ON Kilter: The respect of a few honest critics; guest columnist

COUNTER-OPINION to St. George News Columnist Bryan Hyde’s May 5 column Perspectives: Blarney is more dangerous than criticism – In reference to his article, Bryan Hyde stated that he would rather be despised by the despicable than honored by them. While this is a no-brainer for anyone taking it at face value, it is what lies behind that statement that must be examined because Hyde means something very specific.

Though his articles seem above reproach, they are actually a tactic used to say something without coming out and actually saying it.

Behind his nuanced and general statements are very real events that are the impetus for his emotionally-laden views. If we do not expose them, he will continue, unchallenged, to fan the flames of emotional people looking for any license or justification to act on their emotions. I would counter Hyde by stating that it is better to have the respect of a few honest critics than the accolade of the uncritical masses. Because a critic judges merit by very strict standards, it is noteworthy to win his or her approval.

Hyde touts a handful of things in a manner that suggests they exist in an elusive realm beyond most peoples’ understanding, or at least to people who disagree with him. If you bring up the law, he brings up principles; if you reference the Constitution, he cites natural law; if he doesn’t shut you down with a quote by a Founding Father, he resorts to Greek philosophers. He dances around like an adept matador evading being pinned down on anything. It could be pride, fear, or uncertainty driving it, but it is not benign.

The problem is that Hyde is a public figure with an opinion column within a news agency, as well as a radio show where he can voice his opinions to a large audience. What this means is that he has an ethical obligation to be careful with what he says. Contrary to what his statement above suggests at face value, his views are not innocuous in light of current events.

Bryan Hyde has been a big supporter of Cliven Bundy, sharing Bundy statements and promoting their stand against an “overreaching government.” He states that the moral principle behind his support is less government, but less government for whom? For ranchers who don’t like rules and regulations? And who decides what to cut? What about environmentalists? Or blacks? Or is he suggesting that he and people with his view should decide what gets cut?

The “small government” ideology is preferable to a “big government” not because of facts, reality, or the needs of society and how to best meet them, but because of what the founders intended. Hyde routinely cites the founders as if their views are static and binding and as if we still lived in the 1700s. But let’s not forget that in the years following the revolution, the founders were deeply divided on such issues of the economy, proper size of the government, and even having a standing military.

To cite back to them as if they held definitive and absolute positions on everything and that their views should still be binding today is a highly subjective tactic used to stifle and delegitimize the opposition. Furthermore, it ignores the fact that historical figures lived in a distant reality and understood the world in very different ways than we do today. There is no way for them to contribute to contemporary political discussions in a practical way. But perhaps that is what Hyde wants.

By citing the Founding Fathers, Hyde frees himself from being practical or realistic in his discussions.

The other astounding assertion is that the government is overreaching so much that it is time for citizens to take up arms against the government. While this might be necessary in some cases, it can hardly be argued in the Bundy case. What Hyde is doing is promoting anarchy and armed resistance in response to laws that he and his friends do not like, and then claiming that others are cowards for not doing the same. He is promoting lawlessness.

Once that bag is opened, you can’t put back what has been let out. People bent on violence and itching for a fight might just find their justification in Hyde’s nuanced references to bravery, liberty, and freedom; they might just act. As Toba Beta, author of “Master of Stupidity,” said: “Laws are made not to be broken. They are made to curb our savagery.”

When William Golding wrote Lord of the Flies he explored this idea of humanity free from constraints of society. His book suggests that when the constraints of civilization vanish and raw human nature takes over, the primal urges toward selfishness, brutality, and dominance over others surface and draw people away from reason toward savagery. We could dismiss this tale as just a novel, but all one has to do is look to places without law and order to see that it does actually happen.

Hiram Evans, the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan back in the 1920s said:

All action comes from emotion, rather than from reason. Our emotions and the instincts on which they are based have been bred into us for thousands of years; far longer than reason has had a place in the human brain.

Strangely, Evans was making a case for not using reason. He was appealing to regressing back to a “fight or flight” mentality. Hyde is doing the same by promoting violent resistance to the government. Is that really what we want? We want to go back to a place where people rely on their instincts rather than their reason? I would think that even Hyde wouldn’t want that.

When we have militias forming and taking up arms against distasteful laws; when hooded armed citizens point guns at federal employees from their vehicle on the freeway, I would say that using any language that promotes or encourages more of it is like holding a flame next to a powder keg. Hyde best take care he does not get what he asks for – those people won’t abide by his code either.

Plato warned against ideas concealed inside seductive emotions; when presented without reason they become supercharged and compel belief and action. He believed that people who did this were a threat to society.

I am not suggesting that anyone who stirs up emotion is a threat, but if violence breaks out; if a federal employee is shot or hurt, one could rightfully assert that people cheering on the sidelines – like Bryan Hyde – have blood on their hands as well.

Guest columnist: Greta Hyland

Greta Hyland is stepping in this week for her husband Dallas Hyland.  The opinions stated in this column are her own and may not be representative of St. George News.

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Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @dallashyland

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • David Dalley May 11, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Your psychoanalysis is inaccurate, predicated on non fact.

    Bring back Dallas

  • Obamas gonna steal the guns!!! May 11, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Hyde is a selfish, arrogant little turd. He makes up his ideology as he goes along for whatever want he has at the time. One of these days he’s gonna piss someone off bad enough that he’s gonna get some consequences in the real world. In the real world Hyde has to live around other people, not the fantasy land he makes up in his head. Good to see someone call him out on his BS.

    • Brian May 12, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Fifty bucks says you’re a troll that doesn’t live in southern Utah.

      • Obamas gonna steal the guns!!! May 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm


  • Spa McReek May 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” –Thomas Jefferson, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.

    History shows that the western states and the united States, in general, have suffered a much longer and more severe train of abuses at the hand of Washington, D.C. than was ever inflicted by Great Britain upon the colonies.

    • JAR May 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      My take….Good info Mcreek,
      I don’t think Mr. Hyland will ever read the info or even understand it’s meaning even if he did.

    • Obamas gonna steal the guns!!! May 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      uhhhhhh, and you sound like a total nutbag

  • Ron May 11, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Excellent column, Greta. Hyde is like a master illusionist, attempting to dazzle the multitude with quotations from philosophers and thinkers who, however, wise, were living within the constraints of their own timeframe. Their thoughts are valid in a general sense but must be considered from the standpoint of our own, very different, era.

  • My Evil Twin May 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Good job there Greta! It is high time that this news service published something to pour a bit of cold water on Brian’s simmering fires.
    There was a time when I had a certain amount of respect for Mr. Hyde. However, he has become so antagonistic to all forms of government, federal, state or local, that he has become as a lawn spreader. Spreading his own brand of “fertilizer” over the media.
    Should he get his way, anarchy would rule.

  • Sigmond May 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Wow, this piece is quite a hysterical rant of bottled up hostility. Imagine living with this woman!

  • Applejack May 11, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Excellent column. Very well written, researched and executed. 🙂

  • Not a sheep May 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    It seems that Greta has a personal vendetta against Mr Hyde. If he told us the sky is blue she would argue that it’s a mixture purple and white. I’ve noticed lin her rants that like most liberals she practices all the tricks of double speak she acusses Mr Hyde of. Rather than opening a view to other side of a story she belittles and talks down her nose at him. Just give us some truth, fact and information. The liberal opinions you spew forth no matter who you are quoting are meaningless dribble.
    What are you so afraid of Gretta?

    • Bender May 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      If calling the sky blues is a personal vendetta then sign me up too.
      I don’t see you countering Gretta’s arguments, only spewing regurgitated vile you swallowed on AM radio.

    • Mona Lisa May 11, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      She’s afraid of violence breaking out to the tune of BLM officials getting killed or hurt. The fact is they have already been threatened. I hope it does not come to a case of reporting on these fears, hers and mine, after the fact. I feel what she is doing as opposed to Hyde stirring up emotions, is calling upon us to lean into reason, and be responsible with where we throw our support.

  • Bender May 11, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Dig a few inches beneath Hyde’s veneer of intellectualism and you’ll find a weak reasoning fundamentalist, academically nourished in a climate of incestuosly acceditted pseudo academia.

  • joe cool May 11, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Why are BOTH Hyde’s column and this one here? Why can’t I just read news about St. George without hearing a bunch of bickering about constitutions and cows?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic May 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

      We call it opinion, joe cool.
      Our experience is that opinion columnists tend to debate (debate, we allow, may come across as bickering sometimes when those columnists get fired up from opposite viewpoints). 😀
      Enjoy the news instead as you please, we’re glad to have you.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • McMurphy May 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      I’m sure there are a number of people who believe as you do. Perhaps that is why the website has a tab for News and a tab for Opinion

  • Brian May 12, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I laugh at people who think the Founding Fathers knowledge doesn’t apply today. Yes, technology and society have changed a lot, but human nature has not, and that is what they understood far better than 99.9% do today, as this article shows so well. Government really has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with human nature. The current administration are breaking everything they touch because they know nothing about it, but think they do. They’re as damaging as a 2 year old in the cockpit of a 747, twisting knobs and pulling levers. That is why they’ve broken healthcare, crippled the economy, and taken away all incentive to start new businesses (we’re now losing businesses faster than they’re being created, for the first time on record). The Founding Fathers knowledge and *gasp* principles are every bit as relevant today as they were in 1776. All the knowledge we think we have about science and technology don’t matter at all if we fail to understand eternal principles and human nature. If Hitler had the technology and spy technology available to our government today there wouldn’t be a Jew left on earth. The problem isn’t technology, it’s human nature. The government the Founding Fathers gave us was specifically designed to limit the possible impacts of human nature (thus separation of powers and checks and balances, both of which have been entirely neutered in the last 5 years by progressives in both parties). Mark my words, we will pay the price for our ignorance.

    • Obamas gonna steal the guns!!! May 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      I’m sure you just loved Bush II. Because he never broke anything huh?

    • McMurphy May 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Human nature versus Government. Perhaps that is why Inalienable rights are inalienable.

  • Rick May 12, 2014 at 10:19 am

    No use adding my two cents. The all knowing, all seeing, intellectual geniuses, Greta and Dallas, would surely crush my ignorant, uneducated opinion and grind it in to the red dirt. That beat down would naturally be followed by the victorious tossing of said ignorant opinion to the pile of all the other ignorant Southern Utah opinions. Thank you Hylands for keeping us all in line and thoroughly educated.

  • eddantes May 12, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Nice try implementing Olinsky’s Rule #5 (Ridicule) and #12 (Personalize the target and isolate it from sympathy). SEE ALL 12 RULES BELOW

    Olinsky himself stated that the ultimate goal is to “Burn the System down”. Recent history is replete with the fruits of the Left “burning the system down”; See Russian Revolution, Nazi Germany and Mao’s China as the three shining examples.

    Fortunately there are many in Southern Utah who see the truth.

    Saul Olinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals

    * RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
    * RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
    * RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
    * RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
    * RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
    * RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
    * RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

    * RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
    * RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
    * RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
    * RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
    * RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    • Obamas gonna steal the guns!!! May 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      I wish people wouldn’t copy / paste total spam crap

  • Investigator May 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I would give an answer to Greta but I can’t figure out what she was trying to say. having read her article I’m not any smarter than I was before.

  • eddantes May 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

    “There is no way for them (Founding Fathers) to contribute to contemporary political discussions in a practical way.”

    This statement is so over the top and lacking in understanding of the history of the world and how the Founder’s sought to avoid the pitfalls of History; it really reeks of arrogance.

    The question for the Deconstructionist Left is: What model (social, economic, cultural) are you basing the betterment of the United States on? Exactly, which country, philosophy or practical experiment best reflects your aims and goals?

    Yes, we have numerous things to work on in the U.S. but the glass still remains “more than half full” We do not need a complete transformation of our economic, social and cultural system.

  • varda klabanoff May 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Great article, Greta!

  • Ken May 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Liked the article! The ad hominem around here is very telling.

  • McMurphy May 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Ms Hyland states Hyde tries to avoid being pinned down on anything. On the contrary, he is usually quite clear about the point he is trying to make. “Because a critic judges merit by very strict standards…” Huh — do you actually read most of the comments critical of Hyde or of other commentors? Most interesting and useful opinion is not completely innocuous. Ms Hyland’s problem with Hyde’s reliance on beliefs and statements by founding fathers and philosophers and their ilk would be more persuasive if she had not used four quotes or beliefs herself. Anyone who does not believe that Federal agencies are out of control not only rejects the principles of the Founding Fathers but also the notion of a government of the people, by the people and for the people. ATF permits weapons to go to Mexican drug cartels; IRS targets tea party groups both in granting preferences and in auditing; NSA’s essentially unconstrained invasions of privacy and EPA fining someone thousand of dollars a day because he built a pond on his own property. Ms Hyland states there is no way the Founding Fathers can contribute to contemporary political discussions in a practical way. Does she then believe the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence to be outmoded and irrelevant today?

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