By Alec Carmichael
I Digress 

Wicks Wants a Win


And so it was I found myself hating the Billionaire Tech Mogul who wants to hoard the world for his own benefit, and laughing at the thought of voting for the Cowboy Troubadour Poet going to fight consequential battles in Washington D.C. with a guitar and love first attitude. Neither candidate was appealing to me in anyway. I was beginning to despair that I would have to vote for the Montana Donald Trump or the aloof artist who can’t stand by his own views and commitments, but I digress.

It wasn’t until I was reminded of the Libertarian candidate Mark Wicks, and how certain friends had commented that they saw light in his eyes during the recent debate, that my interest was piqued. After going back and watching I saw it too. After going through the mundane crap where everyone swore allegiance to the flag, stood up for Montana’s gun rights, while destroying each others reputation, the only person not slinging mud was Wicks. The only person who could actually say he knew what it was like to stop on the side of the road to help someone in need, was Wicks. The one who has worked day in and day out here in Montana to provide for his family and work in his community ranching outside Inverness for crying out loud. Wicks was certainly the only person I could relate to as a candidate.

What a sign it would be to Helena if the Hi-Line ranchers and farmers and the eastern Montana communities reached out to tell the nation that they really are not represented in Congress. If they said the Republican, conservative and newly-minted anti-trade Republican party is not a good thing for our region. If they told the Democratic party, who can’t figure out why we can’t support reintroducing bison to the region, they are not the best thing for agriculture. If they stood up against over-bearing laws, against anti-trade politics and protectionism, against the consolidation of powers, against the ideal that the State’s rights are an archaic principle.

I was equally struck by the fact that Wicks seemed to know that extreme ideology in his party was fundamental, but in some cases unrealistic. It showed me that solutions were more important than bantering. It showed that he knows the reality of the State and nation by leaving open an ideal of working with everyone for what benefits the most people without abandoning every aspect of his beliefs. His comments comparing marijuana to prohibition and decrying it is already legal just not technically, were in my view masterful. He knew the cost-benefit was not there and that the gains were far superior to the costs, despite whether it cost him conservative points. It was a logical response to the issue at hand, and he handled it well. We could use more logic and less conviction in politics.

In the end, Gianforte again tried to compare himself to Trump saying he was proud of Trump’s family endorsement. Proud of his ability to “negotiate” in the business world, something Trump has disproved as effective in the political world where profit is not the motivator, but votes and popularity are. Quist was as equally aloof to the common man as the rich guy next to him. Putting ecology above humanity and beauty above pragmatism. He too lacked any balance or semblance of being able to actually do the job.

In the end I don’t care much for any of the candidates, but I know the one who is beholden to Montana and who is beholden to Republican or Democratic dollars buying their campaigns. Wicks has exactly what each of us has to lose in this fight. Gianforte will still be billionaire, Quist still a musician, and Wicks will still be a rancher. I think in the end we should give Wicks “the work truck” and send him off to DC to work hard for Montana. Not because I agree with him 100 percent, but because I believe he would truly work the hardest to make every Montanan’s life just a little better.


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