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A different opinion


Philip Barney’s recent letter is a study in irony. He dismisses others as ignorant of history then demonstrates his own misunderstanding of it, or calculated revision and misuse of it. Defending a President attacking free speech, free press and a division of federal powers, he evokes the memory of heroes who sacrificed everything protecting those very principles and institutions. Defending a President targeting identifiable groups as scapegoats and distractions (Muslims, immigrants, persons of color) as Hitler did with Jews, he conjures up boogeyman George Soros, a Hitler survivor, and Organizing for Action, whose common-sense causes include healthcare, climate change and a fairer democracy. Barney accuses OFA of thwarting the agenda of a President who has none, other than tax breaks and deregulation for the wealthy, and he bolsters his panic mongering with “leftist zealots” and racial insinuation, “hooded thugs,” while defending a President who exhorts followers to violence. He uses “Socialist” as a panic phrase when it was Socialism, the New Deal, that pulled America out of the Great Depression, and Socialism again, the G.I. Bill of 1944, free education, subsidized housing and veteran healthcare, that gave us our most successful generation, and our most prosperous era; the interstate was built, polio was cured, a man walked on the moon. Socialism created Donald Trump’s inheritance. Barney claims single-payer healthcare would bankrupt us, even as it thrives in 30 other countries, even as we race toward bankruptcy thanks to trillion-dollar tax breaks for the rich and endless, fruitless wars with no purpose but corporate profit. Lastly, he gives Mr. Trump credit for an economic recovery that began during the previous administration, an administration Mr. Trump denigrated with racist gossip. Jon Tester has not served Montana well. Too often he’s been in the pocket of big business and big money. But he’s not part of a cabal-of-crazy led by an unstable, uneducated President who expresses contempt for rule of law and an admiration for dictators, and has suspect ties to a foreign power.

Lance Hames


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