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Thanks to all who ran for office

I thank everyone who took the incredible leap of faith to run for
elected office in the face of this turbulent political environment.
After one of the most negative elections cycles I have ever seen, I can
only propose that most voters want to hear what you stand for, not why
your opponent is scum. I am amazed and gratified that truly dedicated
people who actually want to be public servants and represent the
interests of their constituents, not their own selfish interests, still
run and face the relentless attacks and misrepresentations on who they
are and what they believe. I especially thank those candidates who ran
on the strength of their conversations and meetings with every class of
people across Montana to hear their concerns and needs. I applaud those
candidates who ran on their policies and not on the amount of lying or
questionable practices that they thought necessary to win an office.

AFter all the fear mongering and psychological targeted button pushing, I
take comfort in the fact that many of the results showed that voters tried
to respond positively, hopefully with education about politician’s stands
on the issues that matter most to them rather than knee jerk response to
attacks. I hope this is the beginning of the end of the negative, fear
mongering politics and tactics that we’ve experienced in the last few
years of playing on people’s fears rather than showing what you can do to
improve the situation. I hope this country can move forward based on
what’s the best in us and what we share, rather than the fear of how we
are different. I hope the cult of racism and the fear of a truly diverse
population is going to be overwhelmed by a tide of rapidly expanding
change. This change will only accelerate as we see a more diverse
population in areas where the unwarranted fear of diversity has controlled
politics for years.

People want the government to work. Voter suppression and a climate of
constant lies and fear mongering do not lead us to a better country.
While not overwhelming, the election results show that the public is
demanding a much more inclusive and fair political dialogue. Some of
those who practice these tactics managed to get elected last night.
Their time in office is counting down. I have faith that the next
election will be a true confirmation that the American public wants a
better government that truly represents the will of the people and not
the influence of a moneyed few.

Top goals: fair redistricting, the beginning of the end of dark money,
healthcare for all, and a truly focused effort to address climate
change. As a wise woman once said, "you’re either on the bus or else
you’re under it" The bus is only going to gain speed from here.

"This country is better than many thought. We just have to bring it the rest of the way." Rev. Al Sharpton

Russ Fletcher

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