Every now and then, I wonder if living in Colorado is the great thing that I make it out to be. Aside from Boulder and parts of Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado is a very conservative state. Oftentimes, it seems far too conservative for my tastes.
Take the Estes Park Town Board. One of the town trustees is facing a recall election, because he “refuses to stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the Town Board meetings.” Councilman David Habecker just might be run out of office because of this.
Apparently, the Estes Park Town Board has not heard of the concept of Free Speech. They’ve forgotten that America is supposed to be the Land of the Free, not the Land Where You Do What We Say Is Patriotic Or Else.
This whole mess was started when Trustee Lori Jeffrey-Clark suggested that the board should start all meetings by reciting the Pledge. Jeffrey-Clark said that this was “a way to show respect for the country during wartime.” Habecker has problems with the Pledge because of the “Under God” part (which long-time readers will know that I have a problem with this, too), and refused to participate.
Apparently, Habecker’s decision to exercise his right to Free Speech did not sit well with Jeffrey-Clark. Jeffrey-Clark and her husband started the campaign to recall Habecker. I don’t know whether Jeffrey-Clark was simply upset that Habecker spurned her idea, or if she sees Habecker as an unpatriotic heathen, but this definitely smacks of a personal vendetta against Habecker.
I am foolishly hoping that residents of Estes Park will do the right thing and allow Habecker to remain in office. But I am not optimistic. Conservatism rules the land here, and conservatives don’t take kindly to people who won’t bow down and worship their dual religions of God and Country.