The future of the Democratic Party?
I'm loving me some Jon Tester. So far he strikes me as the sort of candidate we need more of -- a populist with actual roots in the working class.
For all the talk about the new Democrats swept into office on Tuesday, the senator-elect from Montana truly is your grandfather’s Democrat — a pro-gun, anti-big-business prairie pragmatist whose life is defined by the treeless patch of hard Montana dirt that has been in the family since 1916. [...]Even better, if memory serves, I saw a speech of his where he declared the war on some drugs a failure. If the Dems give me more like him, I might feel like part of the Party again.
“You think of the Senate as a millionaire’s club — well, Jon is going to be the blue-collar guy who brings an old-fashioned, Jeffersonian ideal about being tied to the land,” said Steve Doherty, a friend of Mr. Tester’s for 20 years. “He’s a small farmer from the homestead. That’s absolutely who he is. That place defines him.”[...]
On the campaign trail, Mr. Tester spoke often of how “regular folks” just “haven’t been given much of a shake.” He is distrustful of global trade agreements that have hurt farmers, and big drug companies and health maintenance organizations that he says have put medical costs out of reach for many people.
Asked why he became a Democrat in a region that has been overwhelmingly Republican for the last generation, Mr. Tester said: “It started with my parents, who always said the Democrats work for the middle class. And in agriculture, Franklin Roosevelt did a lot of good things.”