Although Montana was one of the few states Donald Trump could rightfully claim to have “won by a lot,” with 56% of the popular vote in 2020, one of its two U.S. senators is Democrat Jon Tester, who is up for re-election in 2024, in what many feel is an uphill battle. To be an elected official with a fairly conservative constituency like Montana means that you have to occasionally vote with Republicans and say the kind of things that appease Trumpers, but unlike his Republican colleagues, Tester refuses to back down.
While Republican senators like Mitch McConnell vowed to block any bipartisan committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection, even while Brian Sicknick’s mother is publicly urging Congress to do so, Tester didn’t mince words when it came to the commission, echoing Joe Manchin’s rhetoric but with much more urgency, while denouncing the cowardice of the GOP: “If it’s because they’re afraid of Trump, then they need to get out of office.”
There’s been a story circulating throughout the media that Republican politicians are afraid of Donald Trump and standing up to him – something underscored further by Paul Ryan’s tepid denunciation of the former president. His words are a pretty crucial strategy, however, as Tester is making it known where the party’s fundamental weakness lies. Republicans hate having to take any stand on Donald Trump whatsoever, since doing so means they’ll lose votes either way, as it makes them look indecisive and weak in the eyes of their supporters. This is the strategy Democrats should adopt on a wider scale when facing their Republican challengers in 2022.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making