Jim Graeve, St. Joseph
We Americans, as a people, by and large, are a compassionate, concerned, caring people. Whether it’s a hurricane in New Orleans, flooding in Fargo, a tornado in Wadena, the abduction of a child, a cancer victim in the next block – we step forward with our time and our treasure.
We Minnesotans add to the above a strong civic ethic. We take our politics seriously, and prove that election after election by having the highest voter turnout in the nation – around 66 percent.
That sounds too good – first in the nation – but it means one-third of us shirk our voting rights and privileges.
From our early history on, we have been governed by a two-party system. At one time it was a belief a divided government – one party controlling the legislative branch and the other the executive – could govern well as compromise would be necessary. That could work if both political parties wish to GOVERN.
Unfortunately, one party, the Republican party, has been hi-jacked by the Tea Party faction. Some 40+ members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tea Partiers, shut down the government for 17 days in October 2013, nearly collapsing our democracy and costing the economy $28 billion. Well, 1,000 million, was once described to finance the city of Duluth’s services in police, fire, education – all public services forever if invested at 5-percent interest – just one billion.
Tea Partiers here sabotaged the Party of Lincoln. Here in Minnesota, in my view, men like Al Quie, Arnie Carlson and Dave Durenburger would not be able to get endorsed by the Republican Party. We need a strong two-party system, but until Republicans reform we are better off electing Democrats for state and national offices.
Here in our Sixth Congressional District, Tom Emmer has been strongly endorsed by Tea Party favorite, Rep. Michele Bachmann. I have not seen or heard a word from Emmer’s campaign disavowing the Tea Party views. I believe Republican President Eisenhower aptly described the modern Tea Party as such:
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Bachmann may have made the Sixth District a red district, Jim Graves made it purple in the 2012 race, Joe Perske, with the help of Independents, moderate Republicans, and a strong Democratic turn out will make it a blue district.
When Paul Wellstone said, “We all do better, when we all do better,” the rich do better as well as the rest of us 99-percenters.
Let us turn out big on Nov. 4 and shoot for an 80-percent voter turnout.
Remember the ballot box is the greatest equalizer that offsets unlimited spending by special-interest groups.