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Reading this week’s letters in the “Bitterroot Star,” I cheered both John Gibney and John Bird for urging us all to overcome our differences and, well, in my words, become the country a lot of us thought we already were.

The thing is, how can some of us, at least, be urged to come together to support a man who lies, cheats his own workers, throws tantrums, is unapologetically racist and misogynist, and creates emergencies and crises wherever he and his family and friends stand to benefit?

Mr. Gibney is undoubtedly right when he observes that Barack Obama was no saint, but saints are hard to come by these days, and at least I would trust him and his wife even if they sold used cars. If he was divisive, it was because he is black and believes in compromise — working together — over confrontation.

I am glad the current president was elected because he represents the extreme of current politics in this country: Money and power and 'my way or the highway.' Ordinary people are realizing that if that is not what they believe in, it’s up to them to step up and say so and work toward a political system that works for those of us who, when the government shuts down and our income stops, can’t just go out and get a loan, and who are maybe one illness or accident away from homelessness.

In their letter in both the “Star” and the “Ravalli Republic,” Gary and Joan Carlson also put together a cogent argument for all 50 states to work together, because we make up one whole country and said we would when we joined up. However, a person being elected president doesn’t make them right in all things, and we’ve got a doozy right now. Montana’s $8M can help a lot of people in a lot of ways, but responding to a fabricated crisis a thousand miles away is ridiculous.

And if your first response to my outburst is that I should be watching Fox News, please delay your outrage long enough to consult at least 5 other national and international news organizations (not just on tv) to see what they say (try it out at

Montana is one of 50 states, but the United States is one of 81 “high-income countries” (according to the World Bank) and an estimated 195 total countries hoping and trying to keep this world afloat, and right now we may be one of the rich ones, but we’re also being laughed at by countries that used to respect us and our leadership.

Mary Fahnestock-Thomas, Hamilton