That’s’ what John Lennon said, and it applies to the Democratic Party in Montana.
Life is happening all around us right now, and it’s taking a wild form in our chaotic Senate race. Yep, it’ll be a chaotic week of party theatrics, drama, hiccups and hissy-fits.
The way I see it the Democrats in Montana have a huge problem, and that’s that many of them – if not most – are afraid to lose.
How can you ever win if you’re afraid to lose? Now, having a little fear is a necessary ingredient to winning…I don’t think it could be achieved without it. But to not even give something a try because you’re afraid you’ll lose – or worse, ruin any future chances you may think you may have of winning – that’s just downright sad.
I’m sure there were a lot of people in our state’s history that were afraid of losing but I have a feeling they went out there anyways and gave it a shot. Who were these people?
- Gold miners at the end of their rope, not to mention funds and often food. Day after day of digging and turning up nothing, the prospect of going back home in failure, knowing you’ve wasted months of your time…not appealing prospects. Yet that’s exactly what thousands of people did here in the 1860s and many of them struck it rich.
- Cattle ranchers staring out at the frozen fields of death in 1887 and wondering if they should go on…if they could go on. When you’re looking at everything you have lying on the ground dead before you it’s easy to throw in the towel and give up. A lot of people after that hard winter didn’t, however, and an industry was rebuilt on their backs.
- Hard-scrabble dust farmers and sodbusters that are bringing up more rocks than they are crops. When dustbowl conditions descend and everyone around you is pulling up stakes you can head for the hills or you can stay down there in the dirt and make something of it. Many people in Montana in the 1920s did, and many of their families now own thousands of acres because of it.
Each one of those groups of people in our state’s history could have given up, and many did. Many didn’t try after they’d tasted a little defeat because they knew that they had to keep fighting no matter what. For them losing was never an option, even if it took them their whole lives to win.
You don’t see a lot of that determination and dedication in the Democratic Party in Montana today.
You can see it with people like John Bohlinger, someone that got into the Senate race right away and stayed there into the primary and got the second largest number of votes. He’s back now waving his flag and saying “hey, look at me, I’ve been here since the beginning and I’m still ready to fight!”
Instead of welcoming someone like that we turn them away.
I think Dave Wanzenried would make an excellent Senator and I’d get behind him 110%. But Dave never felt it was worth his time, money or effort to get into the Senate race in 2013 or even before March of this year. Why is it worth his time now?
Dirk Adams sure has Democratic values at heart, and while we all know it’ll be Obama deciding what happens with that Keystone XL Pipeline, it was reassuring to know we’ve got a few Democrats with balls in the state that aren’t afraid to stand up to hypocrisy, idiocy and downright lies when it comes to this boondoggle waiting to happen.
That earned a lot of Democratic goodwill, standing up and saying what many felt needed to be said but were too afraid to say. Some people call that stupid, a lot of others call it leadership.
It will be leadership deciding who the next Democratic Senate candidate in Montana will be, but I’m not sure it’s the kind we need, or even want.
I’ve tried to profile the 175 Montana Democrats that will be choosing our next Senator, and I’m saddened the local newspapers haven’t tried to go as investigative or in-depth. I question these newspapers, I question them deeply.
I don’t question Montana Democrats’ desire to get out there and get behind someone they believe in. I know whoever is chosen in Helena next Saturday (can you think of a more sensible day that allows people not to take time off from work?) will have my support.
What’s more, I know they’ll have the support of a lot of people that were thinking of staying home last week.
I’m confident we can keep that seat in November. So you 175 Democrats…don’t fuck it up.