Just after Donald Trump was nominated as the Republican candidate for president I ran into an acquaintance who expressed his excitement about the prospects of the Trump presidency. He touted the fact that we would have a president who signed the front of paychecks rather than the back, In other words a businessman. To him this made him uniquely qualified to hold the highest office in the land.
While I admit that business experience lends a perspective I question its prominence as a qualifier. Before retirement I was in business for 39 years. In the course of my career I signed hundreds of paychecks on the front. Little of my experience would, in itself, qualify me for public office.
Business is a selfish pursuit. We do it for profit and, with luck, some measure of fortune. Public service, on the other hand, is (or should be) the pursuit of welfare for the public. These goals are not the same and stand in conflict.
We have now experienced 100 plus days of the businessman administration and the results are not good. In fact at some level it appears that the public office is being used for selfish purposes and profit at the expense of the public good.
At the state level we have a similar contest unfolding. Rob Quist and Greg Gianforte represent differing world views. Mr. Gianforte stresses his business background while Mr. Quist offers his experience and empathy.
In commercials it is alleged that Rob Quist is merely a poet and musician and, as such, shouldn’t be considered for the office and lacks the skills needed. I take issue with this. The artist (not unlike the entrepreneur) is a master problem solver. Faced with a blank sheet of paper a writer or musician must find the right words or note to produce a product worthy of the effort. Doing this over a lifetime is a triumph. Mr. Quist has demonstrated a commitment to hard work and discipline and his empathy displays his concern for the good of us all.
I urge you, my fellow voter, to remember that Rob Quist has been a Montanan all his life. His love and devotion to this state and its people are reflected in his words and music. I can think of no greater qualifier.