The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: mmilbrandt@montenews.com Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

Celebrate

Summer is crowned by sunshine, heat, lemonade, cotton candy, shakes and malts, and county fairs. We are, and still work at celebrating the great summer get-togethers. They are the culmination and pass-through of so many efforts.

So many people go into making these successful. Baking, canning, handicrafts, 4-H exhibits, FFA projects, animals, performances, kids and their excitement at food, face-painting, and so much more. Seeing animals up close is big for some.

We ask that you please enjoy and respect all the efforts that go into 2-3-5 day celebrations, and the people who promote, organize, display and sell the great American pasttime and people watching.

Some of the greatest conversations I have had are attested to fairs. People are at their out-going best, and we can hope that continues while America continues to celebrate its freedom, more birthdays and the greatness that contributes to who we are.

A non-election year; perhaps less political, but we can never let it rest. Freedom and being well represented do not exist in a vacuum.

Please come celebrate and thank the persons or groups that provide you and so many more with great education, exhibits and good entertainment. We are blessed. Let’s celebrate the greatness of rural America.

—Dave Swenson

Monte­video

Education priorities

The front page of the July 11th edition of Willmar’s West Central Tribune is festooned with the headline “Board, Baker discuss education successes.” A sub-headline quotes Republican Representative Dave Baker telling the Willmar School Board, “I’m pretty proud of what we got done this year in education.”

Baker’s self-serving words drip with an irony that verges on Orwellian double speak. In fact, Baker, along with fellow Republican Tim Miller, voted with other Republicans to actually cut state funding for our children’s education.

On March 31, 2017, Baker and Miller voted for House File-890, which provided for only an annual 1.25% increase in state funding of our schools in the next two years. That “increase” is in fact a decrease in state funding because it’s nowhere near enough to cover the increased costs of operating our schools.

Baker’s and Miller’s vote is a source of shame, but certainly not pride. At the same time that they were voting for education funding cuts, they were voting for huge tax cuts on the wealthy.

There is a tradeoff, money “saved” on education means more money for big tax cuts for big fat cats. And those fat cats are big contributors to Miller and Baker. You couldn’t ask for a better demonstration of where the true values of our putative “representatives” lie.

The results of the votes of these two, had they prevailed, would have been more teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, lack of books and equipment, and increased local property taxes for those who can least afford to pay them.

Even though it doesn’t involve sex, this is a moral issue. Do Miller and Baker represent your values? Think about it when you vote next year.

—John H. Burns

Willmar

Christian values

An open letter to Evangelicals:

A short time ago I was talking with a friend from Montevideo who I respect a great deal.  We were talking about how evil people are found even in small towns.

My friend's teenage daughter liked to jog late in the evening, after dark. He wanted her to stop jogging so late because there was a sexual predator in the community.

A man who stalked women, made very inappropriate remarks around women, made unwanted advances toward women, and who had groped several women.

This was certainly not the kind of person my friend would want anywhere near his daughter, or his wife, or any women in his church, or any women, period!

As my friend described this sexual predator, I thought to myself, do you realize you just described the current president of the United States, the man many, if not most people in your church supported? Much of your church's congregation, along with an estimated 85% of Evangelicals gave, and still give, unwavering support to a man you would not want near your daughter.

This is not meant to be a political message. I recognize and respect political differences. It is meant to raise the question of Christian values.

I do not understand how 85% of Evangelicals can try their best to live a Godly life and then tarnish that life's testimony by identifying with a man who clearly has no values.

For Evangelicals, the question I believe they should be asking themselves is: how deeply should Christian values be discarded for political expediency.

Sadly, I'm afraid 85% of Evangelicals chose expediency at the expense of values. Christian and conservative do not mean the same thing. I expect that for a long, long time, Evangelicals will be seen as conservative, not necessarily Christian.

—Dave Johnson

Mesa, AZ (formerly of Montevideo)