Opinion

|

Uncommon Ground

Your Future

Mike Cooney is a solid Montanan, determined to get things done

My younger friends, the future belongs to you. Boomers like me barely manage the situation, as you’ve noticed in 2020. We’ve choked down that same filthy air; it’s sickening.

Americans are fleeing from raging wildfires, a highly contagious virus, unimaginable hurricanes, tornadoes, and widespread economic suffering.

A truce on the fierce partisan warfare between political parties might help. There’s enough nonsensical rhetoric to turn off any electorate. Don’t fall for that mistake again. The future of hope belongs to you, my friends. The vote is the path.

The climate and coronavirus deniers are the same. They won’t comprehend that science is fluid, evolves over time, that it’s today’s best understanding, and not opinions or mistakes of the past.

Last week, smoke from the regional infernos choked the Flathead making it hard to work outdoors in the fields. People who flocked to our state, fleeing sickness and distress, got a bitter taste of real mountain living.

It’s a sad time. A haze was seen all the way on the east coast. The air is as intolerable as D.C. and a killer virus is on the loose.

It’s not always like this. I’m old enough to recall summers routinely full of crisp autumn air and a nation complete with people that liked one another. Today’s politics feels abnormal, makes reasonable Montanans question the kind of place and opportunities we’re leaving the kids.

We crave elected leaders who know how to govern, working with all kind of people.  Our fight is not with each other rather the killer virus and raging forest fires that are consuming our planet.

I got to know Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney decades ago when I was much younger and elected to represent the people of Whitefish at the state capitol. He was a state senator.

Over the years of working with Cooney, I saw it, his no-nonsense passion for making good policy. He never espoused to hold all the answers, allowed a democratic process to find a reasoned path forward.

I was in Helena for two of the three times when Montana voters decided that the state House should be split 50/50 between the parties. Leaderships shared the responsibility of governing. It was very hard work, nearly impossible at times. The end product was good.

I’ve seen old-fashioned cooperation among Montanans to create job opportunities, advance public education, enhance rural health care, and conserve our public lands.

Over the years some really bad legislative bills got vetoed by the executive branch with former Gov. Brian Schweitzer even imprinting pubic attention to legislative kookiness with a hot branding iron.

The 150 lawmakers representing the districts across our big state don’t all care equally for values like public education, rural health care, or land conservation.

We’ve known each other long enough through words printed on these columns or the decades spent pushing to make the Flathead a better community to live, recreate and work. We’ve strived to be honest, kind and forthright.

Fellow citizens, I’m asking for your help. The most pertinent election facing Montanans this fall is that of the governor. It’s one elected position that directly affects your life on matters like public education, rural health care, making a living, and outdoor recreation.

Mike Cooney is a solid Montanan, determined to get things done. He’s not as exciting as a rock-and-roll drummer, though he sounds decent on TV. Cooney is calm, hardworking, and persistent. Time and time again, Cooney has proven himself a problem solver. You’ll like him.

My younger friends, you are the largest voting bloc in America. This is your time, your planet, and your future. Vote for Mike Cooney for governor. You won’t regret the vote. You’ll regret not voting, trust me, plenty do last go. My older voter friends, remember, it’s for the kids.