Category Archives: My GOP Defection

Dear Republican Party. Look who thought being liberal was virtuous.

At tonight’s touching remembrance for the recent victims of White nationalism which was held at Duluth’s Temple Israel our pastor gave a compelling description of Pittsburg’s Squirrel Hill where she grew up.

Then the Rabbi said he wanted to read the wonderful and thoughtful words of our President sent to the Jewish community. The words were those of the first President, George Washington, sent to the Jews of Rhode Island in 1790:

Gentlemen:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.

If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

Boys will be jerks

Thirty days in France was a welcome relief from the continuing Trump news sepsis in the United States. Oh, I did peek at the news on my cell and occasionally on various French hotel televisions which carried one English speaking channel. It was always CNN. It was like peeking through my fingers at a horror show.

Toward the end of the trip and now, upon my return, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night hoping not to think about our nation’s politics. Sometimes I am able to get back to sleep. Typing out my thoughts on my blog helps. Yesterday I returned to my on-again, off-again column in the Duluth Reader. Over the day I cranked out a couple of attempts and was concerned that there was so much water flowing over Niagara that I couldn’t possibly stuff it all in a tiny, 800 word bucket. Although there is so so much more to say I was reasonably pleased with my final product. You can read it at the end of the week in the Reader. Its titled: “Frat Boy Justice.”

I begin by explaining that my first attempt to write a column was to expose my “guy” experience as a member of a fraternity from 1969 to 1973. But there were larger issues to dance around so I departed from that. However, the subject of boys behaving badly has made it to this blog before. I remembered writing about one particular episode about a friend of mine who spit on a stripper. I just discovered that I had blogged about this twice. You can read both posts to check to see whether the four year interval between tellings betrays any serious discrepancies. If you are only going to read just one I’d suggest the first post from 2013 because it preceded any thought of a Donald Trump Presidency or a Bret Kavanaugh justiceship.

If you read the shorter second retelling from 2017 (immediately after Trump’s election) you may intuit a premonition on my part of things to come.

Any fair minded person looking the Republican defenders of a likely attempted rapist for signs of moral sepsis have only to look at South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. His example is what my Mother feared could happen to me if I stuck it out in politics.

The Reader

At the insistence of the Duluth Reader’s publisher I quit submitting my by weekly column when I filed for the Eighth District Congressional Seat. Heaven’s forbid that my dotty columns might pose a journalistically unfair threat to Donald Trump’s local pet Pete Stauber. The Reader, unlike Fox News, really tries to be “fair and balanced.” I was originally tendered my Not Eudora spot to be a “conservative” voice against the many liberal voices happily volunteering to keep the Northland informed. At the time these liberal voices considered the Trib to be rabidly conservative. (I have to pause briefly to laugh a little)

Actually writing even one column once every two weeks is more work than I could easily handle while occasionally poking Pete Stauber in the ribs, studying French, escorting family on trips and planning for next weeks departure for France. Now the later looms. My wife and I will board the plane one week from today.

I had originally thought I would submit a weekly column about France while I was away. I didn’t know if the Reader would want them or not. I’ve just decided to submit two columns on my travels instead – one every other week. I will likely blog daily about my travels for my eight loyal readers. To do so I will need to take my computer because posting from my cell phone, while possible, is a pain…….and I don’t mean a loaf of french bread.

The logo above is a computer graphic I used 18 years ago as a newbie Internet enthusiast to help get people to the caucuses to choose delegates for John McCain in his first run for the Republican nomination. The creeps, trolls and assassins who made Donald Trump an accidental Republican President were already at work back then slandering McCain. When he was slandered out of the running I only had a few pathetic Republican breaths left in me. I ran for the legislature as a republican in 2002 but I was not like the usual Republican suspects today.

I have roughed out a few words on the column I’ll be sending into the Reader later tonight. Polishing them up and last minute organizing for my trip are on today’s docket. Finishing a book on America’s involvement in World War 1 will take up the following days.

Gotta get started.

My Kind of Loser

John McCain is on his death bed. The news has it that he is no longer accepting treatment for his cancer and that his family is gathering together. Although he was not a perfect vessel for my moderate version of Republicanism he was the last Republican I could enthusiastically throw my heart to. In 2000 as the caucuses for the Presidential election grew close I became one of his early organizers from my home and started a webpage to encourage his supporters to go to the caucuses. I just found it in the Wayback Machine a service devoted to keeping old websites from evaporating into the void.

https://web.archive.org/web/20010127085800/http://snowbizz.com:80/CaucusMcCain/CaucusMccain.htm

I’ve been casting about for a subject to write about in my return to Not Eudora. Thinking about our current draft dodger President who called Senator McCain a “loser” while on his merry way to sullying our nation’s Oval Office I know just what to write. My next column will be about my kind of loser.

Gone fishin

Over the past nine weeks I’ve made my case for a return to the GOP’s better angels. It cost me $300.00 to file for office and given my antipathy for President Trump’s misanthropy it was a bargain. In a couple days the folks voting in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District will have a choice between me and one of Donald Trump’s minions, Pete Stauber. I’ve already noted Pete’s pulling back a little in the Trump department with the Duluth Tribune’s editorial endorsement in which he stressed his independence. Yeah sure. No Republican with a spark of independence has survived Trump’s scorn over the last year. They are all weak sisters and Pete Stauber is no exception.

How will I do on Tuesday? Continue reading

Meet Harry Robb Welty – candidate for Congress, Minnesota

VOTE TO RESTORE THE LEGACY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

This is the inspiration for this logo


This video was shot at WCCO’s request.

I will keep this introductory post near the top of my blog through the primary. As the campaign hums along I’ll recommend favorite posts to give you quick access to relevant questions concerning my candidacy. First up. Why should voters take my Don Quixote-like campaign seriously and how serious am I? Start here.

ON DONATIONS
If I am elected I will have accomplished my victory with an extremely small treasury. I hope you are not one of those folks who only contribute to sure bets like Political Actions Committees do. A contribution to my campaign will be going to a plain talker the greatest possible threat to Donald Trump. And if I am elected I’ll be part of a small group of centrists who will push the Congress in sensible, non partisan directions. Admit it to yourself. A small donation to an honest candidate will make you feel good win lose or draw.










Google my name to see what pops up. I’ve been a very busy fellow for a very long time: Harry Welty Duluth School Board, Harry Welty snow sculptor or click any of the subjects on the right hand column or below this blog on your cell phone.

I created my first website in 1999 and began to blog on it before the word came into use to tell people what has happening with Duluth’s Schools. I was serving on the School Board at the time. Its an ancient old thing and I have recently lost the ability to add to it for technical reasons I’m too lazy to figure out. This blog is eleven years old. I began it in 2006 for another campaign for Congress. I once calculated that I’d already written several million words worth of opinions here. I take responsibility for every single one of them. I never raise my finger to see which way the wind is blowing.

In coming days I will write several posts on individual issues of importance where Donald Trump has his head up where the sun don’t shine and has the company of many Stauber-like congressional camp followers.

They may include:

Public Education:
Free Trade: (fifth Question down)
Trumpenomics
Holding a necrotic Republican Party hostage:
What can you expect for a Congressman Pete Stauber?
Nationalism:
Immigration/DACA:
American Scientific decline and denial:
China:
Israel:
Socialism and Socialized Medicine
Faux News
Sunshine Patriots
Impeachment
Carbon and Plastics
Copper Nickle Mining
The Supreme Court
Russia
Why it will take the rapture to end abortions
“Christians vs. the Constitution
skin melanin panic
Civil Rights
Gun Control

I LOVE TO ANSWER EMAIL QUESTIONS: I’LL POST AS MANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS AS I CAN AND PUT MY REPLIES ON THE BLOG. SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO: harrywelty@charter.net

Jennifer’s third Question, re: affiliation

Also, what’s up with your party affiliation? You were a Republican. Then, the party abandoned you, so then you’re a Democrat. But now you’re running as a Republican. ARE you a Republican again now? Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, vote for you when your party affiliation is prone to such cussedly diametrical opposites? I’m a Democrat/Republican—c’mon, I want to vote for someone I know is on the team for real!

Jennifer,

I am an American first and foremost. That is my primary affiliation. And I’ve always cast my vote with America not a mere political party in mind. That has meant my votes for candidates from both parties as well as a few independent candidates. And Remember that George Washington, a model of humility, fidelity and honesty as well as the first President of our nation, was worried for good reason about political parties. He called them “factions”. He imagined that like in France during the Revolution such factions could cause much mischief and he was right. They damn near tore the nation apart leading up to the Civil War. They seem to be trying to replicate that experiment now.

I’m sure you have read many of my posts on Good Republicans or God’s Own Party or the Bush Leagues Those are nothing if not a lament for a very different Republican Party. I’ve been struggling for a quarter century trying to reconcile a great party’s history with what it has become.

As I have written before. I like Democrats. I tried being one for five or six years. I’d simply prefer liking them as my fellow Americans rather than as a cheap imitation of the good things that Democrats stand for.

Wake up call

My 65 second riff last night on Trump’s unhealthy admiration for murderous tyrants and threats to democracy could become soul crushing should it get stuck on repeat. I’m more inclined to take a philosophical view of Trump’s machinations. He is a wake up call to people about Democracy’s vulnerability. Its rather like the image taken of Earth by the Apollo crews from the Moon. From far away the Earth looks like what it is, a fragile place at the mercy of any wayward asteroid. Our Democracy may seem scrappy because it has survived civil war, one particularly nasty Republican spawned depression, the rise of Dictators in the 1940’s and the Cold War. It seems like after all that it should be able to weather an empty, narcissist like Donald Trump.

How did Donald Trump get elected? Continue reading

Gun Control vs. the NRA

I first publicly registered my dissatisfaction with Second Amendment purists about thirty years ago with a letter to the editor. The Trib thought it provocative enough that they published it with the photo of a gun barrel pointed at the readers.

It generated some heat from critics and I’ll confess that looking back on it I regret one term I used. I criticized a “slavish” devotion to the Constitution. I had in mind the nit picky sort of cherry picking you might associate with Biblical literalists who like the Jehovah’s Witnesses make a fuss about a single passage like the line in the King James version of the Bible’s Old Testament that says the name of God is “Jehovah.” Never mind that this was a much later English word for a God who the original Hebrew writers tried to discourage their followers from even uttering out-loud. The point of the Constitution was that it could be amended and fitted to the desires of future Americans.

And for two hundred years the Supreme Court did not sever gun onwership from the notion of forming the Second Amendment’s militia’s. They were composed originally of a rag tag group of citizens with hunting rifles. It has only been in the years subsequent to my letter that a newly composed Supreme Court decided that militia’s were not part of the gun ownership right. This was the achievement of the NRA newly transformed from a rifle loving group of hunters to a handgun toting bunch of semi-vigilantes.

I trust the constitution’s fair application to citizens as far more vital to our protection than I do to some neighbor’s quick access to a gun. Like cars guns are tools that need regulation. Don’t run a red light. Keep your rifle in a leather holder. Big deal.

I have no sympathy for an NRA whose president spouts that any attempt to keep guns same is the action of “jackbooted thugs.”

I have a couple collector’s rifles handed down from Grandfathers that never used them. I’m not a paranoid like Wayne Lapiere.

I’ve just gotten my questionnaire from them which will be ignored as they will almost certainly endorse Pete Stauber who had a colleague on the Duluth Police force killed by a disturbed man with a gun.

I’ll simply send them this picture of me in the wake of Sandyhook to let them know how unsuitable I would be a Congressman.

Email – wishes I was a Republican

This is a message I just got from an old high school classmate whose family bought my family’s old Mankato, Minnesota Home:

I wrote about this a long time ago here.

06/12/18 11:07 AM
Dear Harry, I read your article about Trump the racist in the Duluth Reader. You are spot on about that guy–what a disgrace. The Free Press had an article today about him coming to Duluth, all he will do is talk about himself. It also mentioned that you are running for Congress. Good luck! (I still think you should run as a Democrat.) Be sure to come to our 50th reunion! Details will come later. Your old house is doing just fine. Harley and I ramble around in it but it does fill up with grandchildren and other visitors now and then. *****

This was my reply:

Hi *****,

That’s a great house to fill with grandchildren. We’ve got two. I’m sure I’ll try to make it to number 50.

I left the GOP a little before Obama. I enjoyed being a Democrat that year and miss him as our president. As for my running as a Democrat. Gee. I can’t forget what Will Rogers said. “I don’t belong to any organized party…….I’m a Democrat.” I fear they are about to reelect Trump and that thought gives me the heebie jeebies.

In the 50 years since I got to good old Mankato High the two parties political handlers winnowed and cleansed them of dissenters and orignial thinkers year by year until they became like the Skeksies and the Mystics in that movie by Henson “The Dark Crystal.”

We won’t be whole again as a nation until some liberal thinkers are Republicans and some conservative thinkers are Democrats or some other two party system develops that don’t act like opposites. We need the Dark Crystals missing shard to be replaced.

I can’t predict the future but I can take the party my family was long affiliated with and try to inject some humility, common sense and decency into it.

Harry

One more reason why my loyal readers will remain reduced to 7

Yes, I lost a reader due to too much emphasis on the state of black America. My departed reader assured me that I had obviously been subjected to too much propaganda. Well, true to form the first of the New York Times pieces I will link to is about America’s new holocaust museum in Alabama. Duluth will be sending a delegation to this memorial as our infamous lynching is part of its story. If its mention of the treatment of an angry young wife who railed at her husband’s murderers is propaganda……well, I will continue to subject my readers to it.

The other article was a review of the book written by a reporter who covered Hillary Clinton for ten years right up to her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump.

And this same author separately explains the advice she was given before writing a book. It was: read lots of books. Since I keep putting off authoring my own book/books I found the advice sensible.

And last night I sent in my next column to the Duluth Reader’s Submissions email. The column will be titled: Swallowing Ham’s Sandwich. I can’t link to it yet but it begins:

The story of Noah’s Ark begins in chapter six of Genesis. My grandsons would tell me that Chapter six was afraid of Chapter 7 for good reason. Why? Because 7-8-9.

The PBS Vietnam Series gets me thinking

I watched all the Stanley Karnow episodes in the 1990’s about Vietnam but I think Kevin Burns will bring a little more nuance at a time when it can be digested by the folks who weren’t born and didn’t live through the war. I agree with Burns that our actions during this war divided America. However, I also believe that the entire Civil Rights Era was an equal partner in this division having predated it by 200 years.

My eight loyal readers know that I put a disproportionate blame on the GOP for all our woes. That war became a sort of substitute for Civil Rights because it simply became impossible to be an avowed racist after Martin Luther King. But being a patriot – that was different. Many folks could use “America First” or “Better Red than Dead” or the “Domino Theory” in place of race baiting to hang their political hats on. Ditto the Pro-life movement. For years northerners thumbed their noses at “racist” southerners, never mind their own urban red lining and segregation, and “saving babies” gave southern Baptist types the same sense of moral superiority to throw back at northern baby killing sophisticates.

Over time the GOP, which had beat the Democrats up over catering to special interests – blacks, latinos, women’s libbers and unions, became their own assortment of special interests, patriots, pro-lifers, pro-NRA, and “small government” (code for don’t make us integrate.)

In time the GOP got so virulent about removing RINO’s like me that they perfected “primarying” by which they defeated “liberal” Republican office holders and purged a formerly pro-civil rights party of moderates. Of course, the Democrats did something similar if less rigorously.

As much as I bemoan the “demagogue” Trump I can see his allure to folks who feel neglected and I can even see that the promise of turning politics on its head might just improve our politics. His base has not yet rebelled when he’s worked out deals with Democrats. In an odd way his manner and his supporter’s devotion are acting as a rebuke to Republican stuffed shirts……the same folks who went along with the purge of liberal Republicans like me because it kept working to keep the Congress in their hands.

All those moderate Republican Presidential candidates Trump whipped for the nomination……they were the same folks who stood by as the Republican Party got more white, more angry and more self righteous. They were also the great exponents of free trade which blue collar converts to Republicanism are so fed up with.

But back to Burns and Vietnam.

I hope his ten part series can put some of the ghosts of that era to rest. My story during that Era can be summed up this way:

My family raised me to revere my Grandfather who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was both for staying out of foreign wars, which he blamed on Democrats, and for supporting our troops no matter how stupid the war was once we were stuck in one.

As a college student in the 1970’s I couldn’t reconcile the contradictions that this dual policy required. I was embarrassed for not being a part of the war as I objected to it. But the WW II generation fixed it so that future wars, like Vietnam, would be fought by poor kids while college students were exempted. Even then I saw that as grossly unfair while I was going to college with a draft number of 41, low enough to insure I’d go into the service if I quit college.

And what a hideous war it was making America complicit in evil doings that turned the stomach and the mind. Thus it always is with war. As Robert E. Lee said: “It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it.”

If America can survive Donald Trump without succumbing to his call of “America First” maybe he will succeed in answering the hopes of his most ardent supporters to break out of the gridlock that has made our politics so lamentable in recent years. He may do it by killing the “Party of Lincoln.” That is, if the Republicans themselves haven’t already accomplished it.

Pickle relish and ketchup on my Deep State, Please?

Mother nature woke me at 4AM. The “Deep State” prevented me from going back into a deep sleep. Before I launch into my thoughts about national paranoia I’ll start with local paranoia.

I often mentioned the slogan I jokingly suggest should be our school board’s operating principle: “Just because you’re paranoid DOESN’T mean that someone isn’t out to get you!”

Just this morning I sent out an email containing this sentiment:

“The only antidote I know for this paranoia is sunshine. Put things out in the open where you can see them and you can shrug them off. If you can’t see them they become like that poisonous creature hiding in a tree stump in the Star trek movie about the castoffs marooned on a dying plant. They had to put their hands in the stump and risk a painful death.”

The “Deep State” strikes me as an invention of the real “Deep State.” The so called Deep State is not the bureaucrats and press foisting socialized medicine on a hardy, uncorrupted people. It’s the folks who don’t want to pay for socialized medicine or other civic obligations like pollution control.

The chief obstacle to getting this accomplished is our Constitution which guarantees a free press the much hated irritant of the power hungry except when they themselves use it. In Russia or China the author of “Dark Money”, Jane Mayer, would have been shot or disappeared by now. In America her biggest worry would be disinterest not death.

Before the School Board campaign and researching China got in the way I managed to get about half way through the book. It details the remnants of the John Birch Society which have rekindled into a much more potent semi-secret cabal led by the deep pockets of two of the Koch brothers. Their tentacles are everywhere – Congress, the Federal Courts, all state legislatures through ALEC, reapportionment, voter suppression, freedom to work laws, campaign finance, undermining of Federal regulation, the Trump Administration, the Tea Party and Fox News. You can’t fault Charles Koch for not putting his money where his heart is – corporate supremacy through regulatory inaction. You might argue that most of the billions he’s spent on this re engineering the American polity came from putting the public at risk by skimping on public spiritedness.

My take on the Republicans hysterics about a liberal Deep State is to think of it as Fake mongering. It has all the resonance of the grade school taunt: “I know you are but what am I?”

Maybe the real problem is overpopulation and its unruly offspring disappointed expectations of the young but the Free Press is under assault all over the world – Russia, Turkey, China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and now the United States. Our all-too-real President lies daily about “Fake News” until its obvious truth emerges. Then his lackey’s call it a “nothing burger.”

I’ll take my nothing burger with plenty of ketchup and pickle relish, thank you.

92 pages into Dark Money and a change of scenery

I am reading Jane Mayer’s book Dark Money. It is an intensely serious exploration of the unscrupulous but entirely legal attempt to subvert any trace of socialism that has accumulated in the United States over the last century. To call the billionaires who are bringing this about anarchists comes close to their objective – the rule of wealth.

This was an unplanned excursion into modern American politics because I have been busying myself reading up on the politics of my Grandfather’s youth and young adulthood. Karl Rove’s book about the McKinley/Bryan election was in the batters box. I’m sure I find it even more interesting after finishing Dark Money. One selling point for the Rove book is that the 1896 election is something of a model for 2016’s carnival. Like our most recent election 1896 was the first mega bucks presidential race. It pitted a free silver radical, Bryan, against Millionaires who thought he would bleed them dry with cheap money. This was Mark Twain’s “Gilded Age” when the gulf between rich and poor was vast as it has once again become. Since 1970 a collection of billionaires who have put their financial muscle behind a genetic re-engineering the Republican Party away from John Maynard Keynes and allied it with the ghosts of our unsavory past.

I checked the index of Dark Money to see how often Karl Rove was mentioned in it – 9 times and then took a second look at Rove’s dust jacket. It wasn’t only conservative pundits that praised his book. So did Jon Meacham author of a biography of Andrew Jackson and Doris Kearns Goodwin who has written some of my favorite books about Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. The Billionaires would love to erase all memory of the latter two presidents.

The Koch Brothers (2 of the 4) put almost a billion dollars into the 2016 election and tag teamed with Vladimir Putin to change our political landscape. Mayer says of them that they want to roll back not only Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society but FDR’s New Deal and even Teddy Roosevelt’s “Square Deal.” It was teddy who called the rich of his Era the “malefactors of wealth.” Mark Hanna, the Charles Koch of his Era and the man who elected McKinley, grimly said of Teddy after he succeeded the assassinated McKinley “Now that damned cowboy is in the White House”. Hanna’s modern day successors feel the same about the “trust buster.”

When Glenn Beck made his first appearance in the book (8 mentions) I was reminded of hearing Beck express great reservations years ago about Teddy for steering America wrong. Who the heck today doesn’t like TR? Well the Billionaires don’t and it seems Beck was one of the regulars at the secret gatherings at the Koch home. No doubt he drank deeply of the Koch’s antediluvian thinking.

BTW. Beck has been on something of a repentance tour. I was astonished to see him on Samantha Bee and even more surprised last Sunday to catch him in his confessions on Public Radio’s On Being.

I’ve run as a Republican several times although the last time in 2002 I had to beat the endorsed candidate in a primary. I think so. I can’t quite remember. Its a long time ago. Starting in 2006 I went to my first DFL precinct caucus and felt like a fish out of water although it was more tepid than the GOP waters I had been roiling in previously. That’s when I named the blog.

I was also delighted to hear Abraham Lincoln lauded at a DFL gathering. The GOP has been embarrassed by him ever since Ronald Reagan was elected President. And one of my one of my favorite political memories was attending the 2008 Seventh District convention and seeing so many other Obama supporters. I haven’t attended a DFL precinct caucus for a couple of elections. Its tough on my gills so, at best I’m a compromised Democrat but I am about to attend this weekend’s screening committee to ask Duluth DFLer’s to endorse me for the School Board race. I’ve left a message asking where and when to appear to have my credentials validated.

…………………………WeltyforSchoolBoard.com

On the day that President Trump will give his first speech to Congress…

… I was fixing old posts. One of them was this short post from JANUARY 23, 2012. Richard Nixon’s simple explanation for why America should have two political parties reaching for the center instead of the periphery demonstrates the wisdom he had and that he ignored in order to become President in 1968.

Today the Bernie Sander’s diehards are hoping to do to the Democratic Party what the Tea Party did to the Republican Party. Break it.

From that post:

In 1959, Vice-President Nixon, speaking to members of California’s Commonwealth Club, was asked if he’d like to see the parties undergo an ideological realignment, the sort that has since taken place, and he replied, “I think it would be a great tragedy . . . if we had our two major political parties divide on what we would call a conservative-liberal line.” He continued, “I think one of the attributes of our political system has been that we have avoided generally violent swings in Administrations from one extreme to the other. And the reason we have avoided that is that in both parties there has been room for a broad spectrum of opinion.” Therefore, “when your Administrations come to power, they will represent the whole people rather than just one segment of the people.”

I am voting for Dylan

No, I’m not talking about local Duluth Boy, Bob, now of Nobel Prize fame. I’m talking about Dylan Raddant the Republican candidate challenging DFL Representative Jen Schultz.

I met Dylan for a cup of coffee and a talk in June after I read about her. (I just corrected that from “him” to “her.”) I read about Dylan’s candidacy in May. The DNT story made clear that Dylan was “transitioning from male to female.” That story had some predictable sentences that went along with the surprising candidacy. Dylan explained that “she would bring a new and valuable point of view the the Legislature.” Furthermore, “Raddant aims to dispel the notion that the Republican party is somewhow exclusionary” and that “I want to bring this party into the 21st century in terms of social progress.”

Of course, when we spoke, I brought my very much excluded self to the table as a RINO kicked out because I wouldn’t shuck off my social liberalism. I don’t think I pledged my vote to Dylan at that first meeting but I gave him a contribution. I pointed out that he is very much at odds with his new party on an issue of particular interest to her – transgender bathrooms. I noted that it was Democrats supporting this and Dylan was painfully aware of just how much needs to be done to drag the GOP into the social mainstream of the 21st Century.

PLEASE NOTE, my use of the pronoun “him” in the last sentence with “her” following it. I’m in transition too. Dylan is taller than me and her name is sufficiently masculine and her transition sufficiently neutral enough that I too am caught between pronouns.

Dylan is only about 21 and comes from a less political background than I did at the same age. She’s also about five years younger than I was when I first ran for the state legislature in 1976. Her district has had Republican representatives in the past. I once challenged Jen’s predecessor Thomas Huntly for the position back in 2002 in my last campaign as a Republican. It was after that that I hung up my Republican spurs and began attending DFL conventions through four elections. Now I’m a man without a party.

If Trump sufficiently pummels the Party I might go back to it and wander around it like my Dad wandered around Hiroshima a month or two after the atom bomb was dropped on it. Its the “Party of Lincoln” damn it and its a sorry day that its leaders for the past couple decades have paid their founder so little heed. Hell, they crapped all over Reagan too and his “big tent.” With old RINO’s like me and a couple gender fluid representatives maybe we could turn it back to the center and take it away from Teddy Roosevelt’s buggaboo, the “lunitic fringe.” TR put that much better than Hillary did with her “basket of deplorables.” Although lumping Rush, Limbaugh and David Duke together in that category is OK by me.

The DNT, not surprisingly, endorsed Jen Schultz for reelection. She’s not a bad egg but I’m not impressed with the parade of benign and interchangeable letters to the editor sent in to the Editorial pages in her behalf. She will win and win handily. I bear her no ill will although she didn’t bend over as far backwards as Rep. Simonson did when Art Johnston and I brought her a proposal to kill the dumbass state law that gives a school board (and only a school board) the right to kick off a duly elected Board member they don’t want to put up with.

I’m afraid that Jen is the conformist candidate. Dylan, on the other hand, is about as much of a nonconformist as any of us tired with the status quo could hope to see elected to the legislature……..no matter how green behind the ears he may be. Oh, and his religiously conservative family is not keen on his particular brand of nonconformism. Oh, and some of Duluth’s conservative Republican poobahs have been supportive of Dylan’s political exertions. Maybe the GOP will let ole Honest Abe back in the party after a good thrashing. Abe had a funny eye that is attributed to his having a mule kick him in the head. It didn’t stop him and the party could only benefit from one now. I hope its good and hard.

Psalm 10 and Octopus Ink

In the six months since I’ve returned from Jerusalem I’ve managed to get over half way from Genesis to the last of the minor prophets – Malachi. (Those are generally all the books in both the Protestant’s Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible) Last night after the end of the Democrat’s Presidential nominating convention I read Psalm 10: As with Job before it I couldn’t help relate many of the lines to current events, to wit:

Vs. 2: In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor- (Donald Trump ripping off legions of small contractors, college students, renters, investors)

Vs. 3: For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain….:(Ditto Trump)

Vs. 5: Their ways prosper at all times: your judgments are on high, out of their sight, as for their foes, they scoff (tweet) at them.

Vs. 7: …..under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.

Vs. 8: …Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless:

The Republican evangelicals really have nominated a fifth grader’s, middle finger of a candidate. I’d say fourth grade as that is one estimate of Donald Trump’s vocabulary usage but my older grandson is going into fourth grade and I just can’t stand the idea of my grandson being in the same class with Donald Trump.

Even my first grade grandson has a superior vocabulary to the Trumpster. Yesterday after our trip to the Duluth Aquarium we were talking about Octopus ink and he said it was an “obstacle illusion.” That’s also a good description of the Big Apple, rip off artist. The fifth grader in me can’t help but think of that stock fifth grade retort, “I know you are but what am I?”, when I hear him call Clinton “Crooked Hillary.”

It turns out that about two-thirds of Americans who call themselves “evangelicals” never or rarely go to church. Consequently, they have nominated a candidate who is disinterested in religion and contemptuous of today’s thin Republican dogma. Now they are faced with a candidate, like her or not, who was locked out of her house by her Mother to face down the neighborhood’s bullies. Too bad the Republicans didn’t have any candidates with Mother’s like Hillary Clinton had.