Evaluating candidates on values

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As a “committed” political independent, I have voted for candidates of all stripes and colors over the years. Some say that committing to “independence” is more a commitment to sitting on the fence. Not so. It states that I reserve the right to evaluate candidates based on individual values, not the bias of any political party.

Our national politics seem to require we “Pledge Allegiance to the (insert party name) instead of to the US of A, and “one nation divided with liberty and justice for the party faithful,” thereby obliterating our abilities to evaluate individual policies and possibly reach national consensus.

We stand at corners of a virtual boxing ring within which the candidates bash each other with ever increasing furor. The fans shout slogans they have “heard,” adding bluster to the fight, drowning out dialogue that might help reveal the true position of the candidate.

My vote this year is based on the candidates I most trust as individuals committed to this state; whose policy positions I most agree with; who have demonstrated they will listen to and consider my concerns; and the knowledge that neither is afraid to buck the party-line platform. They happen to be Democrats. I am supporting Kathleen Williams and John Tester.

— Billie Lee, Polson

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