Those of us who live in Park County like to think of it as a little bit of heaven. We can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and ignore much of the strife going on in the rest of the country. But is that really true? Let’s look at a few things that are affecting us here.

The Russian war in Ukraine is far removed unless you have family there, but we are not isolated from its effects. Yes, the price of gas was going through the roof before Putin started his campaign, but the strategy to isolate Russia from the world economy (which I agree with) has made the energy situation much worse by lowering the availability of natural gas and oil. Remember, gas was $2.25 on Biden’s first day in office. Shutting down our national energy industry set the stage for what we are seeing now. And if anybody except Biden was president, would this war have even happened? Foreign policy experts have frequently pointed out during his Senate and VP years, he was on the wrong side of any question in this area. Foreign policy can affect us even here in Park County.

How about the situation in our nation’s schools? It’s been 12 years since I had a school-age child in my house, so I confess I haven’t kept up with what is happening in the two districts in Park County. I know some of the Platte Canyon school board members and trust them, but what are individual teachers talking about in the classroom? I’m not saying there is an issue, but many parents across the country have been caught by surprise, either by discussions at school with their child regarding gender identity or about Critical Race theory without consulting the parents. I believe the role of the schools is to teach the old 3 Rs to prepare our students for life as an adult. Let the family teach religion and societal values. Hopefully, this is what’s happening but you need to get involved to insure our schools stay the course.

While speaking of schools, who do you believe should control them? If we trust our locally elected school board, why do we need a federal Department of Education? Did you know Biden’s education department has proposed massive new rules and inspections that threaten the existence of charter schools? New applications would have to demonstrate that they wouldn’t have an “adverse” impact on existing public schools. Well, that was the very intent of many of the existing charter schools. They sprung up because the local public school wasn’t getting the job done. This federal department is also threatening to undermine all state-level testing that shows how well our schools are operating. And I bet you thought your kids were far removed from D.C.

It doesn’t stop in Washington. Our state legislature passed a law banning any school from using Native American imagery, names, and logos. Mountain Valley School in the San Luis Valley was built three years ago at a cost of $31 million. A local Ute artist worked with the community to design the logo and colors, representing the seven bands of Ute tribes in the area. The symbols and colors were integrated throughout the building, including the gym floor and a decorative wall. A Southern Ute tribe representative blessed the groundbreaking, and later the ribbon-cutting, and thanked the community for their embracement of the local heritage. Now the community must pay for all that to be redone. How does such a global decision by the legislature respect anyone?

Remember the government’s mask mandates and in many cities the requirement to get vaccinated to enter stores or restaurants? As of April 29th, of COVID-positive hospital patients in Colorado, only 44% are unvaccinated. The majority obeyed the mandates and still ended up needing care. I think in the end, those who took care of themselves and followed proper hygiene and social distancing came out the best.

Illinois is now offering free health care for illegal immigrants. Illinois may be close to 1000 miles from Colorado, but is their Democratic legislature that far removed from our legislature? I wouldn’t deny health care to anyone in an emergency, but what invitation does this send to families in far removed countries? I’ve said before I have no problem with immigration, but it must be controlled to prevent overwhelming the resources we have in our country. Remember, all these dollars come from your pocket. The government has no money of its own.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The people are the rightful masters of both Congresses and the courts – not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert it.” Keep this in mind when looking at candidates this year, regardless of their affiliation.

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