Advice and Dissent

What a weekend, eh? I don’t remember politics so emotionally driven since 1969 when students struck at the end of both my first and second semesters. (No final exams!) Or maybe when Richard Nixon fired his attorney general, Archibald Cox, when he refused to fire a special prosecutor looking into Nixon’s Watergate misdeeds. There was a feeling of dread, of politics being off the rails, shared with a sense of hope that massive numbers of people could bring the democratic process alive.

Missoula was no slouch this weekend, with a thousand people gathering yesterday at Caras Park, a Union Club on Saturday filled with people following up on the women’s march, and 350 Montana’s “pop up” demonstration (40 people) on Friday at Senators’ Tester and Daines’ offices.

That’s not to mention the folks who are deluging our Senators’ offices with calls and letters against the health care law repeal, cuts to Medicare/Medicaid, protests against an education department secretary who’s never attended public school, and other issues. Way to go, everyone.

Please note that every demonstration so far has been nonviolent, and that is absolutely what’s needed. I detect some concentrated citizen power, an unmovable determination in the face of a new administration spinning out of control.

I would ask just one thing of you today. If you haven’t already, please weigh in with our Senators on the four anti-environment cabinet nominees, the Four Horsemen of the Climate Apocalypse. The Senators will vote soon and they must dissent. These nominees are simply not qualified. They want to take our country the wrong way, and the climate just doesn’t give us the time to go backwards. We have several fact sheets on the nominees here: http://www.350montana.org/2017/01/07/trumps-climate-denial-cabinet/ And here: http://www.350montana.org/2017/01/07/rexs-rhetoric-vs-reality/

Senator Tester has made it easy to comment by going here (http://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=4900) and picking each nominee’s name from a drop-down menu.

Senator Daines has his regular email portal is here: https://www.daines.senate.gov/connect/email-steve

One more thing. Interestingly, there’s a polling site on Senator Daines’ candidate site that asks your opinion on whether Ryan Zinke should head the Interior Department. It’s a Yes or No vote. I would encourage you to go here and register your vote: http://www.stevedaines.com/zinke/?pid=3569412&red=donation1%3Finitiativekey%3DSODRCFVG5PTC&efn

As always, thank you.

Jeff Smith, co-chair, 350 Montana