Here’s a little-known fact about Montana: it is the only state in the USA with a constitution that guarantees state citizens the right to a “clean and healthful” environment.
In 1972, when Montana’s current constitution was written, the state was (for that matter, still is) recovering from ongoing plutocratic rule. In particular, the captains of the mining industry had run wild, poisoning entire communities, using extra-legal violence to break unions, and leaving little wealth behind but what they put in the pockets of their bought-and-paid-for officials. The clean and healthful environment provision was one those put into the constitution to prevent this from ever happening again.
Unfortunately, right now poisoned communities, violent thugs, and an oligarchy of the rich seem to be politically popular in certain circles. And Montana has a call for a new constitutional convention on the ballot, with backers who explicitly wish to see the state made more ‘business-friendly’, even friendly to those businesses who wish to physically harm the citizens of the state.
That’s why I’m going to vote on Tuesday. No matter what state you’re in, there’s probably at least one issue out that that should prompt you to do the same.