Posted by: minnow | May 14, 2019

Such a Time as This

Today I learned another Democrat threw his hat in the ring as a candidate for president. Another well liked governor, this one from a red state, thinks he has what it takes. Another middle aged, white, male–surprise, surprise. I have nothing specific against Governor Bullock, from Montana, but, as a presidential candidate he’s just more of the same, back to politics as usual, and an attempt to forget America elected 45.

Bullock says all the right things, vowing to “take our democracy back” in his announcement address. He even some has evidence to support he means what he says. He pushed a red legislature to expand Medicaid in 2016 and to fund a pilot program for preschool education in 2017. In 2015 he signed the bipartisan Montana Disclosure Act which was upheld by the Supreme Court last February. MDA requires political committees to make public the donor names of committees that spend money on state-level elections. Finally, as a test balloon for today’s announcement, Bullock declared last summer he supported a ban on military grade semi-automatic weapons with removable clips and magazines of 10 or more. Later he clarified, it was something we should consider and he wouldn’t take guns away from hunters and  law abiding citizens. Hmmm… At any rate, Bullock offers Americans a “centrist Democrat” who  isn’t the front runner, Joe Biden. Huh?

The problem with Bullock, and frankly with Biden, is that middle America has all but vanished. The underbelly of old school politics that touted Reagan Democrats and Clinton Republican has been exposed. The facade is a fraud, a mask old white men in suits wear to hide behind while they manipulate the economy making themselves rich. True, blue-collar Democrats, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have warned us about these political realities their entire careers. Sadly, it took the symptom of a 45 presidency to reveal how sick our democratic republic is. If candidates like Bullock and Biden had the country’s best interest at heart, they’d set egos aside and put their energy and political capital elsewhere.

So, what should they have done?

Well, Biden should have picked, and then thrown his support behind, one of the qualified women currently running. Period. Championing women is where America needs him most. It’s where he’s done the most good in the past and it’s how he could best serve now. As a “moderate” Democrat, Biden’s endorsement in the primaries might have thrust a particular candidate forward. It certainly would have sent a message of solidarity and resolve to the country–a message that we are in this together and that Democrats hear the people shouting, “We want to control our country”. As it is, Biden’s presence in the race reveals that the Democratic party still has far too many people willing to do politics as usual.

Bullock’s better choice might have been more difficult to make, but it would not have been more difficult than a run for the presidency to achieve. In 2020, Governor Steve Bullock of Montana should have taken on Senator Steve Daines of Montana. Plain and simple. As much as I wish it wasn’t true of my home state, being a white male here has its advantages. America needed Bullock to help turn the Senate blue, to remind Montanans that we can value family, hard work, our faiths, community, independence, the land, and freedom–without selling our souls. Instead, he’s one more example  that suggests playing politics is still more important to some Democrats than making government work for everyday Americans.

Before Governor Bullock announced his presidential bid I wrote him urging him not to run. I told him, he’d have my tireless support if he ran against Daines in 2020, but that if he announced for the White House I would work just as tirelessly against him. I still make that pledge. Some may call it hyperbole. After all, what can a middle-aged woman, on a limited budget, in a conservative state that takes over 9 hours to drive across, do? The truth is–not much. I can and I will VOTE. I can and I will be out spoken about what’s happening in this country, why we should all care, and what I think we need to do about it!

The first thing we need to do is understand this: the candidates who pledge to take us “back to a better day”, even just a time before 45, are not looking out for America’s best interest. Our past, distant or otherwise, is not a dream we should want to relive. The fake bravado with which we have regarded the rest of the world was born long before the 2016 election. Our decisions as a nation to enslave, intern, segregate, subjugate, marginalize, and demonize various people groups tarnish the ideals our Constitution points us toward. Our focus on profit margins, our insatiable consumption, and our inclination to horde belies our self proclaimed greatness and instead paint us as arrogant and afraid rather than free and brave.

Bullock and Biden are products of an era best left in the dust of progress. Don’t get me wrong, the Governor and the former Vice President are far from the self-absorbed, politically dangerous, whiner in the White House. These two men have served our country with personal and professional integrity. BUT, that is simply not enough.

America needs risk takers, problem solvers, and out of the box thinkers. We need to do more than tell ourselves we’re the envy of the world–we need to live up to our self proclaimed reputation. I believe the world is in crisis. And, America is on the brink of destruction–self destruction. It won’t happen tomorrow, but if we do not change course–it. will. happen.

For our first 243 years America proved that we could withstand all external threats. But, the danger we face today is not foreign. It will not be defeated with bombs, or boots, or other traditional weapons of war. It will only be defeated, if America wakes up and realizes our house is on fire.

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