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Having just turned 89 with perhaps five years to go, why should I care anymore — but I do. Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” We are inundated with false information from social media, which large portions of the public believe. The Republicans obstruct progress, and support insurrection, too cowardly to deny Trump’s “big lie.” Democrats quarrel about national needs while America rushes toward dictatorship with democracy’s demise — all while we ensure Earth’s destruction by ignoring climate change.

Our infrastructure quality is 13th in the world, 35th out of 37 in childhood education investment. We spend the most on health care with worse outcomes than 11 high income nations, are the only one of 41 in not providing paid family leave. We have the most unequal society of all developed nations. We are the richest country with the biggest gap, the 50 wealthiest having more than the bottom 50% — 165 million people — yet one in five children go to bed hungry.

Montana receives the highest federal aid as a share of state revenue rates and Republican states generally receive the most welfare. Yet our junior Senator Daines whines about socialism. He ignores Lincoln’s Gettysburg address — ”this government is of the people, by the people, for the people—." Our bullheaded governor seems bent on being remembered for making Montana No. 1 in COVID-19 deaths and new cases per 100,000, whereas mandating masks and vaccine would steadily get life back to normal. Rosendale is being sued for using NRA to fund his campaign through a shell corporation. Alas, we voted them in. Another Einstein quote seems appropriate, “Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown, and blame yourself for going to the circus.”    

Jerrold E. Johnson


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