Daddy | The Necropolitan Sentinel
    October 14th, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    […] it's a nationwide panic caused by a disruption of the EBT system, a political appointee arrogating to herself personally the powers of her office, or a busload of senior citizens falsely imprisoned by armed park rangers for committing the […]

  16. richard40
    October 15th, 2013 @ 1:56 am

    You could be right. I suspect most of these clearly racist remarks are posted by dems falsely posing as racists, which other dems then quote to prove how racist conservatives are. Now that I think about it, I should not say falsely posing, because many dems really are racists.

  17. FMJRA 2.0: Day Late & A Dollar Short : The Other McCain
    October 20th, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    […] It’s Not Your Help to Give […]