Fourth of July evening my wife and I watched fireworks from a remote mountainside. As the sun set a thirty-something man and his family joined us on the overlook to view the celebrations below. I learned that he, like me, is Montana born and lives here by choice. Despite differences my new acquaintance and I shared the Montana traits of skepticism of conformity and the willingness to endure strain as the price of admission to our home.
East and West coast media elites want to call these Montana attributes rugged individualism. Outside political consultants dress up foreign candidates as cowgirls and mountain men so to conceal the truth of these office seekers’ origins in a false conformity to what they really don’t understand. In turn these political climbers dropping in from California, Maryland, New Jersey or Washington promote conformity to single issues and fiction with a promise of easy prosperity. The exact opposite ingredients of what us Montana-born on that mountain ledge are made outta.
Jerry McDonald, Thompson Falls
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