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United we stand


We have lots to celebrate here, I thought, scanning the plethora of people enjoying Polson’s Fourth of July parade. The atmosphere was upbeat, vibrant and enthusiastic. Friendly smiles, good will and an optimistic spirit tell the story of who we are as Americans.

On our nation’s birthday, I reflected on my heroes, those people who help to build strength in our society. I thought about teachers who weave in lessons about bullying; men who respect women; journalists who work hard to report truths; parents who teach their kids polite manners; pastors who exude grace; concerned climate scientists who fight for the environment; people who welcome diversity; groups that show respect for all opinions; mothers who teach their kids not to use insults or vulgar language; humble people who show quiet strength; workers who cooperate to solve differences; and honest, compassionate people grounded in love, working for peace.

Principled conservatives are heroes too, those who still maintain values of small government, strong families and fiscal restraint. I admire John McCain, David Brooks and George Will. I also honor principled liberals with values of openness, human rights, and the inherent dignity and worth of every person. I meet them all the time. I especially miss the articulate elegance and keen intelligence of President Obama.

Americans are good, strong and independent people. We are diverse. But in order to remain strong and vibrant, we need to elect politicians of high moral fiber, those who stay true to American values of kindness, decency and respect. We cannot afford to excuse unacceptable behavior. The real heroes in this country are openminded people who vote with their heads and their hearts.

With our country deeply divided, it will behoove us all to do a little soul searching. The president recently spoke here in Montana. Watch this speech and let your conscience be your guide. If you have changed your mind since the last election, you owe it to yourself and to your country to express that with your vote. United we stand, divided we fall.

Nancy Teggeman


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