Years ago, I hosted a radio talk show.  We talked about lots of politics and social issues, as well as things that involved the city and state I was living in.  Oftentimes, the calls would get heated, which resulted in people digging in their heels.

I mentioned this for a couple of reasons. First, I found myself angry ALL the time.  It's true, I would spend my free time watching and reading the news and opinions of the day, which resulted in combative conversations, and frankly, I didn't have a whole lot of joy in my life, so I left the format.

Second, the other day I was invited into a conversation with someone that has the complete opposite opinion as I do, and when I tried to be open-minded and listen, then present my side, it went something like this:

Them: "Trump is terrible and is the reason for all of the problems we are facing right now".

Me: "That's a bit of a stretch"

Them: "He will go down as the worst President ever and before him, people weren't divided!"

Me: "That's ridiculous, of course, the country was divided before he was President"

Them: "He is the worst ever!  History will show that!"

Me: "Interesting, because statistics show he had one of the best economies ever with the lowest unemployment rate among minorities and women"

Them: "That was all President Obama!"

Me:...(insert eyeroll)

The conversation continued with nothing positive coming out of it, and luckily someone interrupted us and the topic changed.

Annoyed upset angry woman plugging her ears with fingers doesn't want to listen

Here's the thing, this isn't anything new.  These conversations are happening every single day around Bozeman and across Montana. Montana is interesting as a couple of cities, Bozeman being one of them, tend to vote more liberal than the rest of the state.

So you can totally attend a "Socialism for Montana" rally, then drive down I-90 for a few miles and see all the "Montanans for Trump" signs. Oh, and both groups think the other group is a bunch of idiots.

I once worked for a State Senator who was not part of the political party that I identify with, and he told me something that has stuck with me for a whole lot of years.

He said: "People will vote in the presidential election for a person that they will never meet and doesn't even know they exist, but won't go vote in local elections that actually effect their lives every single day."

Ballot box with person casting vote on blank voting slip

There is a whole lot of truth in that. Listen, voting is a right and a privilege.  It is something that a whole lot of people have fought and died for.  We should never take it for granted.

Elections matter, from local to national, so while it may be a bit of a drag to vote in every single election, remember that your voice deserves to be heard and the most effective way to make that happen, is to vote.

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