Bureaucracy in Iambic Pentameter?

Bill introduced for "official" state poem

Mackinac Center scholars have long lamented the long-reach of government in matters great and small. Now comes another intrusion in the latter category, and this one rhymes: Legislation proposing an “Official State Poem” of Michigan.

From a description of the bill on MichiganVotes.org:

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Introduced on September 17, 2014, a bill to establish that henceforth, as a matter of law, the poem “Hand of Michigan” by Millie Miller, and no other poem, shall be the official poem of the state of Michigan. Michigan does not currently have a state poem; a previous bill proposed "Land of the Wolverine" by E. J. McGuire.

Apparently, Michigan’s other problems all have been solved, because how else could our generously compensated full-time lawmakers have time to impose their Solomon-like wisdom on such profound questions?

As MichiganVotes notes, however, our political solons may lack consensus over which poem should represent us, as happened in selecting the official Scottish Tartan of Michigan, Talk like a Pirate resolution and other items.

The verse currently under consideration reads as follows:

God knitted a mitten of wood, rock and lime,

Made a foundation to last through all time.

He planted his palm with Hemlock and Pine,

Then blessed it with rain and sunshine.

In all the world there’s no other land

That God himself patterned from his own hand!

Michigan.

Lovely words, but on what grounds do politicians claim expertise as the great deciders of what constitutes a worthy poem? Instead, Michigan’s people might consider reclaiming their identity as independent and individualistic souls by spurning poetic mandates imposed by term-limited political careerists with strong incentives to seek attention-getting fluff.

 


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