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Montana’s junior U.S. Sen. Steve Daines is considering proposing a resolution “expressing the sense of the Senate that socialism poses a significant threat to freedom, liberty and economic prosperity.”

There are huge problems facing Montana and the nation, yet Senator Daines finds the time to defend the president’s racist tweets, to fight the pressing problem of flag burning, to give away tax cuts for the wealthy and to abuse democratic socialism.

Daines consistently opposes raising the minimum wage, strengthening workers’ rights to organize into unions and expanding Social Security. He grandstands at the Mexican border instead of working for a long-term solution to the immigrant issue. He apparently has no clue on how to seriously address the climate emergency. And he believes that people with more money should have more say in elections.

Daines refuses to meet with ordinary Montanans in town hall meetings. He seems quite satisfied in his bubble, happy that wealthy elites such as himself are running the country. He feels no urgency to tackle the big problems we face because he and his cronies are in charge, and the system works for them.

In his elite bubble, Daines does not understand democratic socialism. By condemning it, he condemns such things as public libraries, public schools, public roads, public police and fire services, public utilities such as sewer and water, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, minimum wage, electric co-ops, credit unions, farmer cooperatives, and on and on.

In his resolution Daines also condemns the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller and George Orwell.

Democratic socialism offers practical solutions to some of our biggest problems. For example, Medicare For All eliminates insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays by abolishing the profit-driven corruption of private health insurance and drug making companies. Another solution is the Green New Deal framework that provides for legislative steps to rebuild the economy for all (without leaving fossil-fuel industry workers behind) while transforming our energy use to drastically reduce climate change pollution.

Living in the richest nation the world has ever seen, we can afford to provide for the average person to have a decent life. After all, during the Great Depression, we provided for millions of people and fought fascism in World War II.

But the millionaire Daines would rather have us support him and his ilk in their gold-plated bubbles and condemn real solutions to our pressing problems. To Daines, “freedom, liberty and economic prosperity” is meant only for him and his elitist billionaire buddies, not for the rest of us.

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Mark Anderlik writes on behalf of the Western Montana Democratic Socialists of America.

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