Theory versus practice dilemma

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

To the editor,

First Matt Rosendale tries to explain away why he didn’t do the right thing. And then he spends the rest of the letter (What to the conservative is Juneteenth (sic)) mongering fear. First he says celebrating Emancipation is good in theory but bad in practice because the Left will use the celebration to tell hard truths about America’s past. And Rosendale then dredges up every possible complaint and fear anyone has ever had against anything ever connected to Liberalism in America. Finally, last paragraph, Rosendale awkwardly invokes two icons of America’s racist past in a gauzily insinuating (thanks George Will), proactive warning that his brand of thoughtless and yet racist hand-wringing might somehow be compared to the actions of these two racists. Methinks he doth protest too much?

But let me pose some questions for Mr. Rosendale. Is honesty theoretically good, but too hard in practice since people will ask hard questions, which he must then answer? Is honest and across-the-political-spectrum governance theoretically good, but too hard in practice since it may cost votes? As we all know, theory and practice never perfectly coincide. However the best politicians figure out some way to mesh good theory with good practice. Rosendale needs work on this.

Rosendale’s paralyzing fear of the Left seems a little overblown here in Montana, (which is the state he represents). After all, Montana has a Republican congressman, a Republican senator, a Republican governor, and furthermore Republicans control most local governments. His fears are unfounded, and I believe almost all Montanans are too sensible to be infected with this kind of unthinking paranoia.

Mark Lesniowski Dillon