Imagine if you will a typical small American town. In this town is quietly living a mother whose son holds extremely unpopular and racist beliefs. Also living in this town is a group of people dedicated to inclusiveness and love. Ironically, upon learning that this family is quietly living among them, one of the group decides that the best thing to do would be to threaten the mother’s business and try to purportedly extort money from her. This action in turn prompts a completely different racist to encourage other racists to harass the extortionist.
Sadly, this town is not in the twilight zone and neither side of this conflict is in the right. Both sides childishly displayed the kind of “in your face” activism that accomplishes nothing constructive and only serves to cultivate animosity.
With interactions like this happening across the country, is it any wonder that violence like El Paso and Dayton are becoming commonplace. The violence is not limited to guns and will not be solved by gun control. Last week, California had a mass stabbing incident. Japan recently had a mass murder using accelerant and a lighter. When society abandons the rule of law and embraces identity politics, lawlessness and ideological violence will follow. Likewise, civility and rational argument will breed peace and respect. With this in mind, I would like to ask some of the recent left wing letter writers if likening Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler is constructive or destructive?
—Neil Creighton, Kalispell
First Amendment rights
An open letter to Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte:
I live with three men, all American citizens. Two of whom were born in Japan and all of whom consider themselves at least partially Japanese. They are good citizens, love this country and know which rights are protected by the First Amendment. (Freedom of the press, speech, religion, assembly and petition – in case you’d forgotten.)
Which of these three men should “go back to where he came from” because he doesn’t agree with you?
The answer is none of them, because my husband and sons are American citizens with the same rights as you. Just like those young women who were elected by their constituents, but don’t agree with the president.
The answer is that speaking up when you disagree with national policy is what makes America a democracy and not a dictatorship. The First Amendment has always been the reason America is great. You do not get to determine who loves America “enough” to debate policy.
The answer is that disagreeing with Israel’s policies isn’t anti-Semitic or unpatriotic. It is un-American to demand that all Americans support Israeli policy.
The answer is that Montanans need common sense representation in D.C. Debate ideas and then get to work. Tell the Senate and Moscow Mitch to protect our elections and address the trillion-dollar deficit, crumbling infrastructure, prescription drug prices and opioid epidemic. We need something more than a tax cut for the wealthy and a 28th Amendment that restricts our First Amendment rights.
You are suggesting that it is OK to tell any of the three American citizens that I live with that they should leave America when they disagree with you. That seems kinda un-American. Why don’t you have a town hall meeting in Kalispell so we can discuss your opinion in person?
—Kimberly Morisaki, Kalispell
I’ve seen so many people driving with their handicap placard hanging on their rear-view mirror. The instruction on the placard clearly states that you should NOT drive with the placard. It’s dedicated to parking only.
Driving with the placard indicates of one of three things: 1. The person doesn’t know how to read; they shouldn’t be driving at all. 2. The person can read but has neglected to read the placard’s instruction; it’s the “I didn’t know” syndrome. 3. The person has read the instructions but chooses to ignore them; they have no respect for instructions. Do they ignore instructions on a prescription drug? Do they ignore the speed limit signs?
Regardless of the reason, these drivers are driving unsafely. The placard creates a blind spot. Where? Right in the middle of the windshield — a critical field of view for safe driving. I’d hate to think a driver with a handicap placard caused another person to become handicapped, or worse, due to that blind spot.
Driving a car is like holding a loaded gun. The operator can kill if he or she is reckless or mindless. Driving deliberately with a blind spot on your windshield is both reckless and mindless. The placard is strictly for a parking accommodation. It is NOT for a driving accommodation. Those who insist on driving with the placard on their mirror should be held accountable, particularly if it’s hanging on that mirror at the scene of an accident.
You can get a ticket for driving with anything that obstructs your view. Is it worth the risk of a ticket or an accident? Please just take it off the mirror while driving, for everyone’s sake!
—Dee Armstrong, Bigfork
WWII veteran sends his thanks
Recently while at Qdoba Grill in Kalispell, I went to pay for my meal and realized that I had forgotten my wallet. Generously, a young woman offered to pay for my meal because I am a veteran. I am 93 years old and served in World War II. I am very grateful for her generosity and hope she reads this letter. I didn’t catch her name, but she can call me at 471-8400.
— Jesse Zambrano, Ferndale