Even though the July 4 holiday appears in the rearview mirror, the American spirit of independence never wanes.
And to that end and as the fall elections approach, we will hear a lot of politicians railing about the oppressive signature of big government and hear endless promises from them about fixing it.
But my experience shows that lawmakers’ promises to reign in themselves offers little hope for defeating big government.
Rather, the success comes through the people and at the grassroots level — or in this case, the desert-roots level.
Enter the historic town of Tombstone, Ariz., population just shy of 1,600.
As you can imagine, with a small, desert town comes a need for water. And Tombstone not too long ago found itself high and dry.
The town needed to fix a line that carried water to it from a spring in the Coronado National Forest. But the section of pipe that needed fixing ran through an area severely damaged by a wildfire.
The federal government banned the use of any heavy equipment on the hillside. And a judge ruled that the town did not exhaust its legal efforts to obtain federal permits to use equipment. If you want the water, you will need to fix it by hand, the feds stated.
Town leaders became exhausted with the bureaucracy.
And what happened alludes to the spirit of independence I referenced earlier.
At high noon in Tombstone, there was no legal showdown between the town and big government. The townspeople said, “OK” and corralled local resources to set about fixing the broken water line. In fact, folks from surrounding states joined them.
This from a story in the New York Times: “Big government has underestimated this city,” said Mike Smith, president of the local Legion Riders local Legion Riders, a motorcycle group, who took to the mountain in jeans and a leather vest. “They thought we might abandon the whole thing when they made it so difficult, but this is not the way Tombstone operates.”
So, we have a heartwarming example of the people taking on the black-hat wearing federal government in a non-violent lawsuit and protest-free way to get a town the water it needs.
It’s enough to make the grizzled gunslingers buried in Tombstone roll over in their graves.