Friday, May 14, 2021

Confused by support of party that would privatize public land

| November 18, 2020 1:00 AM

I’m not a native Montanan. I admit it. I was born and raised in Eastern Washington and only migrated to the Flathead seven short years ago. I am also a 69-year-old, bearded, white, conservative, Christian male. So daily when I travel around I look like a majority of other males. Yet, after this recent election, I realized that I’m very different politically, theologically, philosophically.

I love the outdoors and though I no longer hunt I hike, bike, ski, kayak, camp and love recreating on lands my family has fought to protect. I value clean air, clean water, effective land/resource management, protecting endangered species, and leaving small footprints for future generations. I was also a Republican activist for most of my adult life.

So I’m confused when so many folks who like to recreate like I do vote for persons or a party that wants to privatize, sell off and/or exploit public land; that pushes extraction and land maximization over multiple-use strategies; that exercises dominion rather than good stewardship of God’s planet; that fights against climate change and puts our preferred way of life at risk; that places a greater tax burden on us retirees and low wage earners and giving the rich and powerful huge tax breaks; that undermines public education, and that strips away our individual liberties and want big government to control our bodies and who we love.

Daines, Rosendale, Gianforte and other Trump-style politicians don't represent the historic core Montana values — either Republican or Democrat — that I've observed for decades. So, I'm confused whose money, voice and interests are being represented in "modern" Montana politics.

Pat Malone, Columbia Falls