Now that Zinke has been confirmed as Secretary of Interior Montana is one of five states to need a special election or new appointment to replace a person joining 45’s cabinet. We actually have an unique opportunity to lead the efforts to push back against POTUS, his support team, and the GOP power in Washington. Interestingly enough, Montana is the only one of the 5 to have a Democratic governor and at least one Democratic senator. In other words we are not a completely RED state. Several Democrats voiced their interest in running for Zinke’s spot. In the end, State leadership selected Rob Quist to go up against the yet unnamed (though probable big money raiser Greg Gianforte will get the nod) Republican candidate. The election will be May 25th.
With so much at stake, I must admit for this progressive, Quist is a disappointing choice. He has no experience running a campaign. He has no experience raising money. He has no experience writing a bill, functioning on a political committee, working with other politicians, or fighting for important issues on any political front let alone in Washington D.C. But he sports a cool cowboy hat, plays a mean banjo (or so I’m told), and has a penis, which evidently means a lot to Montana Democrats. I hear he’s on the progressive side of the issues but, I’ll need to take him at his word since he has no track record.
Folks, from my perspective our democracy is going to hell in a hand basket. And, I am angry that with so much at stake the Democrats decided an experienced woman on the correct side of the issues we’ve been told are SO important is somehow less electable than the inexperience man. I don’t know how to sell that to my son or his friends who felt betrayed when the DNC was so overtly anti-Sanders. Why should they trust those who have betrayed the progressive voice, yet again?
Maybe Rob is on the same side of the issues I am on but since we only have his words, I’m simply expected to trust that he is. I’m supposed to give him my money. I’m ordered (for the good of the country, because we must resist 45, because our very democracy is at stake) to vote for Quist and to tell others to vote for him as well. (If we can each get 20 we’ll turn this state purple). The reality is Rob’s biggest claim to fame is he was part of the Mission Mountain Woods Band which toured all over the state over 30 years ago and since then he’s been a big advocate for the arts.
I have to tell you, as a woman I’m pissed. As someone who cares about education, the environment, public lands, LBGT rights, gender equality, immigration, Social Security, healthcare, and the economy, I’m pissed. I feel betrayed, again. I feel unheard, again. I feel ignored, again. Yes. Yes. Of course, yes! I will vote for Rob Quist. He’s closer to a progressive than anyone the GOP will put up, especially Gianforte. But, I can’t in good faith say I trust he’ll actually represent my best interests or my son’s or his friends’ because I have nothing on which to base that kind of confidence.
Let me just give you a little head’s up and then I’ll keep these kinds of opinions to myself, at least until after the election. The so called undecided voters in Montana, and I believe through out the country, are simply not voting. They are “undecided” because they can’t make up their minds between mediocre and meh. They are frustrated with the status quo and tired of politicians who don’t have a backbone. While the GOP has been taken over by the religious right, tea partiers, and bigots, Democrats have ignored their base for so long the base has given up hope and is staying home. 46% of eligible voters did not vote in the most important presidential election in my lifetime–and I’ve been voting for 4 decades.
I heard every excuse in the book for why Amanda Curtis wasn’t selected but every excuse boils down to the same thing. Traditional Democrats are not willing to fight for progressive ideology. You have convinced yourselves (even though it has proven to be less true with each election) the only way to win is to snag a few moderate voters from the GOP. Meanwhile the middle has moved further and further to the right. Hate to break it to you, but Democrats–you are the middle voter. There aren’t any others hiding in the bushes. So, unless you want a People’s Progressive Party to rise up and start fighting with the GOP over your votes, you need to get reacquainted with your roots.
Democrats need to champion the working class and the disenfranchised, you need to listen to women, and yes, you need to light a fire under the butts of the millennials. If you don’t, if you keep pushing the status quo, keep playing the safe game, keep insists unexperienced men are easier to elect than experienced women, and keep trying to sell us the notion that soft spoken white guys are more palatable than persistent, articulate, hard hitting women, the only place you’ll be hearing about Democrats is in the history books.
By all means folks, vote for Rob Quist. I hope he is elected. I plan to vote for him and will encourage others to as well. He’s certainly more reasonable than the guy whose comment about Social Security was that Noah lived to be 600 and worked every day of his life. But honestly, that’s a pretty low bar even if it brings a ton of money with it. 2020 is right around the corner. What is this party going to look like then?