Tough Talk For Dog Owners About The Obama Presidency
Apathy, Inaction May Doom Dog Ownership in America
by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
WASHINGTON – Barack Obama will be the 44th president of the United States following a landslide victory based on strong support from an overwhelming percentage of the electorate. He also carried the Democratic Party to virtually unassailable power in both the House and Senate.
Obama sought after and received the strong endorsement of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and this animal rights organization most certainly will try to cash in its political chips in ways that are likely to threaten dog owners, owners of other kinds of animals, hunters, gun owners and farmers.
That is not mere speculation. It is the way American politics works. To the victor go the spoils.
For dog owners, the next four years likely will decide our future. If we fail to act cohesively and effectively, our ownership of the dogs we love is doomed.
We will not be polite and we will not sugarcoat reality.
This is the political reality we must face in order to preserve dog ownership rights:
Dog owners who support Obama must play a major role. You are the only group of dog owners who can get through to The President-elect and his allies in Congress at this crucial point in time. You are the only dog owners who can convince President-elect Obama that HSUS and other animal rights groups are distorting the truth to accomplish a larger hidden agenda. You are the only people who can make our voices heard as the President sets his legislative agenda and makes key appointments. It is imperative for dog owners to have a strong and clear voice on the Obama Transition Team.
Dog owners who oppose Obama need to stuff it. President-elect Obama simply won’t listen if you whine, moan, complain, or huff and puff venom. This will cause your voices to be ignored. If you want to do something to save dog ownership, you must set aside your political differences with The President-elect and attempt to communicate with him, and also with members of Congress. Venom will accomplish only one thing: It will assure that HSUS is the only voice heard by President-elect Obama. You lost the election. It was a slaughter. Deal with it. Obama has promised to reach out to his political opponents. It’s time for you to reach out to him.
The majority of dog owners have buried their heads in the sand. They have done nothing. They are fiddling while Rome is burning. They are the real enemy of dog ownership because they are the huge majority of the American electorate and their silence has served the interests of the tiny minority of animal rights fanatics. In every poll on dog ownership issues, they outnumber animal rights advocates five to one, but their voices are not being heard by the politicians. If you don’t stand up and fight back now, all will be lost. You will have only yourselves to blame. You no longer can depend on having other people fight your battles. If you don’t begin to fight back against the animal rights groups, your rights will be ripped away from you. No one can protect you any longer. You must protect yourselves.
Some dog owners spend more time and effort trying to destroy unity than they do fighting against the animal rights groups. Several dog owners’ organizations preach only to the choir and battle each other for “turf” and the myth of “leadership.” Petty rivalries will destroy us. Some dog owners point fingers at other dog owners and label them as “good” or “bad.” This is a thinly disguised attempt to deal away the rights of some dog owners in order to save their own privileges with Caesar. They are the modern equivalent of Benedict Arnold. They will sell their soul and beg for a bowl of porridge. Our advice to these organizations and people is simple: We either hang together or we hang separately. Get it?
The 2008 election was one of the most divisive and emotional in modern history. Many supporters and opponents of both candidates passionately expressed anger, outrage, distrust and bitterness toward their opponents.
At best, healing will be difficult to achieve. At worst, political antagonisms will boil over and the new power structure will attempt to destroy and bury the old. In today’s political reality, many elected officials see dog owners as vestiges of the past.
While both sides have spoken of unity and reconciliation in the days following the election, the truth is that this has happened only rarely in American politics. When one political viewpoint has gained supremacy, its adherents tend to exploit their power to the greatest possible extent and bury the opposition.
Like it or not, the magnitude of Obama’s victory has placed dog owners, hunters, gun owners and farmers in the crosshairs. After decades of seeing ourselves as the mainstream, we have found ourselves in the uncomfortable and dangerous position of being seen by government as irrelevant outsiders who are merely reactionary and outdated: Modern rednecks, if you will. That is the message HSUS will be imparting to President-elect Obama.
Like it or not, dog owners, hunters and farmers have the present status of “non-persons” in the Obama Administration. That is because all of the organizations that represent us actively or implicitly opposed Obama’s candidacy (because of the HSUS endorsement), while HSUS enthusiastically supported Obama. It is human nature for Obama to listen more empathetically to supporters than to opponents.
We cannot ignore this reality.
Our only hope is to convince President-elect Obama that the vast majority of Americans want to preserve the right of animal ownership without interference from government.
Furthermore, we have to convince him of what we all know to be absolutely true: That this is the best thing for animals. Never in human history have dogs had better lives than they do in modern America, and that this is because their owners love them and care deeply about their welfare.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance firmly believes that animal owners, hunters, gun owners and farmers are still the mainstream of America. However, it also is indisputably true that many of us did not make these issues a high priority in deciding how we voted this year.
We can be certain that HSUS and other groups that oppose us will loudly proclaim that the 2008 election has proven that we are an insignificant political and social force in modern America. They will claim that our voices and our rights don’t count anymore.
We must prove otherwise to President-elect Obama.
(to be con't)