Ladies and Gentlemen, It is Safe to Resume Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Written by Brooke Reynolds. Featured cartoon by Bridget Creel.

I’m not sure about you, but I had just about had it with the horse crap being fed to us for the past two months.

Since September, political ads inundated every aspect of my life, and presumably yours, too. Radio, newspapers, TV, my Facebook feed, the pile of mail waiting for me in my P.O. box — they were everywhere! I even considered trying to rent out my dog’s backside as a billboard for a little side income.

Candidates from both sides gave it all they had to get underneath our hats and into our brains.

I can quote nearly every political campaign ad — and there were a lot of them. (Look, I only get ONE radio station at the ranch, so it’s not like I could change the station.) After a while, every ad sounded the same, with the only difference being which politician’s name got plugged into the insult.

Even my favorite weekly newspaper could barely get a word in edgewise over all the ruckus. And don’t even get me started on TV.

One more “paid for by” ad and I was set to pitch a tent in the horse pasture where I could ride out election season in peace. At least the only mud being spewed out there would be the kind that is good for gardening. That would have to be a whole heck of a lot better than having to listen to all the political sassafras overflowing from every possible form of media.

It’s not that I don’t care about politics or value democracy. Like most Montanas, voting is like a religion to me. When I talk politics, it’s with my good buddy over a cup of coffee, and not in a screaming match with my TV. We care about our public lands and we care about our neighbors. We want quality health care and good schools. And we want to know who is best equipped to stand up for our way of life. But how much mud-slinging and name-calling can they really expect us to take before we just tune it all out? Or stop caring? Or forget what we actually believe in?

Call me old-fashioned, or maybe just a Montanan, but I turn on the TV at 5 pm to watch the news, like my grandpa taught me. I look forward to the 10-minute weather segment that discusses the low-pressure system rolling in from Canada (yahoo!). I’m interested in the food drive happening down at town hall and whether or not the home team is still having a winning season. I want to know what is going on in my community and in other communities throughout the state.

But don’t you worry, folks.

The news is back, and it is glorious in all the ways that you remember.

This week, while scrolling through the news, the headlines were a breath of fresh air. The Choteau Acantha reported, “Warm weather contributes to low elk, mule deer kills.” Northern Ag proclaimed, “Edible Bale Wrap Developed to Reduce Farm Waste and Save Cows.” The Shelby Promoter highlighted the local high school’s medical preparation class. Finally, some news I can use.

Local Montana news, it is good to see you back. My how we missed you.

-Written by Brooke Reynolds. Featured cartoon by Bridget Creel.

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