Jim Smith

Jim Smith


We only wish they would uphold the Constitution

By: - March 29, 2023

On March 21, the Daily Montanan published an opinion piece by Erik Thueson “Sometimes upholding a Constitutional imperative is more important than the politics of the day.” This appears to be a rebuttal against my earlier commentary, “The Montana Legislature: Helping you run every aspect of your sin-filled life.”  His opening paragraph, which sets his […]


Using democracy to destroy democracy

By: - March 26, 2023

In order to have a viable democracy four things must be present: A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life. Protection of the human rights of all citizens. A rule of law, in which the laws […]

The Montana state Capitol in Helena shortly after sunrise on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

The Montana Legislature: Helping you run every aspect of your sin-filled life

By: - March 4, 2023

What’s going on at the Montana Legislature? And why is this happening? Two questions that I have heard being asked because of the kind of proposed resolutions and bills that are being reported in local media. Well, let’s try to come up with a valid answer.  With their super-majority “mandate” the Republicans, led by their […]


Clearing up the confusion about the ‘debt ceiling’

By: - February 11, 2023

The new Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy is taking a stance on the issue of the “debt ceiling” which is both silly and dangerous. It is silly, because the “debt ceiling” is a cap on the amount of money the U.S. government can raise to pay bills that have already […]


Low wages, underfunded public service and abortion bans are the real stories of this legislature

By: - January 30, 2023

There is more to the abortion bans being promoted by Republicans in Montana’s Legislature than simply a difference on moral or cultural grounds. Republicans have pieced together an entire suite of policies aimed at one goal. That goal is to control and disempower workers by a broad assault on standards of living, access to public […]

A group of activists poses for a photo taken by another group member on the first day of the 2023 Montana Legislature.

The GOP problem: We have too much democracy

By: - January 14, 2023

The “New Montana Freedom Caucus” (whatever that means) has a hatred of democracy. The problem, as the members see it, is we have too much democracy. The country was founded as a republic on a democratic platform and system designed primarily to protect the rights of property, not people. The first Ten Amendments to the […]


Why we must return to civil discourse

By: - November 26, 2022

Now that the recent elections are essentially completed, can we return to civil discourse in facing the challenges of our nation? And why is this important? Democracy depends on civil discourse between different groups of people and different points of view. It also depends on the discussion being based on “good faith” where the participants […]


The immorality of Gianforte and the ‘New GOP’

By: - August 20, 2022

Since the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs, vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Republican politicians throughout the country have moved to impose whatever abortion restrictions their legislatures can come up with. The Republican dominated 2021 Montana Legislature passed a bundle of laws aimed at restricting access to abortion. Three […]


The ‘right’ to an abortion and the right to have rights

By: - July 9, 2022

The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs, vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization did more than simply deny women the right to decide their own health care issues, it denied them full citizenship in the political community of our nation. By stating that the “Constitution does not confer a right to […]


From the ‘Know Nothings’ to the party of ‘We don’t care’

By: - May 20, 2022

In the 1850s in the United States there was a political party called the “Native American Party.” It started as a secret society which opposed immigration, was xenophobic, racist, and fearful of Catholicism, and had nothing to do with Indigenous people. Their meetings were held in secret, they would answer questions about their proceedings with […]


The unhoused: America’s refugees

By: - April 30, 2022

Who are unhoused people? We all have various ideas of who is an unhoused person and how they became unhoused. These are based on what we see in the media, stories from friends and family, or what we see in the street. There simply is no such thing as the “typical” unhoused person. No one […]


Daines is all wrong when it comes to inflation

By: - April 18, 2022

In a letter to his constituency recently, Sen. Steve Daines sent an email that said, among other things, the following: Inflation under President Joe Biden’s administration continues to spiral out of control.  Compared to one year ago, Montanans are paying 8.5% more on everything from gas to groceries. At the pump, it costs Montanans over […]