by Dr. Ed Berry
Are Montana “patriots, constitutionalists, freedom fighters” smart enough to solve their problems? At the moment, it does not look like it. But I have not lost hope.
Here is a short subject list of recent email traffic from this group: Arizona nullification, federal government abuse of power, HB 1505, New Mexico law trumps federal law, mass exodus of oil refineries, EPA restrictions on coal plants, states against federal land grabs, Utah governor after federal land, NDAA, Archie Bunker, S1867, the feds have trashed our Constitution, etc, etc, etc.
Can anybody unravel from our problems long enough to focus on a solution?
Does anybody know we have a governor’s election going on?
OK. We disagree on our choices. Now what? Refuse to talk about it?
Do you know what we are going to accomplish if we cannot agree? We will nominate Rick Hill.
We all have egos. We all have feelings. We all have preferences. But if we cannot as a group choose a governor candidate to back in the primary, then we are going to nominate Rick Hill.
I presented my view. I congratulate Lark Chadwick for being the only one to openly express her views differing from mine. Where is everyone else?
If come June 5, we all vote in different directions and split our votes … we will nominate Rick Hill.
Unless I have missed someone, everyone else is avoiding expressing their opinion in public about the most important race in Montana. So what good have all the tea party meetings accomplished?
Many have sent me private emails. All but one agree with me.
Morrie Shechtman, whom I consider one of the smartest people in Montana, wrote:
Ed: Excellent article about the governor’s race (especially since I agree with you). Very balanced. Montana’s never before seen as qualified a candidate for any office, as they have in Neil.
I must see the world differently than many. I am conditioned by having been in competitive sports all of my life. I compete but this does not make me hate my competitors. When I win, I congratulate others for being worthy competitors. When they win, they do the same. I do not understand people who hold personal grudges against others merely because they have a different opinion. I have competed with all types of people, all races, all religions, all political dispositions. Yet we have been friendly competitors. We help each other and encourage each other.
I will say this: when Ken Miller does not like what I write, he calls me and we have a good conversation, and sometimes he changes my mind. Therefore, I will take Ken Miller as my governor any day over Corey Stapleton or Bob Fanning.
I have learned a lot about our candidates from their responses to my challenges. Those who cannot stand disagreement are not worthy to be our governor. Being a governor is all about managing different opinions, confronting challenges, and pulling a team together.
In my opinion, there are only three candidates worthy of consideration: Rick Hill, Neil Livingstone, and Ken Miller.
The only reason I am not backing Ken Miller is because, in my opinion, Neil Livingstone is a more qualified candidate for governor.
In my opinion, Rick Hill would make a better governor than all but Neil Livingstone. In terms of management ability and relevant education, only Neil Livingstone exceeds Rick Hill.
If I were hosting a governor’s debate now, I would restrict it to Hill, Livingstone, and Miller. We need to let voters see more of these three. We don’t need to waste precious debate time by having nine or more contenders on the stage.
PolyMontana is about people expressing their opinions. I am waiting for supporters of other candidates to make intelligent arguments for their candidates. This is the only way we can make progress toward a unified opinion.