Montana Democrats suffered historic losses up and down the ballot in the November election. Rather than engage in some much-needed self-reflection to develop policies that appeal to Montanans, they are now trotting out every retread they can find to echo nonsensical talking points. Ken Toole is the latest example.
The 2020 election results made it clear that Montanans do not want the Democrat Party’s extremist policies in our state. We don’t want their open borders that are enabling Mexican drug cartels to traffic methamphetamine into our state. We don’t want their critical race theory being forced into our schools teaching kids that they are inherently racist if they are white. And we don’t want their gun control regimes that punish law-abiding citizens at the expense of public safety.
Fortunately, Attorney General Austin Knudsen is in office working to enhance public safety in our state and fighting to protect Montanans’ rights.
The number of violent crimes nearly doubled from 2013 to 2020, according to Montana Board of Crime Control statistics. This includes the number of homicides skyrocketing from 18 to 50. Law enforcement officials across the state agree that this massive increase is directly linked to methamphetamine, effectively 100 percent of which is trafficked across the porous southern border.
It doesn’t take much to pin the border crisis on Democrat policy. It was the Biden administration that stopped wall construction and violated the law when it suspended deportations on Biden’s first day in office. Attorney General Knudsen has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, attempting to stop this dangerous immigration policy and force the Democrat president to enforce the laws that are on the books.
Democrats in cities like Bozeman are trying to force critical race theory into school curriculums over the objections of parents. This toxic ideology segregates students based on race and teaches them that white people are inherently racist. Again, Attorney General Knudsen is stepping up and protecting Montana school kids from racial discrimination.
In an Attorney General’s Opinion, which has the effect of law in Montana, he outlined specific examples of activities that have been undertaken in schools across the country and explained why they constitute illegal racial discrimination under state and federal law. The opinion has been held up as a national model and is being emulated in other states. Rather than agree that racial discrimination has no place in Montana schools, Democrats – depending on the day of the week – are flip-flopping between claiming CRT doesn’t exist or that it does exist but isn’t actually racist.
Montana has one of the highest rates of firearm ownership in the nation, so the silence from Jon Tester and other Montana Democrats on President Biden’s highly controversial nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is deafening. Chipman is a gun control lobbyist who has compared gun owners to “Tiger Kings” preparing for a “zombie apocalypse.”
Since his nomination was first announced, Austin Knudsen has been leading opposition to this nominee who threatens our gun rights and the ATF’s law enforcement capabilities. He rallied 20 other state attorneys general to oppose his nomination over concerns that “Chipman will make Americans less safe by diverting ATF resources to attack the rights of law-abiding gun owners instead of cracking down on violent criminals and criminal organizations.” Former ATF agents, each with at least 25 years of experience, recently agreed saying “David’s strong personal beliefs on firearms issues will create serious and long-lasting problems for the Bureau and the effective execution of its law enforcement mission.”
Montanans rejected the Democrat Party’s destructive policies and chose Republicans up and down the ballot. These leaders, like Attorney General Knudsen, are doing what they were elected to do. Gnashing of teeth from the likes of John Toole and other Democrats will do little to change that – or appeal to voters in future elections.
By: Rep. Wylie Galt (R-Martinsdale). Mr. Galt is the Speaker of the Montana House of Representatives.