By Rod Miller, columnist
Eight rounds into Roberto Duran’s 1980 rematch with middleweight Sugar Ray Leonard, he quit the fight saying “No mas”. It was one of history’s great chokes. And regardless of what Duran accomplished before or after that moment, his name will forever be associated with “No mas”.
We are seeing several declared candidates for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat quit the race because a former president endorsed someone else. These “no mas” politicians have choked as ignominiously as Roberto Duran.
Each of these quitters began their campaigns with promises of better representation for Wyoming voters, roto-rooting the “D.C. Swamp”, protecting our rights and the usual litany of campaign rhetoric.
Along the way, they attracted supporters who believed in them and their message, and would help with money and labor during the long campaign. Money was raised. Support was pledged. People began to trust in these campaigns.
They developed campaign logos and catchy slogans that proclaimed their deep and abiding adherence to Wyoming values.
They each tried to differentiate themselves from the rest of the field in order to convince the voting public that they were what Wyoming is all about, and should be sent to Congress to clean things up.
They bent themselves into pretzels to demonstrate how much they revered and honored Wyoming’s official code of ethics – The Code of the West.
And then they quit. Because someone in New Jersey told them to quit.
Their choking under pressure should signal the end of their political careers in the Cowboy State. Wyoming was not built by quitters, and we shouldn’t trust our future to them either. We should invest our trust in those who choose to represent us for the right reasons, not for political opportunism.
We need to save our confidence and trust for those candidates who don’t just give lip service to The Code of the West, but who actually live it.
Here’s a reminder of what The Code of the West says:
8-3-123. State code. 10 11
(a) The code of the west, as derived from the book,
Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen, and summarized as follows,
(i) Live each day with courage;
(ii) Take pride in your work;
(iii) Always finish what you start;
(iv) Do what has to be done;
(v) Be tough, but fair;
(vi) When you make a promise, keep it;
(vii) Ride for the brand;
(viii) Talk less, say more;
(ix) Remember that some things are not for sale;
(x) Know where to draw the line.
Wyoming’s “No Mas” politicians should take particular note of (iii), (vi) and (ix) because those are the areas you really need to work on. Hell pay attention to the whole damn thing if you want to run for political office in Wyoming.
And from here on out, any Wyoming politician who quits a race, after claiming to be one of us, just because someone outside our borders leans on them deserves the forever nick-name, “No Mas”.