Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Spend Jan. 6, 2022 acting in defense of democracy

| January 4, 2022 7:00 AM

To the editor:

Almost one year ago, on Jan. 6, 2021, our beloved country suffered an unprecedented attack by the forces of darkness: not from foreign terrorists, but from an angry, hateful mob of domestic insurrectionists hell bent on destroying democracy by stopping Congress from certifying the 2020 election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States of America. That mob was motivated by the Big Lie: that Biden had “stolen” the election on Nov. 3. The Big Lie was started many months before Nov. 3, as the former president and his allies, fearing legitimate defeat, began the drumbeat that the 2020 elections would be fraudulent.

Their cowardly strategy worked, and by the actual Election Day, many of their audience believed in the Big Lie. That belief led thousands of them to attack our democracy several months later. The attack did not succeed in preventing Biden’s presidential inauguration, but, in its aftermath, Big Lie adherents have not stopped perpetuating it.

All across this country, government officials have invoked the Big Lie to justify the passage of draconian election laws, which will deprive many citizens of their constitutional voting rights. This breaks my heart.

I am most saddened to see that our three Lincoln County elected state officials, Sen. Mike Cuffe and representatives Steve Gunderson and Neil Duram, have promoted not only the passage of such laws, but have also called for a Special Select Committee of the Montana legislature to investigate their claim of election abuses. (Ironically, none of the three has claimed their own selection was less than pure, as required by the Montana Constitution.) Their request was denied as such an action would require a majority vote by the state Senate, which they do not have. More importantly, there are no facts to justify the expenditure of either time or money on such a fishing expedition.

It’s resolution time and my resolution for 2022 is to educate myself — and others — about the treasure of democracy that we inherited from our forbearers and do whatever I can to protect it. On Jan. 6, 2022, I urge my fellow citizens to take some action to celebrate our democracy and to thwart its erosion by the proponents of the Big Lie. A good place to start is to watch the excellent documentary chronicling the creation of the 1972 Montana Constitution. At the time, and to this day, our Constitution has been heralded as a landmark example of cooperation and compromise, ratified by the citizens of Montana from all walks of life to uphold our traditional values.

Like making sausage, the process is messy but the end result is scrumptious. It runs a little less than an hour — share it with family and friends. You can find the documentary at or just “google” the title, “For This and Future Generations.”

Ann German