A young, moderate Republican-ish woman has chosen to run for Congress. She is running as an Independent. She will likely win. She is smart, well-spoken and quite beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that she was Miss America in 2018. Her name is Cara Mund. She is 28. With the possible exception of smiling alla damn time, she seems to have her head on right. She’s a graduate of Harvard Law school and Brown University and she has put herself out there all her life being smart, nice and pretty.
North Dakota has been a very red Republican state for a long time and a big supporter of the real-life Don in 2016 and 2020. Cara identified as a Republican and even briefly interned for one, I believe, in the Senate. But Cara rejects Trump, Trumpism and now the entire Republican party. She is really a moderate/centre/political candidate and, by choosing to run as an Independent, she is putting herself out there once again. Historically, being an Independent in North Dakota is worse than being a Democrat. They like their brand names there.
Surprisingly, even the Democrats are somewhat conservative there. The guy running for the Dems is a Pro-lifer and supported the SCOTUS reversal/transfer of Roe v Wade. It was that and the corrupt Republicans and their overall, pro-corporate, anti-people position that prompted Mund to run without party affiliation. The general reception to her decision has been so supportive that the Democratic candidate, Mark Haugen, has even dropped out.
Like I said, she is likely to win.
Is that a good thing? On the plus side, more young women suggest that fresh views and approaches are looming. She and others (Dems, Omar and AOC) do not have long-in-the-tooth party roots or debts. Mary Peltola of Alaska might be another. All of those mentioned are also smart and have principles. In fact, they all agree on the error of the Supreme Court so there is a hint of possible bi-partisan cooperation again on at least that one issue.
Unbelievable that Roe v Wade is still the biggest game-changer while so many other things like Climate Change are not.
On the negative side, despite a lot of exposure in the media, they are not really all that experienced. It will be an uphill slog to influence much of anything so long as the ‘establishment’ and the established idiots are still there.
So, does it mean anything? My hope is that it does. It may be an harbinger. It ‘feels’ a bit different. My cynicism is that they are there because they are attractive first, smile a lot second and being intelligent and good is way down the list. ‘Mericans love their pretty celebrities but don’t much care about brains.
The one thing it does mean to me is the possible emergence of that one aspect of politics I have wanted for over 40 years – the independent being a viable contender and NOT being relegated to the sidelines. Mund was very clear in her debut speech: the parties are corrupt (well, she referenced the GOP, anyway). They are designed to keep the commoner out. They are designed to punish any real, grass-root advocate for the people who does not put the party first.
THAT message is absolutely the right one at the right time.
Admittedly, she is NOT a commoner either but only because of her Miss America and Harvard qualifications (exceptional advantages). But, other than those, she is quite believably ‘ordinary’ and down to earth. If she gets in because she is beautiful, I will puke. If she gets in because both Red and Blue voters heard common sense, I will rejoice.
And, if she and other Independents continue to emerge as contenders, there may still be hope for US democracy after all.