Montana Politics

Not welcome here

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Yesterday the Los Angeles Times ran a disturbing piece about white supremacy’s “foothold” in the Northwest.  There are far too many references to Montana to make anyone feel comfortable.

… prominent white nationalists, radical constitutionalists and other apostles of the far right have established beachheads in northwestern Montana. They include April Gaede, who is appealing to white “refugees” to establish a Pioneer Little Europe; Karl Gharst, a former member of the Aryan Nations who has been screening Holocaust denial films at the local library; and Ronald Davenport, a Washington man who was convicted in November of filing more than $20 billion in false liens against government officials seeking to collect $250,000 in unpaid taxes.

Conservative preacher and radio host Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 presidential candidate of the Constitution Party, moved to Montana from Florida in 2010 to help establish an “American redoubt” for “liberty-loving brethren,” and is now running as a Republican for lieutenant governor.

“We know there’s a fight coming. We know there is a line being drawn in the sand, and we want to be in the right place. The good ground is right here in Montana,” Baldwin told supporters last year.

In a recent report, the Southern Poverty Law Center said “a new round of antigovernment stirrings” was evident in northwestern Montana, especially around Kalispell.

What’s disturbing is how many white supremacists are relocating to the area.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for open borders and welcoming communities, but I have no tolerance for those who do nothing but spew hateful, dangerous, and insightful rhetoric.  It’s dangerous and should be pushed out.

We’ve had our fair share of right-wing, extremist groups in Montana, but the idea of Montana being “good ground” for some kind of white supremacist utopia is especially disturbing.

Simply put, “you’re not welcome here” – Montana.  That’s the message that should be delivered to this incredibly dangerous group of like-minded wackos.

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M. Storin

4 Comments

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  • "It’s dangerous and should be pushed out."

    That's where I start to get twitchy. This movement is "dangerous", but when it gets over-stated to the point where we *have* to oppose them and 'push them out', then frankly we've just empowered them. We've agreed with their rhetoric of 'undesirables' and fed the victim complex which enables their idiocy in the first place.

    It strikes me that the best way to make these folk feel unwelcome is to elect progressive legislators.

  • April Gaede is colorful, and always good for a story, but her Kalispell Pioneer Little Europe exists in her mind and on the internet, not on the ground. Her little band of white supremacists is not growing, but it does have enough members for an internal squabble or two. Their beliefs are reprehensible, but not contagious. At least one member of the group, Gharst, has had run-ins with the constable that do not improve his resume.

    But politically, they're harmless. It is a mistake to suppose that because they have beliefs and make statements that others find odious and frightening, they possess a power to disrupt that's wildly disproportionate to their numbers.

    Those who would run Gaede and her friends out of town lack confidence in the fundamental decency of their fellow citizens. That's why, figuratively speaking (so far), they're reaching for a bucket of tar and a bag of feathers — and doing it in the name of tolerance.

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