Wednesday night I attended a meeting in Hamilton. In six years of volunteering in local Ravalli County politics, I can truthfully say, I have never been to a meeting where people were so rude, and angry. A Republican friend of mine asked Senator Ken Ivory, from Utah, to come speak to us about Federal lands in the west, and how we might get them turned over to the States.
When I got there, I was pleased to see that a lot of Democrats from Hamilton were also there. After all, this subject is a bipartisan problem. Governor Bullock spoke on a video we saw, about this problem.
Some left early. Others stayed until the speaker was finished. Instead of raising hands, and asking questions one at a time, they started to scream out comments. Insulting comments like, “You took too long.” Who says that to a speaker? One young man at the back of the room left early, went to the bar (it was held at the Eagles), had a few drinks, and then came back in. He was the first one to start screaming at the speaker. Someone made the comment, “THE PEOPLE don’t want this.” What people is he talking about? Half the people in the room wanted it. One woman was angry that we were talking about selling Federal lands to private individuals. She obviously didn’t listen to the speaker. He was talking about Federal lands (not monuments and parks) being turned over to become State lands. I won’t go into why. You can look that up. Please do. This is a serious problem. One woman, who runs during every election for a legislative seat, screamed out to the speaker, and then walked out. Is that how she would handle herself, if she won her seat in Helena?
I commend my fellow Republicans, and my friends, for staying calm, and not making the situation worse. I listened to Ivory twice on Wednesday, and I could listen again. So much to take in.
Oh, as I was leaving, a young woman said to me, “I love the burned forests!” Yup, that’s where I’d want to have a picnic instead of going to a healthy forest, with nice lush green trees. I think that says it all.
No wonder they can’t get along in Washington. This has to stop, and we have to listen, learn and have open minds if we are going to save this country.