A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

I pen this piece as a direct and candid response to Mr. Essens’ diatribe of Sunday last. Twenty-five years residing in the Bitterroot and I have not seen such contempt poured upon such an elemental feature of American politics. That each party cherishes the other as indispensable to the whole is of the very essence of a functional democracy.

The party of Lincoln. The party of Reagan. From the former, malice toward none, and charity for all, and national dissolution averted. From the latter, a 40-year standoff peacefully ended, a people liberated, and a wall dismantled – not by artillery but by the very hands that erected it. Not a bad resume for a cult.

But I would look past Mr. Essens’ bogey of a political party to what he, and those whom he follows truly despise – the Judeo-Christian values that comprehend, in themselves, not only our liberties, but their safeguards as well. They constitute a monolithic whole, and lay in the foundation of our nation. This is precisely why our mores, and more recently our sensibilities, are being ruthlessly assailed – not by foreign foe, but by friendly fire.

In order to transfer our national assets (the life we know and love) from the cornerstone acknowledged on the back of our currency to the untempered footings of “In Man we Trust” (ugly, isn’t it?), our 250-year contribution to the human family must be unstacked, value by value, liberty by liberty, reality by reality, until we reach the wellspring of them all, and slap the very hand Providence away, under which we have prospered as no other nation in recorded history. Something like handing over your portfolio, you life’s work, to someone you don’t know – and wouldn’t want to.

There is such profusion of rubbish in Mr. Essens’ letter that I will forbear exploding his two “exhibits” for a future opportunity. Both are manifestly repugnant to reason, and carry absurdities upon the face of them.

In conclusion, a word about his plug for education. While those of his stripe are crying up education on the one hand, with the other they slip their faith-eroding agenda under the doors of our classrooms in an insidious attempt to grow, in the petri dish of youth, a moral and intellectual bankruptcy that wouldn’t last one round in the public square.

Your vision for our future amounts to national identity theft, for which those 65 million voters you maligned, refuse to stand. If your ideas can acquit themselves as well as you say they can, then go pick on someone your own intellectual size with them.

Cult is a serious word to be throwing around; to say nothing of using it to caricature a venerated, 160-year-old institution.

Sheep’s clothing is the age-old attire of false prophets peddling cults. I invite the reader to feel the synthetic fibers for themselves.

Wayne Rusk,