Allowed! Persecution!

I read with amusement the featured story about why the Democrats keep losing elections ("Montana Democrats just got their ass handed to them. What will it take to get this party started?" June 8). At the heart of the matter is a need to take a more moderate stance on some issues. As a former Democrat, I have noticed how rude and unreasonable the left can be, not to mention insulting to the more mature, working and business-owner party. I see the news almost daily showing rallies that remind me of Earth First tactics. Sure, we are allowed freedom of speech, but these reckless radicals are not winning over any rational converts. Regarding social justice, the liberals seem to only support causes that will further their percentage of voters at the ballot box. When was the last time you saw a leftist group protesting the persecution of Christians? Conservatives tend to support their ideas of social justice through their local church, or by donations of time or money, without much fanfare. Social justice would be increased if more people would buy local American products so our citizens could be productive workers. To loosely quote an old environmentalist, Edward Abbey: "Instead of complaining and talking about saving the West, get out there and clean it up, enjoy it, donate, do something!"

Joe Petrusaitis


It's reigning men

After reading "Montana Democrats just got their ass handed to them. What will it take to get this party started?" by Michael Siebert and Alex Sakariassen, two reporters I read and respect, I am compelled to respond with an unqualified WTF! I am not reeling at the content of the article. As an unapologetic voice of the progressive flank of the Montana Democratic Party, and your Missoula representative in the Montana Legislature for the past four terms, I am certainly not above criticizing the establishment ranks of the party. My feathers are ruffled by the literal faces the authors provided of the "Democratic bench" of state legislative leaders whose "opinions" were featured about the party's future. Five state reps were interviewed in the piece and that bench was 100 percent male. The percentage of women in the Montana legislature is 28.7 percent, but we are the vast majority of your Democratic representatives. Your omission of the majority of your Democratic representatives in an analysis of the future of the Democratic party is beyond disappointing. It's irresponsible to the reader and the voter. The centrality of gender to our understanding of American democracy is a part of the conversation and, in my humble but qualified opinion, it is the direction this state and this nation is headed. Despite accounting for half the population, we women make up roughly 20 percent of Congress, state legislators and mayors. Yes, women are underrepresented in politics at every level of government, and yet, in response to our current science-denying state officials and our pussy-grabbing federal leadership, women have mobilized in larger numbers to run for office than ever before. In January of this year, 10,000 Montana women grabbed their Patagonia jackets and donned them with pink pussy hats, huddling together, fists and protests signs in air. The Washington, D.C. "Women's March" drew 500,000. A woman's place is in the resistance, indeed. Gender matters in communication, media portrayals and citizens' attitudes toward their government, and no article about the future of the Montana Democratic Party—or any party—should so wildly omit our leadership or our opinion. As a longtime Indy reader and supporter, I demand better.

Rep. Ellie Hill Smith



I think Gianforte should invite the same reporter to ask the same question and answer it honestly ("Conservatives aren't going to be thrilled about Gianforte's $50,000 donation to press freedom group," June 8). Then I would maybe consider it a "sincere" apology.

Brooke Jones


Funny, I'm conservative and I'm thrilled. Thanks for judging. Your Missoulian/Lee Enterprises bias is already shining through. How 'bout you go back to just reporting the news?

Patti Earling

Not her representative

Gianforte is a violent man whose morals are questionable. He said he takes "full responsibility" for attacking the reporter on election eve, but he won't explain why his staff made false statements as to what happened. He had plenty of time to file for re-election, however. If the House of Representatives has any integrity left they will not seat him. Even if the Republicans cave to their party over what is ethical and admit him to Congress, Gianforte will never represent me!

Mari von Hoffmann



I thought the tree thingy said it was "The Arm" transitioning and there's a second that is its evil doppelganger, a replacement for the dwarf that we first met 25 years ago ("Talking creamed corn, Agent Cooper and Twin Peaks after 25 years," June 8). Did I just make that up in my head?

Carrie Ann Mallino

Here's a tip...

As a former dishwasher, cook and server, I've never experienced money voluntarily rolling downhill, but I have experienced the assumption that one job is harder or more worthy than another ("A tip-splitting case at Missoula's The Keep could change the way Montana restaurants do business," June 8). We can bemoan wage equity in restaurants—until you unionize each and every one, it ain't gonna happen. Litigation like this only harms fellow workers, but I suppose she thought she deserved that money more than they did.

Julie Janj


Suicide needs mental health care, not disarmament ("Too hot to handle?" June 8). In fact, making it all about guns does a huge disservice to those in need of mental health care.

"Oh I'm sorry you're depressed. Let me take that gun away. Now you're all better."

This author should be ashamed for politicizing his friend's illness.

Matthew Neer

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