by Mary Fahnestock-Thomas, Hamilton
Abraham Lincoln said this: “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves—in their separate, and individual capacities… In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere” (Fragment on Government, 1 July 1854).
So … roads and bridges? air and water quality? traffic safety on the ground, in the water, and in the air? drug prices? affordable healthcare? child care and family leave to support working parents? libraries? schools? collecting taxes from everyone to help fund these things for everyone? creating jobs to support and bring about all of the above and that pay enough to live on? – not to mention Social Security, farm and other subsidies, disaster relief after windstorms, floods, and wildfires, Medicare, Medicaid, Disability, and Workman’s Comp? The list goes on!
I disagree profoundly with Richard Hulse’s belief that government exists only to protect individual rights (letter in the Ravalli Republic on 12/12/21). Ultimately individuals cannot exist without community in this world, and so what helps a community helps an individual. The Declaration of Independence says “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”; the Constitution says “… to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”; even the Pledge of Allegiance says “… with Liberty and Justice for all.”
Liberty cannot stand alone. Separated from Justice and the general Welfare, it becomes authoritarian or even totalitarian, where no one is free but the people in charge.
Which brings us to Teresa Manzella. Of course she has the First Amendment right to free speech, but if she were a responsible representative of the state of Montana, what she says would be based on facts, not opinion, and they are not the same thing or of equal value. And if “the ballot box” makes her views correct, then why is her party pretty much united in trying to deny the completely, demonstrably valid election of President Joe Biden?
I think it is because Republicans are so eager to stay in power that, knowing that informed voters will not support their backward-looking views, they depend on unsupported opinions and even outright lies. Even Chris Wallace, whom someone called “the best of the worst,” has left the Tucker Carlson Entertainment Network because he couldn’t take it anymore.
Wake up, y’all! It’s time to urge even Rosendale and Daines to vote to Build Back Better and for voting right for ALL of us Americans.