20 August 2013

Bill O'Reilly on Alaska

Apparently Bill O'Reilly visited Alaska recently. Here he writes about us, in words that I have used more than once. I'd say he pretty well nailed it.
JUNEAU, Alaska -

"Up here, many folks don't much like President Obama's vision of a big government colossus dictating health care, doling out entitlements and generally meddling in the affairs of the citizenry. Alaska voted against Obama by 14 percentage points in 2012, and if another election were held today, the anti-Obama vote would most likely be higher.

"This is a tough self-reliant state. The weather is harsh and expenses are high. But there is work. With a 6.1 percent unemployment rate, Alaska is doing much better than the nation as a whole (7.6 percent). The median household income in the 49th state is $69,000 -- $16,000 higher than the national average.

"Historically, Alaska is a place that attracts those who are fed up with conventionality. The prevailing wisdom promotes individuality. Alaskans are basically "leave me alone" types who respect and embrace different strokes.

"Maybe it's because nature is right on top of them that the folks don't seem to care much for trends. The weather changes dramatically and quickly, there are far more dirt than paved roads, and wild animals are everywhere. Nobody is really interested in the latest fashion when you can be snowed in for weeks at a time. I mean, who's gonna see you?

"With a population of 731,000, Alaska is ranked 47th in size, only beating out North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Of course, Alaska is the largest state in the union by far, so there is plenty of space to get away from the trappings of modern America. Most everybody has a gun -- there are big bears around -- and the majority of folks are happy not to be dealing with bureaucracies.

"The Alaska mentality is directly opposite the federal intrusion that is being fostered by the Obama administration. Mention Obamacare, and you'll likely get icy stares, even in the summer. And while poor people do receive entitlements, and the oil industry kicks in some money for the folks, few Alaskans are asking for handouts. This is an old-fashioned place that still embraces the Klondike mentality: Take chances, and maybe you'll hit it big. But if you don't, don't whine about it.

"Alaska has some of the best scenery in North America, but it is the spirit of rugged individualism that I found most interesting. Capitalism is firmly embraced, and hard work is the order of the day. I visited a tourist dog-sledding site on top of a glacier where the young employees stay for weeks at a time. No showers, no computers, no TV. They make some good money but pay the price. And they seem happy to be up there, far away from the BS that's floating around this nation.

"There is something to be said for living life on your own terms. Many Americans simply don't want the pinheads in Washington or the various state capitals telling us how to live. But we are absolutely moving in that direction. Obama is hell-bent on imposing a bureaucracy that levels all playing fields at great expense to coin and freedom.

"Visit Alaska if you get a chance. It's far away from everything but well worth the trip. This is America the way it used to be. And the way things are going in the Lower 48, the way it used to be is likely gone forever."
 (from the Bradenton, FL Herald)


Stephen said...

His stock just rose in my eyes. A very well written piece. If I could convince my wife to move I'd be your neighbor in a new york second.

Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, Stephen. While any generalization is dangerous, he does define how many, many of us feel about government intrusion in general. You'll get disagreement only in Anchorage, which tends to attract a lot of transplants from the Left Coast.

Away from Anchorage, though, it's much as he describes.

threecollie said...

Good stuff. There are plenty of us down in the lower 48 that are sick of government intrusion into every breath we take.

Rev. Paul said...

I hear you, threecollie. I think the difference is that there's a higher concentration of that among Alaskans than in most other places.

In other news, water is wet. Film at 10:00.

joated said...

Nice piece. Thanks for sharing.
I would only add (and maybe O'Reilly was hinting at this) except for Anchorage and its immediate surroundings, you are so damn far from any center of government that an Alaskan MUST be independent minded and willing to help his neighbor as he hopes they will help him. There's no running down to the local big box store for that one item you may need to make repairs or fill the fridge for the weekend. You're going to have to make do or do without.

That said...If you could figure a way to save some of that June sunshine for December....;-)

Until then I'll at least have 2010...until my next visit.

Rev. Paul said...

joated, you raise an important point. Many folks up here locate where they do precisely because it's so far from those who would try to control things. Your other point is true, also. Well said.

And hurry back. :)

Anonymous said...

Funny how he touts gun ownership for you AK folks, but says otherwise for the rest of the lower 49.
Guess they don't have bears, just crime.
This is one reason I stopped watching him.
He's an East Coast populist, at best.


Murphy's Law said...

Yep. Chase the Seattle refugees out of Anchorage and the college kids out of Fairbanks and Alaska might well be on it's way back towards resembling a real Free state.

Rev. Paul said...

I know his remarks are inconsistent at best (and hypocritical at worst), Guffaw, but he got it right this time. I don't watch his show anymore, though.

ML, that's a pretty good summary. :)

Chickenmom said...

For those of us who will never get to see all the wonders of Alaska and her people, we appreciate seeing this beautiful State through your eyes. Thank you!

Rev. Paul said...

You're welcome, Chickenmom. You've made my morning!

Cathy said...

Well. Can't think of a more timely post comment section in which to pass along this Daniel Greenfield look ahead.

Rev. Paul said...

Cathy, that's a fantastic article - thank you!