Montana former Attorney General and Governor Marc Racicot is a hard core conservative. But he was unable to pull himself to vote for Trump last year. Oh, and he's also a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, chairman of George W. Bush's election campaign... and he worked as a lobbyist for Giuliani's sleaze ball lobbying firm, working for, among others, Enron and the RIAA, the music biz trade association, which is the reason I know about him.
He was an austerity-loving, tax-cutting, deregulating (catastrophically so for Montana Power Company rate payers) garden variety Republican as governor. It came as a big shock, when about 5 weeks before the election he announced on Montana Public Radio that he could not vote for Trump because of his long list of character flaws and would instead, vote for Biden. He hadn't voted for Trump in 2016 but kept that private until recently. In late September of last year, he said "I regret that I will cause consternation, perhaps, in some corners, but even as a Republican, I will not be supporting Donald Trump for president, and I will not be voting for him... [A]t the end, the content of a man's character or a woman's character to serve in that capacity is more important than any other issue that I have to consider as a matter of conscience."
Not many Montanans didn't seem to care much. Trump won the state's 3 electoral votes, 343,602 (56.9%) to 244,786 (40.5%), a margin 4 points weaker for Trump than in 2016. Trump lost just 7 of Montana's 51 counties. An aside: Montana, predictably an anti-mandate state, has been hit hard with COVID and is approaching 200,000 cases. On a per capita basis, the state is the 9th worst-hit in the country! It lags the country badly in vaccinated residents-- just 53% are fully vaccinated, a deadly number. And, needless to say, it is the Trump counties that are dragging the state averages down and the anti-Trump counties that are doing the best. These were the counties that voted against Trump:
Glacier Co.- 33.5% Trump and 77% fully vaccinated
Missoula Co.- 36.8% Trump and 61% fully vaccinated
Silver Bow Co.- 41.5% Trump and 58% fully vaccinated
Gallitin Co.- 44.7% Trump and 55% fully vaccinated
Deer Lodge Co.- 44.7% Trump and 55% fully vaccinated
Big Horn Co.- 46.1% Trump and 80% fully vaccinated
Blaine Co.- 47.1% Trump and 78% fully vaccinated
And these are the 7 backward counties that went hog wild on Señor Trumpanzee last year and are basically filled with miserable, selfish shells of humans who have given up on life itself:
Garfield Co.- 94.0% Trump and 18% fully vaccinated
Carter Co.- 89.7% Trump and 29% fully vaccinated
Fallon Co.- 87.3% Trump and 32% fully vaccinated
Wibaux Co.- 86.3% Trump and 26% fully vaccinated
Petroleum Co.- 85.6% Trump and 29% fully vaccinated
Powder River Co.- 85.4% Trump and 21% fully vaccinated
McCone Co.- 84.7% Trump and 17% fully vaccinated
I'm sure you noticed the correlation between counties that voted least for Trump and their propensity to follow health guidelines and the counties that voted most for Trump and their residents' propensity to not give a shit about prolonging the pandemic and killing everyone around them (and themselves).
A few days ago, at the 100th annual meeting of the Montana Taxpayers Association, Racicot expressed his worries about what has happened to his party and the danger it has become to America. He got a standing ovation for a speech that included "The most probable way for our republic to vanish is through a lack of honor and fidelity. Not surprisingly that is precisely what is required by our constitutional oath of office... I don’t want to preach, so I am hopeful that I won’t appear pretentious, but with all that has dramatically changed with the political and social fabric of our lives in this last decade and a half-- much for the worse-- in my judgment, I would confess that I sometimes feel like I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Maybe the old adage is true, that inside every older person is a younger person who wondered what happened... Fidelity is the exact opposite of seeking power for its own sake, which as history reveals, at the end of the day, is really a fool’s errand. Without accepting, embracing and discharging one’s duties as guided by fidelity, it is inevitable that the life of our republic will over time, like grains of sand passing through an hourglass, be at risk. A people who cannot talk or listen to each other, who do not respect each other, who will not sincerely consider the thoughts of each other, who do not trust each other and who cannot reason with each other, cannot long live in freedom.. We expected the best of each other until proven wrong... [Twitter] is how much of the country and much of the world talks to each other these days. It’s dizzying, it’s vacuous and it’s perilous... It seems almost impossible to me to manage the noise, to control the flood of unverified and frequently inaccurate communications, conceived in anger and competition and then regretted because of all the blathering that is now a matter of public record. How is it that we stop this runaway train as it picks up speed and leaves scattered all over the landscape so much destruction and damage along the way? We have to bring more discipline and integrity to our communications and comments... The alternative is to witness our way of life being torn apart at the seams. It’s not really a big ask. I am not asking for a return to simpler times. I am calling hopefully for return to simple timeless and enduring values: presuming the best of each the other, listening in good faith before acting or responding, exuding magnanimity and self-correcting our own mistakes. I’m suggesting that we focus on caring and listening to each other, gathering the facts before we make up our minds and then actually fixing our society’s problems rather than being distracted by flashing lights and engaging in the to and fro of never ending, instantaneous, bitter and all too often mean and careless electronic communications that can be sent with the speed of light with a silent click to every corner of the planet Earth and beyond... Let us abandon the fruitless and solitary search for power and control and get about fixing the problems, with fidelity-- so help me God."