Letters to the editor Nov. 26

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Trust never lost

Recently a letter was printed on these pages by a reader who wanted to tell Kalispell Regional Medical Center that healing does not come without trust. I can imagine that there are people who have never been sick or who have never sat and prayed for the health of a relative or a friend or a loved one who were seriously ill. But you can trust me when I say that there has been healing, time and time again within the doors of KRMC; and when it might not have occurred elsewhere. And I know that I do not speak for myself alone when I say that trust does not need to be restored where trust has never been lost. My heart is heavy for those who have lost loved ones, but I share in the joy of those who have been healed and thank all the personnel of KRMC for their parts in that.

— Bill Ball, Whitefish

Badger Two-Medicine legacy continues

The Badger Two-Medicine on the Rocky Mountain Front is a sacred area for the Blackfeet tribe and one of Montana’s most spectacular landscapes This week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took an important step forward in protecting this part of Montana’s heritage when he moved to have the Department of Interior appeal a federal court ruling reinstating oil and gas leases in the Badger.

For decades, conservationists, hunters and the Blackfeet tribe have sought to protect the Badger-Two Medicine from oil and gas development. Oil and gas leases issued in the 1980’s have long cast a dark cloud over the Badger and we applaud Secretary

Zinke’s decision to have these leases terminated.

Montana sportsmen and women have defended the Badger, not only for its recreational opportunities, but for the habitat it provides to the wildlife we care about, including elk, grizzly bear, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. We have joined with the

Blackfeet in seeking federal protection for the cultural and spiritual values of the area. With Secretary Zinke’s help, this wonderful legacy is one step closer to be secure for this and future generations.

— Dave Chadwick, Executive Director of Montana Wildlife Federation; Tom France, Regional Director National Wildlife Federation

We are a republic, not a democracy

Inside the cover of my VOTER Information Pamphlet I was disappointed and angered to read the message from Montana Secretary of State Cory Stapleton, when he referred to our ‘democracy’ twice, ending with “The mission of the Office of the Secretary of State is to help commerce thrive, promote democracy, and to record history for future generation.”

I am saddened by the frequency with which our form of government is incorrectly referred to as a democracy, and I would highly recommend that Secretary Stapleton and others take the time to ready our constitution, wherein the word ‘democracy’ cannot be found.

Many promoters of our so-called democracy have even gone so far as to call for abolishing some of our most essential American institutions, calling for eliminating the Electoral College, blocking confirmation of unpopular Supreme Court justices, and tying representation in the US Senate to state populations as opposed to our current equal representation. They rationalize by telling us these institutions are not democratic enough. We must bow to the will of the majority.

I must remind Mr. Stapleton and other advocates of “democracy” that the government of the United States was never intended to be a pure democracy. Most of the institutions today’s activists complain about were deliberately designed to prevent the damaging, fatal effects of too much democracy. Rather than defects that require correction, these institutions were (and are) crucial to the preservation of our individual liberties.

Our founding fathers recognized that, in its pure form, democracy would be perilous. Thomas Jefferson knew that “a democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.” And John Adams said that democracy “never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Quoting Timothy Snowball of Pacific Legal Foundation, “In the United States, the people rule, but only through institutions designed to protect the individual and minority from the tyranny of the majority. That system is worth protecting and preserving.”

— Lauralee O’Neil, Kalispell

Hats off to Sykes

I wanted to send a short note really commending Sykes Diner for all their work in preparing all those meals so that those less fortunate can enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner. My hat sure goes off to them.

— Robert Tebeau, Kalispell

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