Let’s start with the legislature. The 2015 Montana Legislature is about to enter its homestretch. The Easter Break is over tomorrow and the 69th legislative day begins. They’re scheduled to go just 21 more days after that, with the last day being Friday, May 1.
Some might not make it. Egos are bruised and prized legislation has been shot down. Some have been lobbied to death while others have been ignored to the point of invisibility. Montana lives have been ruined while out-of-staters have seen their stock rise. It’s a pitiful situation, but what can you do?
There was nothing you ever could do. That was pretty obvious on June 4 of last year, the day after the primaries. We knew who the clowns and jackals and bugaboos would be, and we got ‘em. We got a helluva lot more than that though, and that’s about as much misery as you could want. Again, that’s only if you live here and work for a living.
Few in the legislature are working, unless you count destruction as work. And make no bones about it, the policies being perpetrated by the Tea Party Republicans in the Montana Legislature are destroying lives.
- Many families will see family members die over the next two years because we didn’t take healthcare money the feds begged us to take;
- Some marriages will break up as the strain of one more year of childcare on a single income becomes too much too bear;
- Quite a few seniors will kill themselves as their living situation becomes more precarious and hope flees;
- Untold numbers of businesses won’t locate here or won’t start-up because the living conditions have become so bad;
- Countless individuals will move away from the state they grew up in and they’ll never come back.
This is what the 2015 Montana Legislature has done, and it’s certainly one of the worst. You could argue that county splitting and creating our multiple MUS campuses was bad, but we’re seeing something that goes beyond shortsightedness and ignorance here, we’re seeing a willful destruction of base institutions so our interests can’t be met. The toll on individuals is devastating.
So that’s the situation in this the year of our Lord 2015 and it’s a mess. It’s a helluva mess, and there’s no one standing anywhere nearby with a towel or a rag or even a napkin that we can use to clean it up. In fact, all I see are more individuals with piles of slop ready to throw on top.
What can be done?
Seeing someone like Jesse Laslovich come up today and announce he’ll be running against Champ Edmunds for State Auditor is one step, but I’m not sure it’s enough. It’s hard to get excited about a lawyer running for an accounting job, isn’t it? That doesn’t get people to the polls, not those 60,000 that stayed home in Missoula last go-round.
- A frank talk about our troubled higher education system;
- Legalizing marijuana in 2016;
- Giving a damn about our environment, not just saying it;
- Finding our out-of-work men and women a job;
Folks, we’ve got 93 million people in this country with no job. That’s 29% of 319 million people in America. That’s higher than the number out of work in the Depression.
We’re in a depression, and we have been since 2008. This recovery that you’re “seeing” isn’t affecting you, and it isn’t really a recovery. It’s the rats on the ship taking all the scraps they can while they head for the lifeboats. I know this, you know this…don’t pretend otherwise.
Maybe it’s because I don’t watch TV in my house. I read a lot, and I go looking for information. I’m not bottle-fed my news, and you should be the same way. Right now the wheels are about to fall off the bus, but you’d think some Hollywood murder trial or theatrical event with the Israelis is what’s important. It’s not, and it doesn’t affect you at all. You know this.
So why do we let ourselves be blinded to what’s really going on, to how far this country has fallen, and to how corrupt things have become? We’re a house of cards sitting on a piece of paper right now, and someone’s going to reach out and pull. What then, what then?
I hope someone’s coming up with a plan, because we’re going to need one here real quick.