Better Fight

It’s time to move forward, make peace and get along

By Mike Jopek

Well, it’s over. The election of a lifetime ended. Hopefully it was decisive and we’re not letting an uber-conservative U.S. Supreme Court decide yet another election.

It’s exhausting remaining mad at the cousins for supporting a boneheaded candidate. The minority superspreaders dictate how long the rest of us must stay sheltered and away from friends. The animosity people feel for their fellow Americans is tiring. It’s time to move forward, make peace and get along.

Everyone should share the sentiment that it is our collective job to keep the fabric of society from unraveling. Over this year it’s felt increasingly apparent that a small percentage of people who won’t adhere to simple health protocols keep the rest of society from being safer or businesses open. That’s bully stuff.

It’s exhausting to see that the loudest routinely win politics. That’s unfair to the local hospitals that are filling up with sick, the grieving families who cannot visit loved ones in assisted living, or the businesses that can barely remain open, pay employees and make a living.

We simply must do better. We are in this together. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t care who you voted for. It doesn’t care if it infects a young child or your grandmother. And it is just as happy to keep you on life support as kill you. It’s time to govern.

The Flathead County Commission must do better and not ignore the leadership requirements that are required of any powerful elected official. Some politicians take things less seriously until it affects their personal lives. This is big stuff. Do the right thing.

We simply don’t need more loved ones in palliative care. We need to give the hospitals, nurses, doctors and paramedics a break. They deserve it. The health care professionals have been on the front line of this sickness for eight-plus months. Send the nurses a bit of love and stay safe.

The bigwig scientists and pharmaceutical manufacturers assure us that a vaccine is upcoming in months. We’re likely putting too much trust that a vaccine quickly assures much normalcy. The pollsters tell us that many people are unsure if they’ll inject the inoculant into their arm.

If Montana is truly interested in keeping the economy strong, the downtown businesses open, and our locals healthy then it must embrace proper safety protocols that make it possible. Elsewise we are headed toward one wet and cold Flathead ski winter riddled with sickness and economic despair.

It’s reasonable that realtors and construction workers throughout Montana are making a lot of money during the pandemic. I’m happy for them. Many deserve to make big money. I’m also happy for the homeowners who got ahead by selling their place for a tidy, even eye-popping, profit. Yet no local homeowner will like what is about to happen to property taxes throughout the Flathead with such accelerated land speculation.

There’s so much more to the Flathead economy than just land speculation. There are thousands of young and hardworking families working to afford to live here. The workers do most of the work that keeps the rest of us in the valley well fed, properly cared for, healthy and comfortable.

My friends, it’s time the Flathead grew up. We’re truly in this together, whether your candidates won or my candidates won. Bring back the America where we can get along, disagree on opinions courteously, and keep each other safe regardless of what political team we voted for yesterday.

If we’re going to collectively endure a Flathead winter full of cold air, plentiful snow, and a raging pandemic that sickens and kills indiscriminately, then we need leadership based on reason. It’s time to get real. The election is over. Lead the way.

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