You Decide

It feels like the people who control Congress and the White House are doing everything possible to make it harder for us

By Mike Jopek

I purchased a new lawn mower. The old Troy-Bilt was done. I opted for a 190cc Honda motor with an AWD Husqvarna frame. Who knew they even made all-wheel-drive walk mowers?

The dang thing is fast. It’s what I imagine a treadmill feels like. The mower encourages me along as it chows the green. The lawn has grown like mad in May’s early heat. Some rain would clearly escalate the growth and advance my new and unexpected exercise program.

The yard looks great, the dandelion flowers are mowed down and the green grass airs as fresh as it does every other spring. That greenness is something I notice frequently after those long winters. It is just so vibrant and renewed this time of year.

Soon the drought and relentless heat will drive the life out of the grass for the season. I’ll miss it, but the thought of watering the front lawn is too much to bear. Right up there with bottling our water and shipping it to California.

It feels early for such heat. We’re about three weeks behind on our farm chores, given the lateness of snow in the fields. Yet heat drove farm vegetables into fast growth. The lettuce, mizzuna and bok choy have all doubled in size the past week.

The cherries, pears, apples and plums are all blooming. It looks like a bounty year. It’s early. There are many factors determining the outcome.

Last fall, we planted hundreds of tulip bulbs into the ground. They put out a rainbow of color this spring in time for Mother’s Day. Mostly they’ve passed, along with the yellow daffodils. On their heels are the purple lupines and other springtime perennials.

Farmer’s markets are starting. Across the Flathead, local and not-so-local farmers will be displaying their products. Judging by local Instagram photos on the web, I’d say that Flathead farmers are again growing a big amount of fresh food.

This time of year, I don’t much leave our farm. It’s where the action is for me today. It also feels safe, far away from that constant barrage of nonsense, which has permeated society and daily reported on the news.

Every morning I read multiple newspapers online and often feel appalled. It’s like there’s no good news and corruption apparently has overrun the goodness of government.

In many ways, I try to shut it out. But the fire still burns within. I don’t know how much longer I can keep that political fire contained. Someone has to do something to help get government back on to the side of ordinary Americans.

At the federal level, it feels like the people who control Congress and the White House are doing everything possible to make it harder for us. They’re trying to take away health care from people and targeting massive deficit-exploding tax cuts toward the people and corporations who least need help.

Sitting on our dining room table is my election ballot. It arrived last week and rests there along with recent utility and insurance bills. I know what’s inside the envelope. Yet still don’t have a clear idea of which candidate I believe will perform the best for working and retired Montanans.

Montanans are fortunate; the slate of Democratic House candidates is fantastic. The contenders exhibit experience, statesmanship, passion and a history of getting stuff done for others.

This attitude of service is what I admire about politics, the notion that we can fix our problems and help make life easier for fellow Montanans.

I implore you to vote on June 5. Do it. It matters big-time. Sure mow the lawn. Do your work. But vote for the future, our kids and elders. You decide what’s next.

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