Finding Unity Means Stopping The Rhetoric

President Obama hopes for a rekindling of our national unity after the recent news of Osama bin Laden's death, but Troy Marshall opines that the only way to create unity is to stop the rhetoric.

Troy Marshall 2, BEEF Contributing Editor

May 6, 2011

1 Min Read
Finding Unity Means Stopping The Rhetoric

President Obama talked about the nation carrying on the unity it felt after 9/11, unity that was rekindled after the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. The sentiment is noble but few believe that the unity will last. In part, it is because the differences between the parties are very real and very substantive, and in part because the struggle for power is the essence of the political beast. Perhaps it is not surprising that the latest fiasco with the checkoff illustrates partisan mentality at its worst.

Industry rhetoric has changed. It used to be about the merits of one policy over another. Now it is like politics in general—demonize the other side, use and repeat often a mantra that divides, and fight for power. The politics of class warfare, the claims of one side being beholden to one special interest group or another are not designed to resolve issues, they are designed to gain power and to avoid compromise or finding consensus.

Sadly, these tactics continue to work. It is like negative advertising—we all say we hate it, but time and time again the pollsters tell us it works. Divide, lie, demonize and win.

While most of us don’t like the results these tactics have produced on the national level, they have been far more damaging within the beef industry as they have become part of our industry debate the last 10-15 years. The reason these tactics are so damaging at an industry level is that we are small in the context of political clout to begin with. The internal divisions only serve those who are truly aligned against us.

About the Author(s)

Troy Marshall 2

BEEF Contributing Editor

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock and World Champion Horse Judging teams. Following college, he worked as a market analyst for Cattle-Fax covering different regions of the country. Troy also worked as director of commercial marketing for two breed associations; these positions were some of the first to provide direct links tying breed associations to the commercial cow-calf industry.

A visionary with a great grasp for all segments of the industry, Troy is a regular opinion contributor to BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly. His columns are widely reprinted and provide in-depth reporting and commentary from the perspective of a producer who truly understands the economics and challenges of the different industry segments. He is also a partner/owner in Allied Genetic Resources, a company created to change the definition of customer service provided by the seedstock industry. Troy and his wife Lorna have three children. 

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