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Amid the ongoing negativity and increasingly ugliness of our political situation it has been tempting to stay out of it. I can no longer be part of the quiet majority. At least I pray I’m part of the majority.

I must ask of my fellow Montanans “is this who we are?” Our president came to Missoula to campaign. And during his remarks he praised our current congressman for body slamming a reporter and said: “my kind of guy.” While comments like this from the president should no longer shock me what horrifies me more is that reportedly people in the crowd loved it. Seriously? Is this who we are Montana?

Would you take a moment, please, and picture the men and women in Billings who are journalists? They live in your neighborhoods and attend your churches. Their children go to our schools. They support with their time and resources the many organizations of our community. They are men and women like you and me. Freedom of the press is critical to a free society. Repressive regimes do not allow such. They suppress it. They kill journalists. For that matter, in those countries average citizens are suppressed or killed if they speak out against those in control. Is that seriously what you want in our country? Think about that the next time you cheer or jeer when our president, our congressman or any other elected official praises beating up on journalists or anyone else that doesn’t agree with them.

Kathy McCleary

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Billings

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