We need respect
I'm a third-generation Missoulian, and I was 10 years old when I watched Nixon and Kennedy debate on a black-and-white TV. My mom was voting for Nixon, and she always said, "I'm a fiscal conservative and a social liberal," (meaning she'd always be glad to give a sandwich to a hungry person, and she expected the federal government to keep the purse strings tight).
Sometimes old people like me glorify the past, but I don't believe I'm doing that when I remember a time in America when we respected each other's opposing views.
We're caught up in a pandemic and an economic catastrophe with intense racial tensions. We all need to get smart fast, so please — can we do our best to treat each other respectfully? Nothing rebuts an ugly accusation like acknowledgement of the hater's point — with a smile.
My Gramma Beth used to say, "To beat the Devil, just laugh in his face."
Michael Purington, Missoula
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