Letting Yourself Be Branded Will Steer You Wrong

Charlie Daniels
By Charlie Daniels | November 27, 2012 | 10:51 AM EST

I am in the cattle business, as are many other people in the part of Tennessee where I live. In fact, some of us raise the same breed of cattle and they are extremely hard to tell apart. And if, for some reason, two herds happen to get mixed together, you could have a hard time telling yours from your neighbor's.

So, to prove ownership, I have a brand registered with the State of Tennessee that nobody else can use and any cow wearing that brand belongs to Twin Pines Ranch. That way, if you can read brands, no matter how many different herds get mixed together you can always tell who owns which cattle.

Branding cattle saves a lot of confusion and combats dishonesty and is a good thing when you're dealing with animals. However, when it comes to human beings and politics, people should never belong so completely to an ideology or political party that they are "branded," or taken for granted, completely blinded, totally convinced that there is absolutely no good in any alternative philosophy, that all ideas outside their narrow field of vision is against them, engineered to harm them.

"Branded" people believe exaggeration and hyperbole, and actually buy the idea that the other side wants to push grandma's wheelchair over a cliff, or starve children or destroy the environment.

God gave each one of us the ability to think for ourselves and nobody should be so sold-out to somebody else's thinking that they can't read between the lines or even seriously consider what the other side is saying.

People vote for bad candidates simply because of the "D" or "R" beside their names, or because that's just the way their family has always voted or because some campaign ad they saw says something totally unrelated to the issues at hand.

Behind the scenes, political movers and shakers have learned which buttons to push and when to push them to excite and motivate their base, to arouse anger, envy and fear to cause their faithful to believe that the lion's share of the problems in their lives is caused by the other side's greed, lack of empathy and desire to hoard all the good things for themselves.

It's been done over and over and always seems to work. Politicians make utopian promises and never really deliver, only to come back around next election cycle to elicit the same fear and claim that all they need to make good on their pie-in-the-sky promises is one more term.

This happens in both the conservative and liberal camps. Some people are so wedded, so bound, so blinded to one persuasion or another, so convinced of the evil intent of the other side that they would never consider anything they would ever propose.

Human beings have the God-given gift of being able to think for themselves, to make decisions that aren't based on what some charlatan can sell them, but on what their head and heart tell them.

They should never be predictable enough as to be taken for granted.

They should never be herded and branded.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

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