Are political bullies bad for business?

Dear Editor,
It didn’t start with Trump, but his candidacy appears to have given some people permission to amp up venting their hostility toward other people.
Maybe it is time to review the costs:
Lewistown’s downtown has been struggling for a number of years now. Some business interests have done and continue to do well, but their sales and products are not dependent on local or visiting consumers.
Campaigning for elective office has been an eye-opening experience and given me a new perspective.
During the recent Central Montana Fair, I spent four days in my campaign booth listening to people. It is abundantly clear that local residents are tired of being bullied, tired of being shouted down, and tired of their concerns being ignored or dismissed. Yet it was an out-of-state visitor that brought my attention to the cost of this open hostility.
I was surprised to be addressed with, “Please tell me that there are Democrats in Montana.” The ensuing conversation turned out to not be about Democrats in particular, but rather the ambient hostility of their experience in Lewistown and at the Central Montana Fair. They shared that it was difficult to enjoy a cup of coffee, eat a meal or shop because loud partisan conversations occurring near them were intrusive.
Tourism is important to Lewistown and Central Montana. Maybe political bullies are bad for business.
Dryn Durley
Lewistown

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