Paul Havey’s “God Made A Farmer” Speech: The yearning that America has for something real
I stopped my work in its tracks back in 1995 when I first heard Paul Harvey’s “God Made A Farmer” radio skit on 700 WLW at 3:30 in the morning during the Truckin’ Bozo show. I was working 16 hour shifts back then starting at 4 PM and lasting till 8 AM 7 days a week and every single night I looked forward to the home stretch break when Paul Harvey would come on and give the news of the day. I remember vividly when I heard that dedication to the farmers of America, and it gave me pause in positive reflection. It didn’t take me but two words to remember the passage word for word when Dodge used the old Paul Harvey speech during their Superbowl commercial for Ram Pick-up Trucks as those memories from old came rushing back in a fury.
The reaction to the Dodge ad was extremely positive in the days after the big Superbowl event. It was so effective that long after people forgot the events of the game itself, the blackout, the near comeback by the San Francisco 49ers, the goal line stand by the Ravens to secure the win, people were talking about this commercial. I would conclude that Americans detected in that speech by Paul Harvey an America they see slipping away, and they are in the depths of their heart trying to recapture it before its gone forever. It is the elements of that speech that the Tea Party is dedicated into preserving. It is not a mindless yearning for the ignorance of the past, but the stability of knowing the roles we all require not just from ourselves, but of our youth.
When I was growing up both my grandparents were farmers and several other family members also. When I went to Christmas dinners and our family gathered for Thanksgiving I went to real farmhouses where the unmistakable smell of manure greeted you on a gravel driveway while the bite of cold northern winds froze your cheeks upon stepping out of the family car. The kitchens would be blazing hot with wood burning stoves and fireplaces warmed the entire house, hot downstairs, cold upstairs in a traditional farmhouse guarding Ohio farmland. Bails of coiled hey could be seen out every window covered thinly with snow. Cows where in the barn where I would play hide and seek with my siblings and cousins swinging from high beam rafters like Zorro and landing on the hood of a tractor bought at an auction in the 1920s that had a flat tire for over twenty years. I remember seeing slaughtered pigs with the heads hung on the porch for ease of display when I first learned that it was their meat that made bacon and I learned many more such things from my grandparent’s farms over the emerging decades.
I feel terribly sorry for most people now who will never know a farmer in their lives. I feel sorry for the people who saw that Superbowl commercial and found that they couldn’t relate to it at all, as they have become too urbanized. When I was a kid most everyone knew at least one farmer in their lives, but now, almost nobody does. A lot of children don’t even know a home where both their biological parents are still married let alone know a family that has been married for 50 years and earned their living off the land like the American Farmer. I was benefited with knowing not just one or two, but I knew many, and for me, they set the social parameters that I hold to this day of strong families, and strong figures within those families who are the glue that hold society together.
When I am criticized for my rejection of progressive feminism and my belief that women should stay home to be the center point of their families, those latte sipping critics never saw my grandmother cut the head off a chicken, pluck it clean and present it for dinner within a few hours while washing the blood off her hands in a washbowl of water brought in from a well. To me, those were strong women and they forced their men to adhere to a code of honor. I can’t report accurately how many times I saw strong men hiding in their barns behind loads of work because they feared giving their farmwives bad news and how scared they were at the wrath of such women. These same men were the kind who changed tractor wheels with broken off tree branches as a jack and a crescent wrench, and little else. And to see them terrified to confront their wives with disappointment speaks volumes of what America has lost, not gained through progressive feminism.
Kids today visit their grandparents in condominiums and they have Christmas dinners in quarter million dollar homes with high-efficiency heating systems which is a testimonial to technological advancement, but in the process, America has lost its traditional roots and surrendered its honor to the convenience of progressive philosophy. Our entire society has lost touch with the source of their milk, as they’ve never seen a farmer milk a cow at 5:30 AM or deliver a calf at 12:30 PM. When I was a kid my grandpa called my dad late one night and we rushed to his farm to deliver a baby calf by tying a rope to its feet and pulling it out of the mother with a tractor.
My anger at progressives and the source of my outrage that is displayed with millions of words upon these pages stems from the intentional destruction of this purely American way of life that Paul Harvey so accurately captured with his creative monologue. Few people have ever done it as good as Paul Harvey did but thankfully at least one did. Because without Paul Harvey’s monologue it may have been possible that progressives in America might have erased all memory of this exclusively American life from the minds of the world forever.
Paul Harvey is no longer with us, and neither are my grandparents and many of the people I knew at the time who had farms. My connection to such people these days are through people like my friend Gery Deer who manages the Annie Oakley Wild West Showcase each year in Darke County. (CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW) Gery’s father still operates one of these farms in Jamestown, Ohio and Gery and his family gather there every Saturday night in the traditional way. They sing campfire songs like old cowboys and dine together in a way that has become lost in America and I cherish knowing them for it. I look forward to that event every July because it gives me a good reason to travel through the farm country of Western Ohio and buy fresh produce from roadside venders who still have dirt under their fingernails.
The America I am fighting for is the one in Paul Harvey’s words. I think its fair to ridicule those who have advanced the destruction of those traditional values because I have seen once too many the people I cherish ridiculed by a progressive teacher who teachers that women in the workplace have more value over my grandmother who could cut the head off that chicken and prepare it for her family which she loved with every cell in her body. I am tired of hearing the progressive politician urge urban dwelling by smearing the good name of the rural farmer and their desire for personal liberty. And I am tired of attorneys who desire divorce at every turn just so they can make money off the misery. I prefer the terrified farmer cowering in his barn afraid to deliver bad news to the woman of the family instead of taking the easy way out by serving divorce papers through the mail. I do not like, condone, or believe in the America that progressives have been attempting to advance. I believe in the America that Paul Harvey so accurately captured with his “God Made A Farmer” monologue. That is why I paused over a decade ago to pay silent tribute to those ancient words, and why I personally loved the Superbowl experience of 2013, because Dodge had the foresight to release a commercial that pays tribute to the American Farmer. I’m glad they did it, but I am sad that so many people found the experience foreign. That is a trend that must be reversed if America is to survive, and it is that reversal of which I am fully dedicated. The silent yearning that the commercial evoked in the American consciousness is but a compass that our society needs to observe so to find our direction in a wilderness of confusion, and find our way back to greatness that has it’s backbone in the American Farmer.
It is because of Paul Harvey that I write here every day. I listened to him for years and I miss the guy. It is because nobody else has the guts to be him, or pour words into the tapestry of our day the way he did that I write so much about the world around us. I believe in the hearts of all Americans that there is a Paul Harvey in each of them, even if they have been taught to think otherwise. The video above featuring Paul Harvey in the Dodge Ram commercial had over 6 million hits on YouTube in just three days. Ratings say everything.