Montana Politics

Eee-gads, we better pay attention

Written by Sue Malek
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Today in the yard, pitch-forking and shoveling, I heard screaming, then hooting, hollering and laughing from the neighbor’s yard. It lasted all afternoon. Kids playing and playing as the rain came and went.

In my everyday break from reading and listening to the news, I find a lot of comfort working in our garden and flower patches. Today was especially good. Those kids reminded me to enjoy the moment. Never heard an adult correct them or a fight happen. They were model citizens. This year, being an adult digesting the news is overwhelming. Wish we could be more like those kids, but …

Our president has proposed cutting millions from every Forest Service program. Public lands are in grave danger, Senator Tester says.

Trump plans private-public partnerships to rebuild our roads and bridges. Expect toll roads coast-to-coast, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says.

Trump insults and castigates allies who’ve helped defend of democracies around the world. He withdraws from the Paris Climate Accord. Germany and the EU step up to fill the void.

Tensions between Qatar and other gulf states increase and Turkey forms a new military alliance with Qatar. Trump takes credit.

Trump proposes huge cuts in all programs for low-income, disabled and elderly so he can cut more taxes for the wealthy and build the US-Mexico wall.

Almost 500 federal appointee positions remain unfilled. Trump hasn’t nominated people to fill them. The federal government has ground to a halt, a goal of Steve Bannon’s reported in the public television special Bannon’s War. They plan to move power out of Washington, but to where and under who’s control?

Fired FBI director James Comey says Trump tried to intimidate him into ending the investigation of retired General Flynn’s ties with Russia. Comey says he made a record of his meeting with Trump, because he was concerned the president might later lie about what had happened. Impeachment appears more probable everyday, but Republican congress people are defending Trump.

It’s up to us to pay attention, even when we don’t want to. It’s up to us to protect the equal rights of all our citizens. It’s up to us to hold our congress people responsible.

Most of us have been sick about Trump since the Republican National Convention attendees led by a former general in the US military chanted “Lock her up” and Trump stated he would not accept the results of the election.

I was glad to have four months of distraction being in the Montana legislature this year. During the session, my friends suffered with Trump depression. But now we all know depression is not an option. When I walk away from this today, I hope the kids will be out in the neighbor’s yard. They’ll remind me why our work as citizens is so important. They’ll remind me adults should act, with love, joy, and cooperation. They’ll remind me to do all I can to protect freedom and democracy.

 

About the author

Sue Malek

Sue Malek is a second term senator in the Montana legislature. She retired after 24 years managing an academic advising office at UM. She served as president of the UM staff union for two years and chair of the Missoula City Government Study Commission for another two years. Public service is a way of life, she says.

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