Seeing the light
Spending a week back in Montana post five
months in Manhattan has been illuminating.
My hiatus has if nothing else given me a new
outlook on Lewistown. Hence upon my return
I've noticed quite a few positive changes. The
historic Powers and Broadway buildings are
in the process of being revitalized. Another
venerable structure has been purchased by
some transplants who plan to open a "white
tablecloth" restaurant within. Our city leaders
have approved a tax deferment on yet another
Main Street structure to fuel it's renovation.
And the list of goodies goes on and on.
Go with the flow
Obviously there is forward momentum. The
Montana State Supreme Court just ruled in
Lewistown's favor on a contentious law suit
over annexation of property bordering the
prior city limits. Plans continue for a new
park complex on Big Spring Creek. Rumor
has it that a large organization is considering
a move downtown. Burger King is building
on the edge of town. A second grocer is still
searching for a plot. And we now even have
a Starbucks. Investment continues, yet few
are locally funded - thus out of our control.
Is that good or bad for our local economy?
All in all, all is good. However as one digs
deeper into the proposed plans, one wonders
what we're missing? Somehow anybody who
doesn't call Lewistown home sees potential.
While most locals can't overcome their self-
imposed hurdles. Could it be that the citizens
of both Lewistown and Fergus County are
incapable of serving in their best interests?
Apparently Central Montanans prefer to let
somebody else do their dirty work. Hence an
overwhelming majority of locals voted for a
New York billionaire and New Jersey abuser
to lead their way. The blind leading the blind.
Sadly, one thing that my return engagement has
more than affirmed is that I'm definitely in the
minority. Not only do I see potential within all
of Central Montana but I clearly see the danger
of acquiescing any involvement in improving
one's circumstances. Many Montanans suffer
from an extreme case of self deprecation. And
while angry at being the underdog, they've no
desire to unleash their potential. So they sit and
wait for someone to save them from themselves.
Sadly, they're not alone. Our country is divided
into "have" and "have nots". Rural versus urban
are at battle over what each consider core values.
The fact is there is literally NO comparison.
between here and there. Hence much like an
open can of gas, the schism of "us" versus
"them" is easily ignited by errant arsonists.
Said innocents are willingly led to slaughter
by skewed politicians. Their sole purpose
being to better themselves not us. Like the
dinosaurs of yore - my neighbors are mired
in the muck of an agrarian culture that is on
it's way out. Hence they embrace the false
promise of pseudo conservative redemption.
Only to find that they've nobody to blame
for their woes but themselves.
Hands off experience
Why is growth stagnant here in the heart of
America? Entrenched within it's confines
many can't see it's potential. If ignorance is
truly bliss, then stagnant environs should be
nirvana - not purgatory. Central Montana is
to blame for it's lack of responsiveness. ALL
of America is challenged. Yet most others do
whatever they can to protect their home turf.
Whereas most locals await an external savior
to reverse their in-bred inertia. Such passivity
not only weakens our resolve, it endangers
our future. You see, nobody cares about our
community except those who call it home.
You don't know what you don't know. Donald
Trump has NO idea how the citizens of Fergus
County live. Thus he can't comprehend Central
Montana's challenges, issues, and priorities. He
calls a 24 carat penthouse home. Melania wears
$51,000 coats. Rumor is they pay as little taxes
as possible. A four bedroom, 3,000 square foot
condo in the Trump Tower (55th floor) is up for
sale at $11 million. Plus a monthly condo fee
and tax bill of $11,000 dollars. A comparable
house that size in Lewistown sells at $180,000.
Annual taxes are $1,500. Theres no comparison.
They simply don't get us, nor do they want to.
Why would any Montanan assume Don or Greg
are on their side? Politicians will say whatever
is necessary to get them where they want to be.
Now that misters Trump and Gianforte are there,
do you really think helping Central Montana is
high on their agendas?! Each of our perspectives
are based on our life experiences. Therefore it's
hard to imagine any billionaire understanding
how a community like ours is impacted by the
loss of any governmental subsidy. Assuming all
things are relative, isn't it time that we thought
outside of our self-imposed boxes? Nobody is
going to save Central Montana but ourselves!