As a resident of Hastings for the past 10 years, I know there has been a great deal of progress made in our community.

But, if I’m being honest, in the past 4 years, our community has experienced some of the same changes that have occurred in rural communities across the country: an acceptance of “Trumpism.”

Last weekend, I was working in my front yard mowing, trimming and watering plants.

A truck drove by and a man yelled out “(expletive) Biden.”

He obviously noticed the sign in my yard and disagreed with my choice. I didn’t look up to acknowledge the person or get a better look at the vehicle.

I didn’t shout something sarcastic in response.

Instead, I finished my yard work and went to the local Democratic yard sign event to get two more signs.

One election isn’t going to change everything, but leadership does matter.

Respect for your neighbor matters. Facts matter.

There are plenty of things we have to be proud of in our community, but I refuse to accept normalizing the behaviors of those people who choose division over unity and hate over love.

We have an opportunity in November to decide what we, as Americans, deem acceptable.

The values we claim to uphold are on the ballot.

The health of our planet for future generations is on the ballot. Equality for all people is on the ballot.

Attitudes are reflective of leadership, and we’re in dire need of new leadership in this country.

We can do better.

Andrew McCarty

Hastings

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