I was an “A” student until fifth grade. That’s when I was supposed to learn geography, and I failed miserably. I am directionally challenged, and I can’t tell you where Rhode Island sits compared to Vermont. But in no circumstance did I ever learn that Flathead County is part of eastern Montana. Apparently, I didn’t go to school with enough Democrats. The Democrats on the congressional redistricting commission have proposed portions of Flathead County to be considered the Eastern District for voting purposes. Meaning, parts of Flathead County would vote for the same congressional candidates as Glendive. The proposal is patently absurd.
The Democrat proposal plainly depicts a failed party. They seek a competitive congressional district where a Democrat has the potential to win a congressional seat, not recognizing that no matter how you draw the district, the likelihood of a Democrat being elected in Montana to a statewide or national seat is virtually zero. The Montana Democratic Party has no bench, no message, and ultimately no impact on Montana politics. It has been successful at picking up a few legislative, city council and school board positions, but by and large, the political outlook for Democrats in Montana is grim. The national party has done nothing to help the local party as it surges to Wokeville, writing checks it can’t cash. The far-left agenda has destroyed the party’s credibility, and Montanans fear the implementation of national Democratic policies locally.
Yet, they persist. And gerrymandering is the result. Gerrymandering is a deliberate attempt to waste votes by placing more votes of the politically popular party into one district, so the losers win in the other district. Gerrymandering benefits losers. But rather than address why Democrats are losing, they choose the easy way out through gerrymandering. If the Democrats would endeavor to investigate why their popularity among Montanans has dissipated and focus on rebirth, they wouldn’t care so much where the district lines are drawn. Because if they fix the institutional issues, they would have a fighting chance and a message that resonates with Montana making both parties competitive. That would require a comeuppance with the national party though, and it’s clear as day that the national party could not care less how its messaging and policy positions negatively affect the Montana Democratic Party. When Montanans think of the Democratic Party and platform they think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi – two lawmakers who exercise zero fiscal restraint. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are far more palatable to Montanans, but they are considered pariahs in their own party. Until the Democrats fix their messaging and policy positions, I have better odds at returning to my wedding weight than Montana Democrats do at winning a congressional election.
Tammi Fisher is an attorney, former mayor of Kalispell and host of Montana Values Podcast.
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