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Gianforte should feel the burn of shame

June 4, 2017

Monday was my 90th Memorial Day. My husband fought in Korea and struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder for the remainder of his life. My deceased son, a captain in the U.S. Air Force, gave the best years of his life in protecting this nation. He was named for a family friend who, when shot and killed in Korea, gave what President Lincoln called that last full measure of devotion. For them, and for the countless others like them who kept their oaths to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution, I will shed tears of sadness and pride.

But this year’s tears will reflect something further — despair for my country and my state. Last week I listened with horror to Greg Gianforte violently assault a reporter while spewing contempt for our Constitution’s enshrinement of Freedom of the Press. And then to read Gianforte’s lie, blaming his cowardly attack on the injured reporter? Dear God, if only Edward R. Murrow still breathed to challenge, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” If he were a decent person, Gianforte would resign the seat of honor his brownshirt-like presence will now stain. But that is too much to hope.

So instead, I will pray that when he puts the same hand on the Bible with which he throttled an embodiment of the First Amendment, and takes the same oath that my son and husband did, that Gianforte will feel the burn of shame, and that I will live long enough to help vote him out of the office he is unfit to hold.

Shirley Gray


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