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Why are the Democrats so weak? Why can’t they stop the Republicans from destroying this planet we live on – and everything humane we should believe in? Why do Democrats accept being condemned by Republicans for doing the very same things that Republicans once upon a time did before them?

Republicans want to eliminate untrammeled forest wilderness protection designations and do away with the “Roadless Rule,“ and in fact subsidize clear-cutting the trees in the forest for lumber, and introduce even more “non-conforming” motorized and mechanized recreational vehicle access into the forest that negates recommended wilderness designations, discontinue supporting clean air and water ecology standards, deny existence of human-caused global warming, and eliminate the Endangered Species Act that protects forest plants and wildlife (flora and fauna) from extinction.

What are the plants and animals to do if the states are allowed to take over federal lands from the saner stewardship of the federal government, as the Republican Party is striving for? What are the rest of us educated, intelligent, wilderness-seeking, American environmentalists to do?

Republicans, including DINOs (Democrats in Name Only), want to approve the Keystone XL toxic tar sands oil pipeline project and mine “dirty” Montana coal – all in the name of profit – no matter the adverse social responsibility of global warming consequences from an atmosphere overloaded with carbon dioxide, and in opposition to the science of the Environmental Protection Agency. What is our progeny/posterity to do on a hot, polluted planet?

Republicans want to privatize Medicare and cut Social Security benefits. What are old, retired people to do? They want to deny women their right for personal health choices. What are women to do? They want to scuttle the Obamacare/Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. What are the poor and less fortunate of our society to do when they get sick and are without health insurance?

Republicans want to eliminate unemployment benefits for technologically displaced workers needing time to find new employment, calling it welfare, but continue huge foreign aid payments, and forgive crooked Wall Street bankers and brokers from prosecution for stealing from the rest of us. What is that all about?

Republicans want do away with consumer protection legislation for elimination of toxic herbicides and pesticides in farming and growing freaky genetically modified crops (GMOs) by replacing it with “let the buyer beware” slogans – but no product labeling to inform the public. What are we and our especially susceptible/vulnerable children to safely eat?

Republicans want to cut investments in early childhood education, public health and safety, job training for the unemployed, college tuition aid, non-discriminatory equal high-speed Internet fiber optic infrastructure service for the individual as well as business (net neutrality), and real, valid scientific research. Where will that leave us in the future?

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And why do Republicans, when invoking their property rights, ignore the “bundle of property rights” of their next door neighbor that allows them the “quiet enjoyment” of their own property? It would also help if the First Amendment freedom of speech was as valued as the Second Amendment right to bear arms by Republicans. Fairness in voter registration for all Americans, rich and poor alike is not a Republican mantra either.

So, why do the majority of Flathead County residents, who are middle class and suffer from income inequality, vote for the party-of-the-rich Republicans who insist on less government regulations as they defile the free-market enterprise system, so there will be no one to stop them from lying and cheating in business in order to make more money?

Go figure.

Bill Baum writes from Badrock Canyon in Flathead County.

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