In defense of 4&20
by Pete Talbot
[What’s an emptive? Lizard says he’s posted a preemptive strike (below this post) to a piece I’ve been working on. Well, here’s my postemptive. I’m finishing something I’ve started; not my strong suit. Damn you, lizard.]
No one really needs me to defend this site. The contributors do a fine job of responding to comments and criticism, and they even show a little introspection from time-to-time.
But I found this in my inbox a few days ago from someone I respect. For my own reasons, I’ll keep it anonymous but here’s the gist:
I hope you’re following what is going on at 4 and 20 these days.
It seems that there isn’t a Democrat they “like” anymore. Literally, not one.
I’ve been a lurking b’birder from the beginning but I think I finally may let it go.
I mean they’re even going after Pat Williams. I think we’ve got Senator Essman and the Montana Republican party doing enough of that, don’t we?
He/she has a point. This site has made many twists and turns over the years. It started Democratically-centric, particularly in Jon Tester’s successful bid to unseat Sen. Conrad Burns in 2006. 4&20 has had many contributors since then from all stripes left of center, but it belongs to no one. The opinions are those of the writers and I appreciate them all. There are sites that espouse party line — left, right and center — and I’m grateful for those, too.
Now, the 4&20 reins are in lizard’s hands. It’s great to see jhwy.girl in the mix again and a post now-and-then from JC. But this not the site to visit if you’re looking for party talking points. After our founding father, Jay Stevens, I’m the closest to a Democratic apologist and I seldom post anymore.
I enjoy the unbridled ideology this site brings to the ‘sphere. I can’t always embrace it because of life’s realities. Example: I’m against coal trains, tar sands, the rape of the Bakken and the Keystone XL Pipeline. If this was my platform for an upcoming bid for statewide office, how would I fare? Piss poor, and having just returned from the Magic City, Montana’s largest berg, where I did some unscientific polling, I say this with conviction.
So, I’ll continue to straddle that line between idealism and pragmatism while absorbing the musings from the blogs, and hoping we lean to the left as far as feasible in this great state of ours.