“Meet Me In Montana”?

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2013/09/06 by seanmiller12

Why? Montana used to seem like such an idyllic place, with its mountains and forests, and so much lush wilderness. People who moved there had the privilege of re-living the past, heating their homes with wood stoves, lighting with old fashioned kerosene lamps. They could even have horses. Produce was available from farms where it was grown, not in plastic wrapped, Styrofoam containers in a supermarket. Yes, big box stores existed, as did paved roads and plumbing. Modern society was still extant, but one could make a choice to embrace the frenetic present or embrace a rosy version of the past.  Ah, yes, the past! The romantic vision presented by Little House on the Prairie has been replaced with the past of early twentieth century Germany. White supremacists, Nazis, have moved to Montana in droves, and have done their best to replace a society composed of well intentioned escapees from the present with devotees of Hitler’s vision of a master race. It is no secret that “non whites”, meaning Latinos, African Americans, and Jews have gotten the message that they should leave. As the Nazi population grows, intolerance of ‘the others’ grows, as well. Bigots have been launched into political careers, and many feel their eventual takeover of the state government is inevitable. The clock is ticking.

Just as the Nazis, in Germany, believed that women were inferior to men, and somehow, unworthy of anything in life, except making babies, this disdain for women’s rights and self esteem has found its way into Montana. Judge Todd Baugh delivered a sentence of one month in jail to a fifty four year old high school teacher for raping a fourteen year old student, who later killed herself. Baugh opined from the bench that the victim was ” as much in control of the situation” as the rapist. He claimed that the victim was “older than her chronological age”. It is clear that if a woman is raped, she shares some responsibility for the act. She shouldn’t have been dressed like that. She shouldn’t have led the man on. She should have acted her age. The man, after all, cannot be entirely held to blame. Men are only men, aren’t they? Baugh later made a feeble retraction of his stated opinion, saying his comments were “stupid and wrong”. He has refused to resign. An opinion has been offered that the assailant, one Stacey Rambold, has suffered enough. He lost his career and his family. Tell that to the dead girl. Tell that to her mother. Baugh’s ignorance and male chauvinism would be bad enough in the vacuum of rural jurisprudence. In an environment of intended, gradual, total Nazification of a sedentary rural society, his comments are especially troubling.



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