How do we like the Reservation?

We sure celebrate the Bill of Rights in the United States, don’t we? Particularly the First Amendment anyway.

Let’s save the Second Amendment for another day of its own but on the topic of freedom of speech, let’s do a deep dive. I contend that we do not follow the First Amendment at all. In fact, I believe it is clear the establishment within the federal government has gone to extreme lengths to shut people up.

Clearly, the very first example in our history would be the Indian reservations. The most freedom-loving Americans were not content in going to a reservation where everything was provided in a total socialist society. Those that rebelled were labeled “enemies of state” and were killed. I will, right here and probably again later, mention that not in any way do I subscribe to the theory that the First Amendment gives the right to kill, create chaos or destroy other people’s property.

In fact, let’s just review everything covered under the first amendment.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

There was another era of our nation’s history that was all about shutting people up that I am intrigued by and that is the use of the insane asylum. I will place a disclaimer here that I recognize some people had real issues but I think, for the most part, that entire concept was about putting folks in a place, labeling them “insane,” giving them a frontal lobotomy to shut them up and sticking them in a corner.

Lobotomy, also called prefrontal leukotomy, surgical procedure in which the nerve pathways in a lobe or lobes of the brain are severed from those in other areas. The procedure was formerly used as a radical therapeutic measure to help grossly disturbed patients with schizophrenia, manic depression and mania (bipolar disorder), and other mental illnesses.

At the start of World War II the federal government somehow convinced itself that Japanese Americans were a threat and might get loud so they rounded them up and placed them in internment camps. Thousands of American citizens were actually treated like prisoners of war and taken from their home and businesses. This is actual American history but I challenge you to ask your kids or grandkids that are in school now about this. I would venture a bet that they haven’t even heard about it in history class. How do you just erase history? Isn’t it there to learn from? Who is responsible for these decisions?

I contend the concept of subsidies is no different from anything previously mentioned. It doesn’t matter if it’s the huge check the mayor of Seattle promised to the black community or, quite frankly, the farm payments we “sign up for.” The payments today are to compensate for the bureaucrats’ decisions to cripple the global economy in the name of “protecting us from a virus.”

I make no bones about it; the paltry sum that farmers and ranchers receive as a payment is not going to make a difference in keeping us on the farm but maybe it will shut people up for a little bit.

At the end of the day I clearly see a pattern that is not really “emerging” but rather it is the way our government has always worked. They tell us we have the freedom to speak, until we actually speak. They tell us we are being protected from danger just to be placed on a reservation or in an internment camp. Now we are forced to stay in our own house during COVID-19 because we can protect ourselves.

Folks, we have just been restrained from freedom for the past four months, given handouts and told to stay on our reservation. Honestly, I do not see enough people exercising their first amendment rights about our encampment. Just because it’s in the comfort of our own home, have we decided not to stand up and speak out? Have we decided a check that ultimately comes out of our own pocket is worth more than the rights guaranteed by our Founding Fathers? I certainly hope not.

Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].