Montana’s GOP: A pack of hypocrites when it comes to personal freedom
The Montana GOP loves them some freedom, but only when its smothered in their own special GOP brand of Freedom Sauce. While they push issues such as setting up local militias, giving sheriffs ultimate local law enforcement authority, giving healthcare providers freedom to deny services to patients because of differing morals, and expanding individual gun rights including no longer needing a permit to carry a concealed weapon; on many other issues currently up for debate in Helena the GOP is proving that they want to curtail local decision-making and even the role that individual citizens play in politics and policy making.
Perhaps the biggest GOP attack on individual freedoms in Montana is the GOP’s push to override voter initiates and weaken the voter initiative process in the future. If Montana voters had passed initiatives banning abortion or abolishing the state’s DEQ I’m sure conservatives would be praising the Montana citizenry’s grounded and well thought out votes. But as it stands our current crop of Tea Party clowns are trying to circumvent our rights as Montana citizens. Numerous proposed bills target our ability to have a say in our own state.
- HB 161 aims to reverse the voter’s will in legalizing medical marijuana
- SB 204 would double the number of signatures required for a voter initiative to make it onto the ballot
- HB 292 aims to modify our state constitution, taking away our right to a “clean and healthful environment.”
- HB 280 and SB 176 both restrict in some way a women’s right to choose
- HB 392 aims to redefine Montana citizenship, excluding many that are currently citizens
- They killed a proposal to switch to a mail in ballot system which would have greatly increased voter turnout
- SB 116 aims to take away a person’s right to decide how to end their own life.
- HB 198 expands eminent domain powers to the benefit of large corporations over Montana landowners
- SB 209 takes away a city/county’s discretion in deciding what factors should be considered when approving a subdivision
- SB 228 would prohibit the state from setting up insurance exchanges
- HB 431 would remove the day of state general elections from the list of recognized state holidays, making it more difficult for people to vote.
So the GOP loves individual freedom and choice and advocates for legal authority to be vested in institutions that are closest to the citizenry… except when people or local governments make the wrong choices… in that case it seems the GOPers don’t want us to have the freedom to choose our own path.