The Montana Constitution: Something to be thankful for
Thanksgiving Day meal (Photo by Monstera via Pexels | Creative Commons, Public Domain).
Every year about this time we take stock of our lives, loves, family, friends and being able to call Montana “home.” One of the great joys of living here are the rights and protections provided by the Montana Constitution — and those should never be taken for granted.
When you think about the condition of most of the United States, it’s obvious why we’re now experiencing such a surge of in-migrants. Montanans have a long history of being considered kind and generous people and the so-called “rat race” hasn’t yet come to define our lives here. We are not stuck on 8-lane freeways crawling along in stop-and-go traffic while road rage and frustration boils.
Nope, in a very short time you’re in and out of any town — and when you’re out, the real and unique “wealth” of Montana comes shining through.
As the Preamble boldly states, our citizens are grateful “for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains” that we desire to “improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations.”
As we go about our daily lives, it’s easy to forget that the Montana we know and love didn’t happen by accident. Our predecessors had the vision and wisdom to enshrine these rights and duties after the vast corruption of the legislature, media, local governments, and courts by the Anaconda Company. And we continue to struggle to remediate the almost unimaginable environmental destruction across the decades since “The Company” disappeared.
George Ochenski is a longtime Helena resident, an environmental activist and Montana’s longest running columnist.
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