I met Ryan Zinke recently, and he impressed me that he is a man of integrity. Not the “integrity when expedient” variety of politician that is so common, but the sort of non-negotiable character that America desperately seeks. His handshake was firm, his mannerism gentle, his speech soft and respectful. He projected conviction, saying, “I know and I won’t forget who I work for,” meaning Montanans, not a political party or the politically powerful.
I asked him if he had been inoculated against “Potomac fever,” the political illness that infects people when they get to D.C. His answer was rock solid saying, “I don’t back down.”
As a former SEAL Team 6 member, mission commander and director of Naval Special Warfare Technology, I suspect he knows the meaning of those words.
Nowadays when the federal government is characterized by septic scandals on a near-daily basis, I am impressed that Montanans have the opportunity to BEGIN cleaning up our often out-of-control and unaccountable government. No, I don’t think he can transform Washington’s sordid mess alone or cowboy up the “cleansing creams” politicians we live with, but I hope Ryan can begin the process. I’ll vote for binding integrity this time.