American Voices National Politics

Voices From the Road – II

Finally, the next batch of voices. I spoke with the people below on the route between Cedar City, Utah, and Butte, Montana, where fortunes were made through the mining of copper.

Late today, I’ll put up the next group, which I gathered between Butte and West Glacier, MT. This group spans a range from afternoon latte drinkers to out-of-state firefighters fresh from battling Montana’s “Black Cat” wildfire.)

So far, as you will note, I’ve been sticking with the same question, but that may change.

FULL DISCLOSURE: In the course of interviewing Holly and Heidi (see below) I found it necessary to have a Moose Drool beer or two—just for the sake of establishing rapport. (I am nothing if not dedicated.)

(NOTE: click on the thumbnails if you want to see larger photos)

Jason, 18, lives in Cedar City, Utah, and works at the local Motel 6. He said:
Probably I’d change the economy. We’re so much in debt. We’re considered one of the wealthiest nations in the world. But we’re really just trillions of dollars in debt.

Travis, 31, works as a mechanic in Filmore, Utah. He said:
It’d be global warming, because if they don’t do something about it there’s not going to be a place for us to live in twenty years.

Jeff, 53, from Inkham, Idaho, is a truck driver, and family man. He said:
: I’d first fire every one of them. And tell them to go find a job. They’ve been around long enough. Then I would probably address the war. I don’t think the war’s been run in our best interest. I think it’s been run over a bunch of money, and money only. A very selected few are filling their pockets. And we’re losing too damn many young women and young men for their cause to fill their pockets.


Andrea, 34, lives in Inkham too, where she works at the Village Mart. She said:
Poverty. I’d choose poverty. I don’t think we should have super rich people that hardly pay any taxes. Middle class people who work real hard, and still do well. But you’ve got lower class people who work their butts off, and don’t get anywhere. Sometimes a couple both work, but they still can’t feed their kids, but they make too much to get food stamps.. I see people who can’t afford the gas to drive back and fourth to keep their jobs. I think we need to be a little more equalized.

Holly, 27, lives in Butte, MT, and works at the Copper Kings Bar and Casino.
She said: There’re so many things, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Okay, minimum wage. When you work for it, you think about that. I have three children. Trying to raise three kids on a minim wage job is just….really hard, with prices of everything going up, and jobs hard to get. I was a teenage mother, so that would be a top priority, helping girls like me to make it.

Dan, 23, lives in Great Falls, MT. He said:
Probably the Iraq war. It’s turning out to be another Vietnam. The money that’s spent on the war, should we funnel that back into the US economy? I think so. We pulled billions of dollars—okay, a trillian dollars—and put it into the Iraq war. And we didn’t have that money in the first place. But we could have put that back into the US economy and made this a better place.

Heidi, 27, lives in Butte, MT, is the bartender at the Copper King. She said:
Just one thing? That’s all I get? One? Okay, my first one would be….health care. We need health are. Everybody has so many bills, and you get sick, and it’s not good, you never have the money to pay for it… You have to think, should I go to the doctor, or should I not? It’s horrible! So health care.

NEXT: The opinions of latte drinkers and front line forest fire fighters.


  • I found it necessary to have a Moose Drool beer or two—just for the sake of establishing rapport.

    Absolutely. I mean a good reporter has to do difficult and distasteful things to get the story. Sometimes you really have to dig deep. We have the right woman on the job. Well done, Celeste!

  • This proves three things:

    1. People are willing to express opinions on things for which they have very little knowledge.

    2. The Democratic and liberal press spin machines are working on simple minds.

    3. To be polite, people will say that they want things that are popular to liberals if the person asking them has a shirt that says “Save the Whales.”

    – – – –

    “the economy” What??!! Our economy has been incredibly strong and is better than Bill Clinton left it. Why does someone think that our economy is bad…unless, he’s been lied to?

    “global warming, because if they don’t do something about it there’s not going to be a place for us to live in twenty years.” I’d say that Montanna is safe. It’s a shame that simple people are unnecessarily alarmed about something that will not occur and is overstated for political reasons.

    “I’d first fire every one of them.” First smart thing said.

    “(the war’s) been run over a bunch of money, and money only Really? We got rid of a butchering dictator and are fighting terrorists there rather than here. You’re getting oil.

    “super rich people that hardly pay any taxes” Puh-leeze. Super rich people pay over 50% of the tax revenues.

    “I think we need to be a little more equalized.” There was such a place–the Soviet Union. If you liked that, elect Hillary Clinton.

    “Trying to raise three kids on a minim wage job is just….really hard” Then don’t have kids until you can afford them.

    “…the Iraq war. It’s turning out to be another Vietnam.” That’s what Bush said the other day. Let’s not leave early and have the same disasterous result to the people who remain and to our credibility around the world.

    health care Did you know that they Democrats fight every proposal that would let people be able to afford and to buy their own PRIVATE health insurance?

    – – – –

    Want to know what I want from the government? Cut my taxes and leave me alone.

  • When we read the (LINK) plea agreement of Michael Vick today, I noted his nickname of “Ookie.” We decided to give ourselves gang nicknames in our office and are working on them. For now, I’m calling my partner “Cracker.” I’m still thinking of mine. Of course, our blog hostess already has one–“rosedog.” I was thinking, given the way that Michael Vick treats dogs, I sure wouldn’t want to be Vick’s bitch in prison.

  • Jeff is the best, fire them all!!!! I love that dude. I’ll spot that guy a double at the bar of anthing he wants, then watch him drive off on that big-rig into the Sunset drunk. Owwww, how romantic. The white Lone Ranger/Mad Max multi color wearing Wangler shirt spit in your face type of guy….
    The best of America!

    If Jeff can get Heidi to french kiss him, I’ll give him a $100.00.

  • The two first guys, both younger too, are right on: good to see an 18-yr old especially, concerned about our budget deficit and the fact that we’ve squandered billions in Iraq and can’t take care of our own domestic needs (which people around the world, incl. some here, think we’re doing it all for greed and oil!). No wonder there’s such low morale among the troops in Iraq, who see themselves entangled in an endless cycle of violence and getting killed, with nothing getting better and no one appreciating their sacrifices. Woody, today’s LAT article on troop morale based on interviews OVER THERE, notes that 45% see their platoon as having low morale, and only 7% agree with the leadership that things are improving — just give ’em more time and money and troops, the “happy talk.” (I’m not writing as a conservative OR liberal on this, but as soemone who has been to a number of countries in the middle east a number of times, and have talked to “average people” over there.)

    Holly and Heidi are both pretty cute, the Copper bar must be quite the draw in them thar parts. But Holly should have learned after getting knocked up the first time, that whatever it was she’d been doing ain’t cool, and she wouldn’t be stuck with three kids on min. wage alone. Heidi and the others are right about health care, but I agree with Woody that private care, not gov’t, should be offered cheap.
    (Did you know that in Mass., where everyone is “required” to have med. ins., lots of younger people don’t cuz the cheapest for a guy in his 30’s w/ a family is almost $700/ month. Another brilliant Dem. plan, to issue “musts” and levy fines, rather than pool the applicants to make ins. affordable.)

    I think it’s cool that a mechanic should be so concerned about global warming. Woody, it affects everyone, even Montana. The ice in the Himalayas is melting faster than formerly, causing more floods in the rivers, but droughts later in the year when the ice is gone. Lots more stuff.

    The people who want to see the high and mighty brought down to “middle” size are the scariest, agree with Woody there.

    Yes, Celeste, let’s also hear what the latte/chardonnay crowd thinks out there. So far you got the service workers, who would like to see a lot more socialism-style stuff.

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