Op-Ed by Esther Tilly
Governor Brad Little woke a sleeping giant in March of 2020. Many Idahoans who were content to just live their lives and let “politicians” run the state woke up when Little blatantly violated the state and federal Constitutions. His actions were like a disruption in the force, and instantly people knew he did wrong. Now the giant is awake, and politicians who were playing their game below the radar are scrambling to keep their house of cards from falling.
One such politician is Senate President Pro Tempore, Chuck Winder. The 7-term politician from District 20 recently made a splash in the news by claiming the Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) is “one of the biggest threats we have to our democracy in our state.”
Before I proceed, a quick but important note is in order. “Dear Senator Winder, Idaho has a republican form of government, as mandated by Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. We are not a democracy. One would think that you, being the highest-ranking member of Idaho’s Senate, who happens to be registered as a Republican, would know that.”
Back to the main point. Those in Idaho’s government who’ve been building their house of cards for decades, who have forgotten they are elected to represent the citizens of this state, and who have been sucked into protecting state institutions and big business at the expense of individual liberty, don’t like it when individuals or organizations like the IFF expose the truth. It just so happens that Winder considers IFF an easy target, so he feels he can take the shot.
What Winder fails to realize is that the now-awakened giant – the people of Idaho who understand the principles of constitutional government – see his news-splashing statement as nothing more than the antics of a toddler in a kiddie pool. Would Winder be so bold as to say that the American Conservative Union (ACU) – the organization that hosts CPAC every year with all those big name conservative politicians – is also a threat to Idaho’s “democracy”? Of course he wouldn’t. That would be political suicide.
What Winder won’t want to acknowledge publicly is that IFF’s ratings of Idaho’s politicians are practically identical to the ACU’s ratings of Idaho’s politicians. What would the gentleman from District 20 have to say about that? Probably not much. He knows it’s true, but in Winder’s house of cards, he thinks the giant is still asleep.
No longer is it possible to place an “R” after one’s name and vote for more oppression while hoping that vote stays out of the public eye. No longer are Republican representatives left alone while voting to restrict the inalienable rights of Idahoans. No longer can those who claim to be conservatives vote for progressive policies without getting called out.
Those who took part in building the house of cards – including former Idaho Supreme Court Justice and State Attorney General Jim Jones – will say whatever they can to keep the house of cards standing. They ignore facts. They twist facts. They spin and they smear. It’s all a distraction, because they don’t want Idahoans to know what they’ve been doing to slowly change the way government works.
The people of Idaho – the now-awakened giant – can see right through the manipulative rhetoric attempting to defend a morally corrupt fortress under siege. But their fortress is nothing but a house of cards, and, being corrupt, it is going to fall. The now-awakened giant is seeking to replace representatives who work for the state instead of the people, and for good reason. Representatives who support a growing, tyrannical government instead of the citizens of Idaho are the greatest threat to our republic.
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