Top 10 most viewed commentary pieces for 2021 on the Daily Montanan

December 31, 2021 5:48 am

The Montana State Capitol in Helena (Photo by Darrell Ehrlick of the Daily Montanan).

Montanans are nothing if not opinionated, and the part of the Daily Montanan’s mission was to curate a group of columnists, thoughts and ideas for issues facing Montana. And Daily Montanan readers responded. Everyday, we’ve brought readers at least one commentary piece that hopefully provokes thought and spurs deeper conversation.

Here are the top 10 most-read columns on the Daily Montanan website during its first year, with the first paragraph of each and a link to the full column.

1. Montana still hasn’t learned anything by James C. Nelson

The Preamble to our State’s Constitution speaks to the importance of Montana’s quiet beauty, the grandeur of our Mountains, and the vastness of our rolling plains as underpinning our desire to improve our quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations.

To read the entire story, please click here.

2. Montana: The lost best place by Darrell Ehrlick

I am one of the lucky Montana kids. I was born and raised in Yellowstone County, as had three other generations of my family before me. And like so many kids growing up in the 1980s and ‘90s, I believed Montana was too small, too old-fashioned, and left for college, thinking L.A. was more my style.

To read the entire story, please click here.

3. The Montana Setback Plan by Steve Bullock

As the old adage goes, “elections have consequences.” As the dust settles on the 2021 Montana Legislative session, we are seeing the consequences of the last Montana election right before our eyes.

To read the entire story, please click here.

4. Montana’s own ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ by Darrell Ehrlick

I apologize: Montana has become something out of “The Handmaid’s Tale” so quickly that we have hardly had time to mention it.

To read the entire story, please click here.

5. Opponents misunderstand Critical Race Theory by Joy C. Honea

Montana has become the most recent state to formally oppose the teaching of “Critical Race Theory” in public schools.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen, published a blog on May 12 in which she labeled CRT a “fringe ideology” and called on Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen to issue a formal opinion on the legality of teaching CRT in Montana schools. Knudsen issued that opinion on May 27, asserting that teaching some aspects of CRT would violate state and federal laws.

To read the entire story, please click here.

6. The real election fraud in Montana by Darrell Ehrlick

Montana, we’ve been duped.

There has been election fraud, just not the sort that has made headlines in Georgia or Arizona. And, the kind of fraud we’ve experienced has nothing to do with the ballot box or ballots needing microscopic attention or even the Cyber Ninjas.

To read the entire story, please click here.

7. The Rittenhouse lesson for Montana by Darrell Ehrlick

Kyle Rittenhouse remains a free … man, if such a term can be used for a teenager.

Nonetheless, he was a teenager who traveled across state lines with a weapon of war to defend a used car lot Kenosha, Wisconsin from vandalism. No car on that lot, no matter how luxuriously equipped, was worth the health and lives of the two people who died because they were on the wrong side of Rittenhouse’s gun.

To read the entire story, please click here.

8. Arntzen’s recent opinion is literally whitewashing history by Denise Juneau

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, as an elected official, has the responsibility to serve all Montanans – not just some. Instead, she needlessly and recklessly chose to place Montana’s public education system in the crosshairs of a national political debate.

To read the entire story, please click here.

9. Take it from an athlete: We Don’t Need Saving by Lucy Hochschartner

The so-called “Save Women’s Sports Act,” or House Bill 112, claims to save women’s sports by banning transgender athletes. I am a cisgender woman, meaning that I was assigned female at birth and identify as a woman. I am an athlete. In other words, I am exactly who this bill apparently saves. The only problem? I don’t want it.

To read the entire story, please click here.

10. Someone’s going to get hurt by Darrell Ehrlick

In a stunning story by Lee Newspapers, Holly Michels reports that Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen ordered Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher to stop prosecuting a man whom Gallagher’s office says repeatedly hit a restaurant employee’s genitals and showed a concealed weapon, all because the restaurant had the audacity to require masking during a pandemic.

To read the entire story, please click here.

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