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Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more

 
March 12, 2022

Pardon my late start to this letter, but I had to "give directions" to an unwanted telemarketer. Get my drift? Friday was the filing deadline for candidates desiring to run for local and statewide offices. After reading the names, I just sat there shaking my head. There are a few good souls on that list who have or will serve us well, but what I find troubling is a general lack of quality from the field as a whole.

My political experience began as an alternate delegate pledged to Richard Nixon in 1972. We know how that turned out, but I didn't take it on the chin ... I took it as a valuable lesson. I was 19 at the time. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, I worked in the west coast headquarters for the Perot-Stockdale campaign in 1992. I describe myself as a republican who turned independent, leaned democrat, and now view himself as a moderate.

It has always been said that "the truth usually resides somewhere in the middle". That has been my life's experience, as well.

Just this week, the New Hampshire House of Representatives took up a measure to consider leaving the United States. You may be aware of the movement to create an expanded Idaho, which encompasses eastern Oregon and a portion of northern California.

How did we get to the point that sacrificing our union has become a considered option?

Laziness, ignorance, apathy, lack of stomach, stupidity, brainwashing, failure to analyze, lack of vetting, falling victim to manipulation, herd mentality, failure to study, being uneducated, taking advice from the uninformed, lack of effort, and general decadence ... need I go on?

Decadence is not unique to the body of politics. I see it in business, schools, organizations and even the churches. Any society that fails to acknowledge the lessons of history is doomed to failure.

Donald Trump is just as much a cancer upon the Republican Party as Bernie Sanders is upon the Democratic Party. They both appeal to our worst instincts and neither has a history with their respective party.

I'll let that dog lay right there.

We had a short-lived Lutheran pastor here in Bonners Ferry who was quoted in the Herald as saying, "If we have any movers-and-shakers here, I certainly haven't met them."

I agree that our community is way too static in the status quo. A prevailing attitude treats our surrounding counties and the state as if they are foreign. That, in itself, is self-defeating and does not give us a say at the bigger table. It seems as if local birth certificates, old high school buddies and familiar surnames have more to do with getting hired than sound resumes and solid recommendations.

Why is our museum such a beloved institution here? It's because our history is way more noble than our present. Sad, but true. The old Bonners Ferry Lumber Company was the largest of its kind in the world. Where else do national chain stores fold-up and leave, such as Western Auto, Taco Bell, Sears, J.C. Penney and Radio Shack ... while in their prime? What about Louisiana-Pacific, twice over? Where is the provenance of water and sewer for the future U.S. HWY-2 commercial growth?

Yes, we have our problems as a local community...but name me one community that doesn't!

Whatever problems we have pale in comparison with the problems brought to our doorstep by the out-of-state carpetbagger-class migrants moving in here by the droves.

So, what are we getting?

Those without roots, soiled resumes, no community loyalty, economic flight, bad reputations, political refugees, extremists, haters, bigots, opportunists, takers, quitters, the argumentative, the failing-to-assimilate, the want-to-change-everything-while contributing-to-nothing, cheapskates, troublemakers, the malcontent. I'll let the other locals fill-in the blanks that I left out.

The newbies' qualifications for being a general contractor are having a pickup truck, a cell phone and a dog. They generally shop in Sandpoint or Coeur d'Alene (you know which if they are gone for either two or four hours). They feed the wildlife, so your trees and shrubbery are eaten off and trunks rubbed through, your garden is devoured and trampled, your stoop is pooped on and your pets and stock get sick.

They drive ten feet off your bumper and try passing on black ice.

I get a kick out of them telling us who to vote for or running for office here when the ink on their driver's license is barely dry, i.e.: Heather Scott (R) Ohio and Sage Dixon (R) California.

Don't we just love their tinted-window, fat-tired jacked-up rigs that slide better than a Zamboni? Plus, they're back in long sleeves around Labor Day!

I've heard the younger newbies use the word "like" five-times in the same sentence! I swear, they must have an identity crisis.

Some sport newly-minted 9B license plates, some with a U-suffix. The "U" must stand for unwanted or undesirable ... plus, the big "9B" stickers and Idaho maps that look like a pistol! Doesn't this remind you of a teenager trying to play tough?

The only problem is, they forget to ditch their "Toyota of Escondildo" license plate frame!

Then there are the "flaggots." One, two, or three flags. Yes, I know we live in the U.S., but your yellow snake flag belongs in New Hampshire, back on the "least coast!" Plus, the real American flag is red, white, and blue...only.

We hear you loud and clear, but be careful...you may end up like the first governor of Idaho.


I was going to end this letter here, but instead I'll share a little insight.

Not everyone who moves here is a bad egg, but I come away with the impression that the lot of them are the sort of folks who were willing to discard their heritage and quit in the face of adversity from where they came. Given that, how can we depend on them when our times are difficult?

One needs to look at the current situation in the Ukraine for an interesting parallel. The Ukrainians are proving their dedication and resilience through their sense of country every day. I know these people because I was there, in 1986, on an Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) mission while they were under the dominance of the former Soviet Union during the Chernobyl reactor crisis.

This is why I find it so offensive when the newbies show-up, in mass, at our local government functions and shout "communist," "socialist", and "traitor" at our elected officials.

They are clueless. They are what they accuse us of.
Gerald B. Higgs
Bonners Ferry

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