Legislators, focus on who is voting 
rather than what you’re reading


​I know we are supposed to be talking about the “chaos” in the White House, which doesn’t seem to affect more than about three people and dozens of overstimulated reporters on the East Coast, but I had a much more interesting interaction this week in the mountain community of Crested Butte when I saw late at night, ambling across the road near the downtown area, a large black bear.

I’d read about the danger but I hadn’t believed it until I saw it with my own eyes — the Russian threat.

The Russian Federation was loose in America and where better to strike at the heart of our national interest than a small town in the heartland.

I had heard a lot recently about the Russians attempting to hack our democracy and while I wasn’t exactly sure that I had a clear understanding of what the term “hack” was supposed to mean, I realized the people using it didn’t either so I couldn’t let that stand in the way of my effort to preserve our way of life.

I tried to think of various methods to use and thought I could emulate those that had been put into practice by some of our leaders. Immediately then, I channeled President Obama. “Cut it out Vladimir” I shouted.

Granted, the bear looked a bit more like a Dimitri to me but I thought I should try what our past president had put into play that certainly must have snapped the Russian President back into line.

No response whatsoever from the beast, I thought about trying a strategy used by President and Mrs. Clinton on the Russians but I didn’t see any pockets on the bear, so I couldn’t ask it for money.

Techniques employed by President Trump weren’t available to me either since I don’t have a Twitter account.

My last hope — placing a call to Senator Chuck Schumer for advice — didn’t seem realistic because I realized he was probably giving a speech at a fundraiser for the Committee to Eliminate Citizenship or something that evening and was probably inaccessible.

I decided if I couldn’t stop the intrusion, I would at least shadow the foreign agent to see his or her ultimate destination, which would go far in determining the method this menace from the Urals was hoping to use to bring down our Republic.

Later, I could scour the surrounding area for signs of a parachute or glider that had brought the provocateur to our area.

I surveyed my surroundings to determine if I identified any member of the Trump family but was unable to locate anyone matching their description. Also, I did not see any chauffeurs in the area, so I felt as though that possibility was eliminated.

I did think for a moment that I observed a Washington Post reporter but upon closer inspection realized it was merely a florescent light in the process of burning out.

As I followed the animal some little distance, I discovered that the destination was not what I had feared, the county clerk’s office or a warehouse storing voting machines — instead it was a trashcan behind a hotel.

It was then I realized that the owners of the trashcan were much more interested in preserving its contents than our Legislature appears to be concerned about the integrity of our election process. After all, the trashcan appeared to have a lock on it for the purpose of preventing unauthorized access.

At this point, I’d like to point out I’d rather not have this rooted-in-fact parable generate any more correspondence from our county clerk about how there’s no election fraud around here or in Colorado or wherever.

No one is suggesting anyone here isn’t doing the best job they can. It’s just that any state (or nation for that matter) that won’t allow officials to ask for verifiable photographic identification of who is voting, or won’t allow reasonable purging of voting records of those who haven’t cast a vote in some time or generally regards the ballot as less valuable than a library card cannot honestly claim to be outraged about anyone placing false news items on the internet about Hillary Clinton to mess with public opinion, when it turned out the real stories were often worse.

So maybe this next session all these outraged legislators should scurry back into their chambers and be more concerned about who’s voting, than what they’re reading.

Rick Wagner is a Grand Junction attorney who maintains a political blog, The War on Wrong. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Like all too many, Mr. Wagner is looking for solutions in the mechanics of things, and doing so with an ideology in mind.  That is why such individuals will, on one hand, claim that they are in favor of local controls, while on the other (when it suits them) demand that things be centralized at the federal level.  That is a contradiction, one which they either choose to ignore or minimize its dangers.

The responsibility to insure the accuracy of voter roles and the obligation to insure that only those allowed to vote do get to vote is that of the local county clerks and recorders, not that of the state or federal government.  This “witch hunt” which the current administration has undertaken to prove what they believe, but which has not been borne out every time it has been “investigated” is not good for this country despite what Mr. Wagner and this administration may want us to believe.  It is nothing more than an attempt to discourage some from voting by frightening them away, or otherwise intimidating them, into not voting and only for fear that those individuals won’t vote their way.

Some of us are mature enough and can accept that not everyone believes as we do, and therefore vote another way.  However, we will not discourage such individuals from voting.  It is their right to do so and we will that right which is theirs.  The only thing we can do is attempt to convince them to vote a certain way, not through any type of intimidation, but by well reasoned and logical arguments backed up by hard facts.

Mr. Wagner is like many other so-called “conservatives”, hung up on Ms. Clinton.  Ms. Clinton is just something they bring up because they really have nothing else to talk about or discuss and are left with nothing else but to regurgitate and gossip.  That is the type of thinking of an individual not only “stuck in the past” but (ever more importantly)has nothing positive for the future.  Such individuals are not really conservative, but regressive, stuck in the mindset of “Well we have always done this or done it this way, so we should just keep doing it”.  Such individuals, if they had the opportunity, would take us all the way back to the primitive “stone age”, a period of which they appeared to be enamored.  “Ah, those good old days”.

Many need to come to the realization that those “good old days” are gone, and will never return.  Such as Mr. Wagner (as well as many others) need to get over that romanticized version of the past which they have in their heads, as well as the romanticized version of themselves that all too frequently goes right along with it.

Whether we like it or not, and whether we want it to or not, the entire world is constantly changing.  Far too many, it would seem, have been sleeping under that proverbial “apple tree”, some for decades, and now find themselves in a world they don’t recognize and can’t handle, never mind have any type of idea for the future.

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