Looking out from my garret this morning, I saw something that chilled me to the bone: my neighbor’s house. Disgusting, as usual, but something even more chilling lurked atop it, and on the trees, lawn and garden tools below: snow. Layer upon layer of pale, revolting snow, blighting our town before I had even finished my son’s Halloween candy! The first week of November is too soon for this sort of thing, and I place the blame for our unseasonable weather squarely where it belongs: city government.

Fact: None of this snow was here before Mayor Engen took office. Back then, when Missoula was good, snow fell hardly at all. You’d buy a house for $6,000 and it didn’t even come with a shovel. You didn’t have to clean off the sidewalk, because what was a sidewalk? But then old tax-and-spend Engen came along with his progressive agenda, and suddenly frozen water crystals are falling from the sky.

Additional fact: This snow isn’t even from here. As near as I can tell, it blew in from Washington state, or possibly California. I would have no problem with real Montana snow, but all this out-of-state precipitation is destroying the character of our winter. It used to be that by late December, Missoula would get a light dusting of ordinary, hardworking snow. But now the streets are covered with pretentious snow that doesn’t understand our values, choking traffic and making it impossible for real Montanans to live here.

Unfortunately, this influx of foreign snow is part of Engen’s ultra-liberal plan for the city. Step one: a third bagel place. Step two: it snows. Step three: higher property taxes, ostensibly for snow removal but really to fund city employees’ lavish lifestyles.

I don’t have the exact numbers, but the 2017 budget for the city of Missoula was approximately $19 billion. Seventeen billion went to settling lawsuits. The other $2 billion is waste: solid gold cars for the mayor and his body doubles, NASA-style supercomputers to replace the parking meters and cosmetic surgery for anyone who wants it, i.e., Californians. Meanwhile, the rest of us struggle to make rent, turning our haggard faces to the sky and asking why, God, why? Yet God cannot hear us, because even though he is from Montana, he moved to Denver to get a job.

opinion shovel

I know what you’re thinking: City government doesn’t control the weather. That’s exactly the problem! Even though real Missoulians know snow is ruining our town, the mayor refuses to act. Secure in his ivory tower, he offers only excuses. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he whines. “That’s not what a weather satellite does,” he sneers. “I asked you this morning not to come back here,” he simpers. These are the rantings of a despot who will do anything to hold on to power, not the measured words of a pragmatist who knows that more snow will literally kill us all.

I, for one, have had enough, and enough is too much. Now is not the time for political correctness or partisan bickering. Neither is it the time to reach across the aisle and look to our shared values. Now is the time for real solutions. We must stop snow before it starts, possibly with a big laser but definitely using market-based solutions that create jobs and ensure a better life for our grandchildren, who are—let’s be honest, here—doomed to literal slavery if things keep going the way they are.

I literally hoped never to write this, but the time has come to act. The Engen administration has failed. The old ideas aren’t working, and now it’s time for a new leader to stop working, too. I have long resisted service of all kinds, but I believe the moment is right for me to announce my candidacy for mayor, U.S. Senate and/or City Council. I will do whatever the people require of me, so long as it entails a position of leadership with salary and benefits.

Am I a political outsider? Yes. Do I lack experience? You’d better believe it. When other people talk for more than a few seconds, do I hear a humming sound that gets louder and louder until it resolves into the 2011 hit “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO? Increasingly. But I believe these aspects of my character are strengths, not weaknesses.

I believe the time is right for me to enter the 2017 mayoral/council/senate race. I’m running on a common-sense platform of controlling the weather, halting immigration from other states and ending government overreach. I didn’t want to get into politics, despite the earnest entreaties of literally several of you. But my only alternative was to shovel the walk, and there are some things I just won’t do.

Dan Brooks writes about politics, culture and the heavy yoke of public service at combatblog.net.

Load comments