What are ‘Montana Values?’

Look deeper than the fluff and contemplate your own role in sustaining a healthy and inclusive community

By Leslie Dillon

I think some clarification is needed regarding a lot of the current campaign rhetoric. There is a plethora of candidates promising to restore and legislate “Montana values.” What does this mean? Seriously, have you thought about this?

Many, perhaps most, of the candidates running on the “Montana values” theme, look to me like they are trying to distract us from their true agenda. This is what the agenda looks like to me: PANDER to the unbridled power of billionaires, hoping and praying that some of that pandering will pay off. Just IGNORE the genuine needs of everyone else. There is a subcategory of “everyone else,” which is all those who are not white, gender straight and/or economically secure. The “Montana values” agenda looks like an intention to DESTROY any chance for this third group of Montanans to thrive in our state. 

I’ve lived in Montana my entire adult life. And I’m getting to an age where that is a long time. I’ve lived “Montana values” for decades, because up until recently there really was such a thing. Hate and bigotry are not Montana values. It doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, old timer or newcomer. Montana values are work hard, care for the land and be kind. Care for others when they need your care and mind your own business the rest of the time. Do we want to keep those values? Or let self-serving politicians pit us against ourselves so we are distracted while they destroy the environment, the middle-class economy, and our social harmony? Please make your voting choices carefully. Look deeper than the fluff and contemplate your own role in sustaining a healthy and inclusive community.

Leslie Dillon

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