Ep. 17 – Better Wyoming Makes Wyoming Better

Nate Martin, Executive Director of Better Wyoming, chats with Matt about the challenges of grassroots organizing in the least dense of the lower 48 states, among other things. Donate: https://betterwyo.org/donate/ Volunteer: https://betterwyo.org/volunteer/

Note: an f-bomb got past our sensors on this one before the episode was published. There was much back and forth in the editing room after. Blame was thrown around. Discussions were had. Was it better to remove the blasphemous posting and replace it with a sanitized version? Or did the fact that it had already been posted mean it had to stay? The team decided that, because so many listeners had already heard the original version and might be confused if a new episode were published to replace the original, we must let it stand even though on the recording Matt is heard saying that we’ll bleep the cursed curse. As Kurt Cobain said, “All apologies.”

As for the rest of the episode, it’s a winner! Once again, Matt stews in his own mediocrity at the onset, but the interview itself is 5-star as always. Nate Martin from Better Wyoming outlines his organization’s challenge, the stakes, the obstacles, and, finally, reveals his end game, which is basically to wait until all the ideas put forward by his opposition have failed and then there will be nothing left to try but his ideas. Naturally, many Wyomingites wish more people would listen to Nate right now and do what is right for the people of this proud state, but even Nate understands the odds are long when it comes to raising taxes to fund critical public programs and expanding Medicaid to include those who currently don’t qualify but also can’t afford insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Matt opens the show with a quick discussion about why Friday evenings aren’t the ideal time for him to conduct an interview. A stay-at-home dad during normal business hours, Matt is dead to the world by 5pm Friday, as the accumulated pressure of raising young throughout the long week has typically crushed his spirit into a patty, much like how a train crushes a penny left on the tracks. You can still recognize the Abraham Lincoln, but it looks all fat and distorted. That’s Matt on Friday evenings: still very Lincoln-like, but lethargic and hungry.

Nate Martin seemed unfazed by Matt’s erratic attempts at silly humor, such as making fun of the name “Better Wyoming.” In retrospect, Better Wyoming is one of those names that shouldn’t be made fun of. That’s how ripe it is to be made fun of. It’s too obvious. Matt should’ve left it alone. Nate Martin bats away the criticism like a home run slugger who has briefly stepped out of the box to swat away a gnat before clubbing another dinger, almost like he’s heard the joke before and was ready. Really, given that Matt worked for an organization called PIRG for eight years, he shouldn’t be making fun of groups’ names.

By the end of the conversation, we’re left with the same level of optimism that typically accompanies any conversation about how Wyoming is about to turn a corner toward progressivism. That is, very little.

This is the 17th episode of Campaign Season, with so much more to come. Thanks for listening, reading, sharing, liking, rating, commenting, supporting, cheering, laughing, crying and making love to this podcast.