While you won’t find Greg Gianforte at a public town hall with his constituents, you will find him in two of our most-read posts from this year. Perhaps if he made an appearance with someone other than well-heeled donors, we’d write less about him.
There’s nothing new about a political candidate trying to get elected by promising to cut taxes, but the level of cuts Gianforte envisions is the viewpoint of someone who wants to slash government services, public education, and infrastructure to the bone, the kind of policy someone who paid almost no property taxes on land worth over $500,000 while his hardworking neighbors paid thousands would think is just.
Given a corporate culture at Lee that is actively hostile to unions to the point of shuttering community institutions for the sin of its workers organizing, it’s not surprising that management at the Gazette would advocate against working men and women. Given a corporate culture that has gutted newsrooms every quarter in the pursuit of a few more nickels for grossly overpaid executives who ran the company to the ground, it would be a surprise if the Gazette didn’t attack labor.
I understand the bind the media finds itself in today. When one party has seemingly given into to a world of alternative facts, it might seem unfair to focus attention on their missteps, but the answer can’t be to ignore the fact that Republicans seem to have moved from courting ill-informed and racist voters to recruiting them.
Congressman Gianforte was forced to make a choice. Either he could vote to protect Montana women, who face a grave and growing threat from intimate partner violence, or he could vote to protect the interests of the NRA, which opposes every sensible gun regulation to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who have demonstrated a willingness to do harm.
People—including politicians—can grow, change, and even improve over time. Let’s spend our energy sussing out whether they’ve grown from earlier bad votes or, even, stunning as it might seem, whether we can accept that a person can be an excellent President even if we don’t agree with all of her views.