Letters to the editor June 19
A call to be more chill
I’ve read a lot of letters in the Inter Lake supporting various candidates. A theme on May 23 was for candidates who “reject” certain “agendas.”
We hear a lot these days about “agendas,” but usually the groups with agendas are labeled by not-themselves. Aided by news media and social media, people have been isolating themselves into “echo chambers,” believing there are scary “other” groups out there with scary agendas.
I’m not going to claim that there are no fringe groups with problematic agendas, but it’s important to remember that the nature of fringes is that their populations are small. Too often we assign a fringe label to a much bigger group, when most people are pretty chill, decent people, who mostly agree on most stuff.
Governor Gianforte spoke at the University of Montana recently about bipartisanship, and pointed out that the vast majority of the bills he signed into law had strong support from legislators from both major parties.
I know I’d hate it if you treated me based on what you think I believe, rather than what I actually believe. I’d hate it even more if you treated me based on what some guy on your television told you to think about me. My beliefs are far more complicated than “conservative,” “liberal,” “woke” or “regressive.”
I’m guessing your beliefs are also more complicated than a one-word label.
If you encounter someone with one of those opinions that guy on the television told you to fear, instead of focusing on the fact that this person disagrees with you, focus on exactly how and why they disagree with you. You’ll probably find that you agree on more than you thought.
— Latimer Hoke, Eureka
I would like to thank a couple of stand-out businesses in the valley.
First, Casa Mexico in Kalispell who took in our 12-person birthday party group last night after the restaurant we had a reservation with for dinner was closed due to staffing shortages. The entire crew was so friendly and accommodating, the food was delicious and arrived quickly, and they even served the cake we brought and sang happy birthday to the guest of honor, all with no advance notice. Thank you, keep up the great work!
Second, I would like to acknowledge the Ace Hardware management and staff around the valley. I’m not sure how you are accomplishing it in the interesting times in which we live, but the service I have received at each location is top notch. It would have been even by pre-pandemic standards, and that says a lot for all of you. It is very appreciated and drives my business your way every time I need something now. Thank you all for an outstanding job!
Thanks for remembering how far a smile and an attempt to serve your customers well in trying times really goes. I, for one, am grateful.
— Valerie Almos, Columbia Falls
Right to protest
I want to know why the city of Whitefish would allow some “crazy” person to stand on a very busy corner of town (visitors from everywhere, spending money in this town) spouting nasty language, cussing, holding terrible posters for all to see — young and old — and doing nothing about it.
I have seen this person many times and not once has she been civil to anyone that does not agree with her point of view.
I’m sure people are sick of this person, and why spend your hard earned money in a place where this can happen every day and the city does nothing.
— Gary Rohr, Whitefish
There’s a lot of talk about how hunters and landowners can better work together. Talk is fine, but action is the best.
My group, DEER Camp (deercampmt.org) aims to build a program that helps bring hunters and landowners together to build a network of more ethical hunters, build and repair relationships with landowners and find that common ground that used to be so, well, common. That’s why I’m a Montana Wildlife Federation Ambassador and taking One Montana’s Master Hunter Program, to be that better hunter, and to help others be better as well.
People like to divide us. That’s how they exert power over us as a people, and as citizens of Montana. Only when we come together, and learn to listen to the problems of others, will we find that once fertile ground again. I’m enrolled in the Master Hunter program so that I can help be the next generation of Montana hunters to be friends with the working rancher and farmer, while also bringing new people to the community of hunters in Montana who have been so welcoming of me.
Being empathetic to the concerns of someone you may disagree with takes courage. So does trying something new like stopping the conflict and starting the dialog.
Landowners aren’t the enemies of hunters, and hunters aren’t the enemies of landowners. It’s the vocal few who wish to keep us at each other’s throats that have the microphone now.
If you want to help become part of the solution, and not part of the problem, please check out the Montana Citizen’s Elk Coalition at MTELK.org.
— DeAnna Bublitz, Missoula