Letters to the editor Aug. 1

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Divisive identity politics

Evan Barrett’s 600+ word letter (July 28) claiming President Trump launched a racist attack on “four women of color” was precisely what you could expect from a man who has devoted his life to the DNC from the state to the national level.

It was everything you could expect from amoral political strategizing: gaslighting, divisive identity politics — all applied with the heavy hand of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals.” Because when you have nothing better to offer as policy, then demagogue your opponent.

What Evan Barrett chose not to mention was that those “four women of color” were, more accurately, four Democrat congresswomen — fellow Democrats of the kind he has served and made excuses for his entire political life. Odd that a progressive Democrat would not want to celebrate these women’s accomplishment by using their title?

Perhaps because one of these fellow Democrats said America’s Jews “are all about the Benjamins, baby.” The same one who implied that Jewish Americans have a loyalty to Israel. And who said that white American men should be registered, tracked, etc., as they were responsible for most of the killings in America. And who refused to denounce the terrorist group Al Queda.

Then there was the Democratic congresswomen who smiled as she said thinking of the Holocaust gave her “a calming feeling.” She would also be the same one who referred to the president at a press gathering as a “moth*rf*cker”.

And another, who said if people weren’t going to show up to vote black, or brown, she didn’t want them involved in the political process.

Not having the number of words at my disposal as Barrett, I will conclude by saying Barrett’s silence on these fellow Democrats — and Montana Democrat leaders — says more about Barrett than his accusations do about Trump.

—RJ Low, Whitefish

Daines and Russia

It is nice to know where Sen. Steve Daines stands. He rushed to defend Donald Trump after Donald Trump tweeted that four “Progressive Democrat Congresswomen,” otherwise known as “the squad” and which includes Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, had originally come from countries whose governments are “the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.” Trump added that they should “go back and fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

It turns out, however, that three of the women were born in the United States, and they don’t have to go anywhere to fix their broken government, they are already here, in Trump’s America.

Steve Daines tweeted that the four women were anti-American and out to “trash our country and our ideals.” This is truly twisted coming from Daines, who went to Russia, a hostile foreign power that had just attacked our election, on July 4, the day we celebrate our independence from a hostile foreign power.

The Russian attack very possibly tipped the election to Trump, and yet there was Daines, in Russia, smiling for the cameras as if it were no problem. Just by being there, Putin might conclude that Daines was condoning what Russia had done.

Daines denies he was in Russia on July 4, but his excuse is suspiciously relative, involving time zones, fast planes, and calculations of relativity that would befuddle Einstein. Whatever Daines tells us, the message to Putin was clear: He approves of what Russia did, helping Trump get elected, and he won’t protest if Putin did it again.

Daines is standing with Trump, but is he standing with America?

—Wade Sikorski, Baker

Closing loopholes

I find it revealing that President Trump wants to close what he perceives a “loophole” in the food stamp program affecting families, but shows no interest in closing the “loophole” in the tax code that allowed 50 of the Fortune 500 companies to pay no federal income tax in 2018.

—Jim Swab, Kalispell

The antiwar movement

What David Hadly wrote in his letter in the July 21 about Robert De Niro and Jon Voigt was spot on. But he veered off into outer space with this comment: “the antiwar movement ... led to the tragic death of 2-1/2 million innocent victims.” No, David. What led to the deaths you speak of was the ill-conceived efforts of JFK, LBJ, Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, et al., to stop the (imaginary) “falling dominoes” by spilling the blood of some of the best and brightest of my generation. The antiwar movement, which by 1975 was made up of millions of Americans, including Vietnam veterans and active duty GIs, fought with legal, nonviolent mass demonstrations against that bloody madness.

—Lee Smith, Somers

Tariffs for health care

Sens. Tester and Daines, and Rep. Gianforte:

The Trump administration is placing more and more tariffs on imports into the United States weekly. Whether or not these tariffs produce the results intended, it means that more than $75,000,000,000 (billion) is deposited in the discretionary portion of the general fund each year. This $75 billion is un-earmarked!

Please seriously consider a bill to insure that this money is not frittered away willy-nilly but is directed towards a goal that will serve the American people. Please consider a bill to earmark this money to help pay for health care, a recognized shortcoming in the American system.

$75 billion will not pay for a universal system of health care entirely, but it would be a significant contribution. It would reduce the tax increase necessary to fund a universal health-care system. It would be money well spent.

—Paul Pacini, Helena

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