Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, October 2, 2016
ISSUE #886
Will Rogers’ Farm Platform

We learned this week that Wells Fargo should have stayed in the stagecoach business. It may be easy to create a million fake bank accounts, but much harder to claim that 15 bought tickets on a stagecoach built for 8.

And Congress voted to give our trial lawyers free rein to sue Saudi Arabia. Common sense tells us the Saudis should have written a million dollar check to each family of the 3000 who died on Sept. 11, 2001. And save the one-third they’ll have to pay the lawyers.

While I’m gearing up to go after the farmer’s vote, Trump and Clinton are busy debating each other. As near as I can tell, none of them even mentioned farmers or ranchers.

Is there anything more important than food? Sure, air and water are essential. And some of you may list beer, smart phones, and football. But if you wiped out the one percent of our population that produces the bulk of our food supply, the other 99 percent would have to learn in a hurry how to grow a garden and raise a hog and some chickens.

So I hope the candidates will stop talking about sex scandals, bankruptcies, and overweight beauty queens of 20 or 30 years ago. Instead tell us how your policies will help farmers raise a family on $3 corn and $1 milk. Of course, we export boatloads of grain and other farm products (that’s good) but we are essentially exporting water and topsoil (that’s bad). Can we have a policy that continues to provide for a well-fed population, and long-term prosperity on the farm?

I’m sticking with the same Platform planks I announced in 1928. And like all other political platforms, you’ll see some conflicts and ambiguous planks.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

          “This brings us to ‘Farm Relief.’ Both Parties will spend pages of planks on promised “Relief.” Well I will not only give the farmer “relief”, I will cure him.  Who but a Farmer would ask for “relief” for his troubles? Everybody else would want a “Cure,” so while he didn’t know enough to ask for, or perhaps didn’t dare expect as much as a cure, why I am the fellow that will give it to him. I not only will relieve him, but I absolutely will cure him; cure him of being a farmer. I will make him so discouraged with life that he will have to open a Filling Station. There he can sit and watch the rest of the World go by.

We make our platform as we go. If we get to a State where the farmers want relief, why we just stop and sell their farms for ‘em, and give ‘em relief. If we get to a place where the people claim they want lower taxes, why we have ‘em sell their property and put the money in “Tax Exempt” bonds just like the rich.  You see we are meeting the conditions as they come. If somebody wants flood relief, we move ‘em to higher ground.  If somebody wants a Dam built in their section, why we let ‘em do it through a “Building and Loan.”  Now our platform isn’t finished yet.  Anybody who can give us ten votes can have a plank of his own in the Platform.

We want every part of the Country to do what they want to do, regardless of some other part.

I am the only Candidate that is running on either side that has ever looked a Mule in the face, or otherwise, down a corn row. I didn’t learn the farmers’ problem after I was nominated. I paid taxes on a farm since I was eighteen years old and almost had to be an Engineer and a Politician both to get enough to pay the taxes.

I know what the farmer needs, but I can’t give it to him. But I am going to tell him before election that I can’t give it to him, and not afterwards.

A vote for me means you will be disappointed earlier than you will if you vote for either of the other two.

I can tell you in a few words what the Farmer needs. He needs a punch in the jaw if he believes that either one of the parties cares a dam about him after election! That’s all the Farmer needs, and that’s all he’ll get.”

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