Letter To The Editor: Rod Miller Shouldn't Have Called Us Barbarians

To the editor: A writer, who I assume was born and raised here in Wyoming, compared supporters of our Wyoming Freedom Caucus to a “Barbarian Horde” because of their political beliefs.

December 05, 20236 min read

Mix Collage 05 Dec 2023 04 23 PM 2968
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

To the editor:

As an elected official in this day and age, I probably shouldn’t admit that I lost a little sleep over something I read recently right here in the Cowboy State Daily.

A writer, who I assume was born and raised here in Wyoming, compared supporters of our Wyoming Freedom Caucus to a “Barbarian Horde” because of their political beliefs. He characterized hardworking Wyomingites with Nazi imagery. He accused them of wanting to undermine “the rule of law, citizen franchise, the Bill of Rights.” And from there, it got worse.

My first reaction was anger, but that changed to sadness. I am usually pretty good at not becoming offended or taking things personally, but this was not about me. For someone to show so little respect for people who have earned so much really bothered me. This was one of our own, using his public forum to dehumanize and degrade people I know well and care for deeply.

Maybe that was the problem. Unlike some, I know these people. They built Wyoming and continue to be its backbone. I thought of them as I stared at the ceiling, and I tried to name as many of their occupations as I could recall. A partial list includes nurses, retired teachers, accountants, municipal employees, pastors, extractive industries managers, retired outfitters, ranchers, oil field workers, stay at home moms, building contractors, business owners, truckers, dozer operators, entrepreneurs and dry cleaners.  

These are the “Red Tide” seeking to pull off a “putsch”? Frankly, if they ever did “storm the gates”, it might be hard to blame them. After all, they paid for the castle in the first place, and now they’re being told to wait outside.

And what terrible agenda ties these folks all together? Well, they share a desire for a transparent and accountable government, one large enough to do what the people cannot do better on their own, but not so large as to dominate its citizens or infringe on individual rights and freedoms – or tax them out of house and home. And for that they are smeared with Nazi imagery?

It is a fact that they are not the type to shrug and say, “Oh, well, I guess the government is smarter than we are, so just go ahead and tell us what to do.” They’re Wyomingites – they aren’t built that way.

But does it make you a barbarian to say, “Hey, hold on a minute - Can we take a closer look at this?” These people shoulder major responsibilities in their families and their workplaces - they take a closer look at things every single day.

They are accused of wanting to “tear down” something, but what? You mean like the latest Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? Probably so.

But tear down the public schools? If they really were still “centers of free inquiry and critical thought,” we would not be having this discussion and these folks might not be demanding school choice. But what is Transgender Ideology and the Global Weather Cult, if not another form of “religious dogma” forced onto our kids by secular preachers masked as educators? Maybe the Left should worry about their own religion in the classroom before they worry about ours.

Freedom Caucus folks will not have the public schools dictating how their children are raised. Public education’s role is to help teach Wyoming’s children learn to read, write and do math, and these particular “barbarians” will not stand by while leftist ideologues “enlighten” their children with Woke, Marxist or other anti-family doctrines. And that includes the notion that it’s somehow okay for biological males to play girls’ sports.

The people who support our caucus also believe they have the right to keep most of what they have built, created or earned. They will gladly help those in genuine need, but will not issue a blank check. Nor will they support those who could work but will not.

They believe that property tax must never be the thing that forces any family from their home. Whatever adjustment is needed must be made to the property tax system to preserve homesteads of whatever type, and it is up to the legislature to make it happen.

Freedom Caucus supporters reject the idea that the Constitution ends where the next so-called “Health Emergency” begins. And that includes mandatory vaccination, masking and forced shutdowns. Never again.

They do believe in locally-administered elections, as the Wyoming Constitution indicates. But they also demand full transparency and strict compliance with Wyoming law, as set by the Legislature.

They believe that government regulation should be limited wherever possible - that regulation is a means to an end, not an end in itself. By definition, every new law or regulation – even the ones on which most of us agree – makes us less free. So, new laws require restraint.

No, there are no “hordes” supporting the Wyoming Freedom Caucus. These are good men and women who care deeply about their state, their nation, their fellow citizens, and are alarmed at the direction we are headed.

There are real “hordes” out there, if someone wants to find them. Having built nothing, having created nothing, having shunned all productive labor – they want to live by taking from others that which they have not earned. Those “hordes” are busy raiding Nike stores in LA and Chicago, burning small black-owned businesses in Minneapolis, assaulting police and storming federal courthouses in Portland. They’re for sure not out supporting the Wyoming Freedom Caucus.

As for those who do support our Freedom Caucus, why should they storm the gates when they can overwhelm the ballot box instead? It appears some people have forgotten that there is a difference.

With all due respect 

Representative Chip Neiman HD 1

Majority Floor Leader

Wyoming House of Representatives

Editor's Note: Rod Miller is a fifth-generation Wyomingite who is a columnist for Cowboy State Daily

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