Letters, published April 13, 2017

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Socialism not necessarily bad

Socialism is sharing the wealth. The government takes our taxes and returns them in goods — water, roads — and/or services — schools, garbage collection, Medicare, etc. These programs, administered by the government with our money — federal, state, county, city — are socialist programs. Simple.

If Gianforte intends to demonize Rob Quist by accusing him of favoring socialized medicine, it won’t work. Medicare for all is the solution to repeal and replace. —Karen Feather, Coram

Music to our ears

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...” (Henry V). It was music to our ears to hear Rob Quist speak at a recent gathering at the Vine and Tap in Polson. If elected to Congress, he stated that a priority would be to work on the committee for veterans, helping them to heal from PTSD and other ailments by forming local bands with music as a healing agent.

Other issues Rob would fight for include keeping public lands public and strengthening public schools. He wants to get rid of dark money, including overturning Citizens United. As a small businessman, he wants to help Montana families succeed. Access to health care is another priority.

When we met Rob Quist, he came across as a genuine, down-to-earth guy — a refreshing man of integrity who cares about ALL Montanans. While Greg Gianforte is trying to buy another political race by pelting the airwaves with continual mudslinging funded by out-of-state PAC money, Rob Quist is gathering support by visiting small towns all across the state. He is one of us.

Consider what is best for your state and country and vote with an open mind. If you care about character and strong values, vote for Rob Quist. He will be an independent voice for all Montanans. That should be music to our ears. —Nancy and Gary Teggeman, Polson

Libertarian not worried about Quist tax issue

Recently it was discovered that Rob Quist had tax liens filed against him by the state of Montana and it was turned into political fodder. I am not going to condemn Mr. Quist. Like many working Montanans, not everything has gone as planned in his life. Sometimes no matter how you plan, the world just doesn’t cooperate. Unexpected bills can happen at any time and expected payments usually are farther away than anticipated. Welcome to the real world, folks. This is where most working Montana families live all the time.

It also makes me think of all the people that lost everything in 2008. I spent last winter driving BNSF rail crews up and down the Hi-Line. Most of them had worked a good job before BNSF and many lost them in the recession. They had nice homes and all the things Montana families like to buy, and they lost it all in the housing collapse. These weren’t people that spent their money foolishly. They expected to go to work, and then one day they didn’t have a job anymore or a home soon after. These are the people that to this day have black marks on their credit scores because they didn’t know the economy was going to kick them in the teeth.

Rural families have different problems with the same result. Farm and ranch families are often caught in the cross-hairs of bills that they can’t pay. They have such irregular income that sometimes bills have to be put on hold until a crop can be sold. Just this fall I was scrambling. My entire mustard crop was wiped out in a hail storm and calf prices were so low I wanted to wait until January to sell, hoping maybe the market would recover, but Joyce Fuel and Feed in Fort Benton had sold me a Wheatheart post pounder on credit in a handshake deal and I intended to make good on my word and pay them off. I managed, but it was a lean Christmas for the kids.

They say most families are one paycheck away from disaster at anytime. I believe that. So I’m not going to beat on Mr. Quist for something that could have happened to anyone of modest income, but what I do think separates Mr. Quist and me is our view of fiscal responsibility. I believe we need to balance the budget and not steal from the next generation. We have to get our financial house in order so we can pay for all the programs the government provides. We are already $20 trillion in the hole, but when I looked at Mr. Quist’s website, balancing the budget didn’t make the top 19 issues! We don’t need any more tax-and-spend politicians in Congress, and we don’t need politicians that can’t remember what it is like to struggle to pay a bill.

So remember, Montana, when it’s time to vote, it’s just like the three bears story, one bear is too far left and one bear is too far right, but one bear is just perfect for Montana. I’m that bear! Vote for Mark L Wicks for Congress. —Mark L Wicks, Inverness, Libertarian candidate for U.S. House

FDR column got it all wrong

I found Frank Miele’s column on FDR a bit more offensive and illogical than usual, thus my response. Being Donald Trump’s leading local apologist, he tries to justify Trump’s insane and irresponsible actions, with less than a month into his presidency, by comparing them to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four-term tenure.

FDR was a great leader, skilled politician, and in my opinion, was a godsend to our country in a time of crisis. Everyone knows Roosevelt led the nation out of the depths of the Depression and guided us to victory in World War II. He did have his detractors though and was part of some ugly chapters in American history.

It was a totally different era, and what was wrong then is certainly no justification for Trump’s nonsense today. Segregation was a fact of life, Jewish refugees from Germany were turned away and the “problem” ignored, and American citizens of Japanese descent were interned into prison camps. President Roosevelt was “soft” on Russia because Stalin, though one of the world’s most ruthless dictators, was fighting the Germans and the “Lend-Lease” program was in our interest. Being “soft” on Russia today is NOT in our national interest, only Donald Trump’s, which could turn out quite interesting if we ever get to see our number one civil servant’s financial entanglements. I could be wrong but unless proven otherwise, it’s quite obvious Putin (another tyrant) has something on Trump.

The reality is Trump is a pathological liar, and creates false figures and accusations as a distraction and to further his agenda as he sees fit. He constantly blames the “crooked media” for any news that he doesn’t find favorable and has surrounded himself with flunkies who follow suit. He blames foreigners and immigrants for our internal problems and tears up treaties and global alliances under the guise of America first. Sounds more like Hitler than Roosevelt.

#Sad. Very sad (and scary). —Tom Horelick, Libby

Don’t waste vote on celebrity Quist

Seems to be an amazing amount of support (at least by a head count of letters to the editor in the Inter Lake) for liberal entertainer Rob Quist to fill Ryan Zinke’s seat in Congress.

Obviously as a local in the Flathead, he has good name recognition. However, I sincerely hope Montana voters don’t elect a show business personality (Schwarzenegger, Ventura and Franken come to mind as relatively worthless and shallow people who used their fame to get elected) to the one and only congressional seat from our state.

Surely Mr. Gianforte with his business acumen is a better choice than a troubadour! —P. David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls

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