David Daniels

Talk is cheap when speaking of freedom. Everyone has an opinion, including those who believe Americans have too much freedom.

All my life, I was told to protect and defend freedom.  I was taught to respect patriots who gave their lives for freedom, our freedom.

Republicans now threaten this freedom. They are united under a creed of white nationalism and evangelical delusion, led by a convicted felon.

For women facing unexpected pregnancy or complications, or minor children who are raped, losing the freedom to choose whether to carry to term is life-shattering. Women are dying because of the Dobbs decision. Republicans should NEVER interfere between a doctor and patient. This goes for transitioning youth too. Republicans should never dictate that women have more babies. This is a fundamental loss of freedom.

Recent press reports also highlight efforts by Republicans to restrict access to contraception, in-vitro fertilization, and no-fault divorce.

In Texas, the attorney general has sought medical records of women traveling out of state, targeting women who’ve done no wrong. The Texas Maternal Death Task Force can’t even discuss abortion.

Republicans have been banning and burning books. They look like Salem witch hunters. In Florida, they even banned a book about banning books. When I go into a bookstore or library and see books that don’t interest me, I put them back on the shelf for others. No need to burn or ban anything.

In Montana, state-funded scientists are prohibited from discussing effects of climate change while our attorney general foolishly tries to ban Tik Tok, further restricting our freedom of speech. Republican congressional leaders want to prohibit Palestinians from visiting Montana out of fear we might hear their side of the story. Republicans are hell-bent on restricting what we see, read, and think while punishing those who oppose their tyranny.

In Florida, public bridges can only be illuminated in red, white, and blue colors.  A rainbow bridge might prove weak and collapse. Pride flags are banned. Teachers are afraid to teach and medical doctors are afraid to practice medicine. Election workers, librarians, and public health workers are routinely harassed and threatened.

The Colorado GOP encourages pulling children out of public schools while in Arizona, the Superintendent of Public Instruction tried to ban “woke” student clubs, such as Amnesty International, when those clubs didn’t even exist.

In South Dakota, preferred pronouns and tribal affiliations are forbidden in state correspondence. Why do Republicans fear people expressing who they are?

Why are Republicans afraid of African-American Studies, Latino Heritage clubs, drag shows, braided hair, and fair elections?  Republicans blocked representative Zoey Zephyr from participating in the Montana legislature because she stood up against their fanaticism. We should all follow Zoey’s lead and take a stand against right-wing fascism. We owe it to those patriots who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

People need to consider the cost of surrendering basic freedoms in exchange for a Trump presidency. It’s time to protect our freedoms from executive felons, statehouse stooges, congressional Orks, and an illegitimate Supreme Court.

Voters should decide the outcome of elections. But already, Trump’s people are planning to challenge the results. The “Big Lie” was exactly that, a lie. Recruiting fake electors, manipulating vote totals, stealing secret documents, and summoning rioters and traitors to the Capitol are all direct threats to our country. And now, Republicans are conspiring to use more lies to further dismantle our freedoms, incite violence and tear our nation apart.