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Posts published in “Day: February 22, 2022”



A couple of fellow opinion writers for Ridenbaugh Press wrote columns last week in their usually fine prose. I’m taking the liberty, in this space, to expand on both.

Conservative opiner Chuck Malloy wrote about the challenge of long service in Congress - specifically the re-election efforts expected from Idaho Second District Congressman Mike Simpson.

Simpson’s entering his 23rd year in that national chair after many years in the Idaho Legislature where he became Speaker of the House near the end of his “local” service to the state.

Much of Malloy’s piece centered on Simpson’s past statements backing the proposed breaching of Snake River dams in a huge - and controversial - effort to save native salmon. That position doesn’t sit well with many farmers and ranchers in Eastern and Southern Idaho.

Malloy seemed to be suggesting Simpson’s position on that single issue could be the Congressman’s downfall with voters. He may well be right. That, and a well-financed Conservative opponent.

Single-issue voters have long been an anathema for politicians. No matter what other positive, constructive work may have been done by the office holder over a long career, one vote on one issue can be their downfall.

Malloy’s piece brought memories of another Idaho politician turned out by voters after lengthy service in Congress.

The late Senator Frank Church held that office for 24 years. He not only represented the interests of Idaho but, through his opposition to the Viet Nam war and wide exposure for work on national intelligence activities, he became well-known. A late-in-his-career unsuccessful run for President also gained him national notoriety. A notoriety that seemed unwelcome to some of the folks back home.

In 1980, there was a resurgence of the Republican Party across the country. Idaho voters dumped Church in favor of a fresh, likeable face in Steve Symms. The Panama vote, and a seemingly unwelcome national platform, just didn’t sit well with conservative Idaho voters.

Many pollsters and Idaho pundits credited that loss to two things. First, Church voted to give the Panama Canal back to Panama - a vote that angered many of the conservatives back home. Second, many voters - especially Republicans - seemed to believe it was time to replace the long-serving, nationally known Senator with someone with deep Idaho roots. Symms was their guy. With deep local roots.

Seems odd that, when you have someone doing the job they were elected to do, serving the state and the country, you decide at some point down the road to end that public servant’s career. Just turn ‘em out because of a single issue vote or because, after years of service, it’s “time for someone new.”

The other opiner, Dr. Dan Schmidt who lives in North Idaho, wrote a column about delusions and people who believe them.

One of his “talking points” was that you can’t get people who believe their delusions are real to accept hard fact. He related, in his medical practice, he’d had patients with delusions and his attempts to understand them. He seemed to be saying, for some, delusions are more real than facts.

As a nation, we’re now dealing with the politics of delusion. “Trumpers,” who’ve become “true believers” in the fraudulent B.S. of Donald Trump, are beyond being convinced of his con game by factual evidence.

DJT appears to be just a step away from one or more civil - and possibly criminal - indictments. There are some 23 investigations underway and it’s expected one or more of them will result in charges - and likely convictions - on one or more counts.

Faced with even that hard - factual evidence - don’t look for “Trumpers” to accept new developments. While it’s true some are falling away, and Donald’s national influence is on the wane, a hardcore of several million Americans will still be counted in his cult.

The delusions Trump constantly spreads are, of course, supported by Faux Neus, One Amurica Neus and other far right sources. So, those deluded are having their delusions reinforced daily. If Hannity, Ingraham or Ducey says it, “Hey folks, it’s gotta be real!”

If, as Dr. Schmidt opines, fact can’t get through delusions, how are we supposed to deal with millions of voters who are delusional?

The answer seems to be, leave ‘em alone and hope their false “reality” will fade along with them. Or, that eventually, they’ll come around and accept new facts. Real facts. If they don’t, so be it. If they do, give ‘em a big welcome!

I hope my fellow Ridenbaugh Press brethren aren’t annoyed with by “piggybacking” their fine works. They’re welcome on my “back” anytime.