Why Liz Cheney matters to conservation
BLUF: Her fight should be our fight
When I wrote Win Or Lose, Liz Cheney's Legacy In American History Will Be Non Sibi Sed Patriae for Mountain Journal, it was clear Cheney was toast in Wyoming and would not be a member of the 118th Congress. What we also know is she will not go quietly and fade away from the political landscape. She told us as much with her speech in Jackson after conceding the race to her opponent. It’s worth listening to.
I’ll refrain from speculating on Cheney’s plans or future, and focus on why her continued presence on the political landscape is important for conservation. She has my continued support and I especially agree with her statement:
“I'm a conservative Republican. I believe deeply in the principles and the ideals on which my party was founded. I love its history. And I love what our party has stood for. But I love my country more. So, I ask you tonight to join me. As we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together Republicans, Democrats and independents against those who would destroy our republic.”
Here’s the point I made in the MoJo piece.
It’s also no secret I disagree with much of Cheney’s environmental and some of her social policy views. But here’s the thing: without a functioning representative democracy, there won’t be any environmental or social policy discussions. It will be dictates, not discussion. It will be policy by decree from an authoritarian leadership and, at least in recent years, an increasingly theocratic one.
I’m reminded of Theodore Roosevelt’s words in his A Book-Lover’s Holidays in the Open:
Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wildlife and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.
Some may see those words only in the context of conservation-which is likely what Roosevelt intended-but they apply now as a present day minority wastes our democratic heritage. We can’t let that happen if we care at all about our conservation heritage or its future.
Non sibi sed patriae
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