Category Archives: moderation

Black and White, good and evil, Democrat and Republican, America Divided

When I was born in the glow of the post WW II years there was a much smaller difference between our two political parties. Gone, but not forgotten, were the anti-Roosevelt, anti-New Deal Republicans. The war had taken Depression boys and girls and plunged them into a great and uniting war that would be remembered fondly ever after as the “Good War.” Everyone (who was white) was now an equal, political affiliation be damned.

The differences between the parties were subtle as I grew up. I took pride in not being a Democrat stuck with the solid South’s Keep the N’s down politics. Not that Republicans were that fanatical about sticking up for black citizen’s rights. They had already established a long record of diffidence about extending Lincoln’s magnanimity and fighting to enforce the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments that their radical forebears in Congress had passed. By the Gilded Age, (the 1890’s) a time not unlike our own, Republicans shrugged their shoulders and decided that nobody could do anything about the South anyway. What followed was a mostly cozy fifty years of going along to get along and get along without helping black America. Black America suffered terribly.

This very cool graphic begins in the 1950’s when America had two political parties ruling Congress with congressman who didn’t hate each other.

But the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s brought about big social changes. the Fifties saw the birth of a new Civil Rights Era ignited by African Americans and President Lyndon Johnson going turncoat on the South leading to black citizens finally being guaranteed the right to vote in the South. That prompted southerners to break away into a Dixiecrat Party that couldn’t go anywhere and, by the sixties through the eighties, a flood of southern democrats. They took over the GOP like parasites taking over an ant’s brain and forced it to rely on the Solid South’s old habit of suppressing black voters. The current Supreme Court is the realization of that long standing policy.

As the Republicans began to morph they pointed to the Democrats with their young anti-war converts and accused Democrats of being the party of single-interest issues. Pro woman, Pro black, Pro Gay, pro environment etc., meaning the party of division. What you can see in this graphic is that in the early years of 1980’s, the Reagan Years, the two parties began to drift farther and farther apart. The nation wasn’t yet at the point where a boy and girl with different political inclinations would find it impossible to marry but those day were coming.

The Republicans who had accused the Democrats of putting single interests above the nation helped expand new hot button separatists to promote gun ownership, fight abortion, curtail immigration and keep sexual “deviance” illegal.

After Reagan, in the 90’s, Republican Reagan worshipers conveniently forgot his exhortation to keep the GOP a party of the “Big Tent.” Instead the party’s hacks and purists found it convenient to whip up their single interest factions to go out and punish wishy-washy moderates like me (AKA RINO’s – Republicans in Name Only). It made no difference how many generations their families had been affiliated with the party. Treated now as apostates they had to defer to their new Republican masters who were descended from families that had hated Abraham Lincoln. And in one lamentable irony these new southern-led, ex-Democrat, Republicans would taunt Democrats for being the party of Slavery.

For a decade or two, even as these take-over artists demonized closeted, moderate congressman, Moderates remained until new blue-collar converts, who had lost jobs to the Republicans push for Free Trade, turned on them under Donald Trump. The Republican Party, once a champion of “the rule of law,” is now weighing whether to turn on the Constitution to save their tweeting President or act honorably which could cost them control of the elective branches of the Federal Government. (The Supreme Court is their’s until the Arctic melts)

This question was settled for me in Junior High when I read John Kennedy’s slim history “Profiles in Courage.” Sadly, courage has not been a big part of the Republican Party for a long time. It may have died with John McCain.

My 3rd Lincolndemocrat Post from March 8, 2006

I probably haven’t reread this old post … http://lincolndemocrat.com/?p=8 … for twelve years but its offers a fascinating window on my schizophrenic politics. I wrote it not long after claiming the lincolnDEMOCRAT domain name. I was through with the Republicans. Like a woman scorned I would hurl invective at them for turning my family’s long time party into a cult financed by the Kochs.

This post describes my first precinct caucus as a democrat. Its rather funny. I’d forgotten how keen Democrat true believers were. I was the lone voice of reason on a resolution to impeach……not a Donald Trump…….but George W. Bush. When the Fox talking heads describe Dems as being hell-bent on impeaching Trump it is a charge that has precedent.

I’ve once again stuck my toe into the GOP but only to wage a civilian equivalent of the battle that earned my Grandfather a Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty. I may not deserve it. I have little appetite for returning to a Republican precinct caucus that will be even more inhospitable than the ones I departed from in 2006. Trump and the NRA have replaced the Koch’s as cult leader.

“Modern Republicans” & “Conservatives” – definitions

I have been mining my old Not Eudora columns for the book I’m writing. One pseudonymous writer has been honoring me by throwing questions at my columns. I just discovered one such question that I missed. I missed it because I can only find my critics if I go back a few days later to the website of the Duluth Reader where, after my posts are uploaded, people are given a chance to comment. If I don’t go back I miss the questions and don’t answer them and I never saw this one. Having just found this one I want to answer it because my return to “modern” Republicanism to burn it down will make a lot of people scratch their heads over my intention to turn it into a Phoenix. The Party was pretty awful before Donald Trump. Under Trumplicanism its hair is on fire and I didn’t start that.

Here is Juan Percent’s question:

Harry – there is a major philosophical difference that separates you from modern republicans. The government is not the answer to your problems. You have that responsibility. How can you even consider yourself to be conservative?

I did not answer this in December of 2018. I will answer it here later today:

HERE’S MY ANSWER:

I’m a Presbyterian by upbringing if not a current member (although I’ve sung in our church’s choir for a quarter century) A Presbyterian lives in a church with its own set of rules not unlike those of the American Constitution. In the same way Americans codify seperate but equal branches of government to preserve us from a tyrant the Presbyterians insure that they can preserve the Presbyterian church for Presbyterian ideals that can only be modified with the consent of the majority of church members. How can this play out?

A few years back in Grand Rapids Minnesota a swarm of evangelical folks were swept into a Presbyterian church and drove the old timers out. They then attempted to take over the church building. My wife was one of the larger community of Presbyterians that let them know that under our church’s polity the church building belonged to the greater church not the take-over artists.

No such guarantees preserve old timers in political parties other than preserving their majority. In the case of both parties events have swept new majorities in and changed the platforms over the last 200 years. One party, Lincoln’s Whigs, simply disappeared.

I am not a modern Republican. That would be a Trumplican. I was not really much of a Republican before Trump when bloodless Ayn Rand aficionados, like Paul Ryan, ruled supreme. You really have to go back to Dwight David Eisenhower or Nelson Rockefeller to find my kind of Republicans who were also my Dad’s kind of Republicans. Farther back in my Grandfather’s day Teddy Roosevelt held sway. Those were days when the party proudly traced its lineage to Abraham Lincoln. Today’s Republicans are very much “Lincoln who?” I was shocked and pleased in my brief foray into the Democratic Party to discover that they held Abe Lincoln in high esteem.

Hitler was once modern. So much for mere modernity. Although my Grandfather would have cast a disapproving eye at “socialism” in his day, he didn’t want to take advantage of Medicare until my Dad convinced him he had paid for it, he would have understood that America’s NATO allies were all far more heavily invested in socialism than the United States. Judging by how miserable so many Americans are I think its long overdue to follow our allies lead because they do not have such wells of poverty, despair and ignorance in their nations as we Americans do.

As for “conservativism” that generally means holding fast to what has worked and will continue to work. I see little in the modern Republican Party but despoliation of the planet. That doesn’t work for me.

The Lunatic Fringe

Two recent news stories both typify the worst about the far left and the far right. Both show governments being essentially unhinged and dogmatic. The first regards a leftish California School Board which, to protect fragile high school students, will spend over half a million dollars to destroy a WPA mural painted during the Depression that honestly shows President Washington as a slave owner. Even mixed race kids at the high school want to preserve its history. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/28/opinion/sunday/san-francisco-life-of-washington-murals.html

And on the unhinged right, there is this deplorable example from Alabama. A pregnant woman got in a bar fight and the woman she assaulted shot her despite her five month pregnant belly. The shooter was released but the pregnant and wounded mother, Marshae Jones, was indicted for manslaughter of Her Fetus which did not survive the stupidity. From NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/28/737005113/woman-indicted-for-manslaughter-after-death-of-her-fetus-may-avoid-prosecution

An example of my cell phone memo pad

I bought a cell phone with a better camera before I left for China two years ago. I lost a year’s worth of notes I’d begun jotting down for blog posts, reminders, ideas for potential books etc. Since then I’ve created another 300 plus such posts but utterly failed to organize them so as to be easily accessible. While sorting through them just now I found this one which I’ll share with a few proof reading corrections. I don’t know how I’ll modify or use it but its has the seeds of a much longer discourse. Its a good example of the random thoughts I’d like to make sense of:

Tyranny of the Elite

In public high schools there has long been something of a tyranny of the elite. It is loosely composed of kids with money, the football or basketball team and the National Honor Society. Continue reading

Hollywood Influence and Juan Percent

Although I disabled the comment function on my blog from the beginning in 2006 I did so with some reluctance. I like intelligent argument. Lately I’ve been playing devil’s advocate with some folks on Facebook that some would call trolls. Sometimes they surprise me and offer up genuinely useful information.

“Juan Percent” has been weighing in on my content for several months on the Reader webpage. Usually its been snarky or smart ass stuff. But while I’m not averse to snappish comebacks they really don’t accomplish much. I’ve found that Juan is willing to engage in give and take. He recently played devil’s advocate with me on my column about the private conversation that Billy Graham had with Dick Nixon. I’ve copied it below but you can also find it on the Reader’s Webpage.

Here’s Juan’s challenge:

“Eight year’s later his cover was blown when the infamous Nixon tapes were made public. They were damning. ”They’re [the Jews] the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,” Graham told Nixon. ”The Jews stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain,” he continued.”

Harry, this is heady stuffy. I ask you – If the Jews HAD a stranglehold on this country, (through the media: movies, and news) would that be good or bad?

Here’s my Reply to Juan:

Juan,

If they did it would be troubling. They did have a significant presence in Hollywood. Still do. I would argue that this presence has been very positive. That would take another column just to skim the surface of my argument.

I could make the same argument over the control of Fox by confederates of Roger Ailes considering the reliance of so many baby boomers on its “fair and balanced” news.” But rather than call it a “stranglehold” I would say the same thing I said about the possibility that Jews had a stranglehold on “pornagraphic” Hollywood in the early part of the 20th century. It would be troubling.

That’s the price we pay for the 1st Amendment.

By the way, should you like to send me an email I’ve finally posted it on this page of Lincolndemocrat.

A Weld in my future?


I just caught a whiff of a challenge to Donald Trump in 2020 that greatly appealed to me. Skimming a couple of news stories and headlines on the Internet it appears that one of my my last remaining Republican heroes, William Weld, will be challenging Donald Trump. I just found a twitterfeed (I think that’s what it was) and donated $100.00 to his campaign. If he ends up running as a third party candidate I’ll wish him well but support a Democrat instead. But as a fellow who recently forced myself back into the GOP as a anti-Putin candidate for Congress I will be happy to help Bill Weld.

He’s been out of circulation for years. He’s a year older than Trump but he’ll have my support and unlike Trump he’s not taking a sub lethal dose of Rosuvastatin. I’ve mentioned Weld a few times on the blog. I’m sure I only had good things to say about him. Look for yourself.

Facebook Debating

What prompted my upcoming Reader column is a recent spate of Facebook debating I’ve found myself taking part in. On the one hand it got me typing up my thoughts rather than waking up to them in nightmares. For instance, after cranking out 1100 words for the Reader last night I slept seven solid hours. That’s rare for me.

Among the debates have been one with a friend of a half second cousin who dearly loves folks who hate the President she voted for. After corresponding with her extensively I asked if she would mind if I posted part of our conversations without mentioning her name. She demurred. Still, it was good to have someone take over for my now deceased “Buddy” with whom I can no longer fuss.

Then there have been old-time DFLers and newbie Bernie worshipers and Women’s Marcher types arguing over the recent DFL endorsement and primary election going on to Duluth’s south. I sympathize with both sides in a fight that is not mine. But I worry it is a sign that Democrats will go into the election of 2020 divided against each other. I saw what happened last time and tried to remind the DFLer’s of this.

Then an old college buddy began sending out posters of villains who are crossing our borders. He was joined by his Obama hating friends who who are mad at Tump haters. I couldn’t resist tossing in a dollar’s worth of two cent replies. However, all these debates remind me that a society devoted to argument rather than solutions, mutually if reluctantly agreed upon, is heading up merde creek without a paddle.

Its too much work to copy the back and forth down although I’m pleased with my ripostes. I will give you the background of one of many discussions to set up the one reply I sent out.

The Background.

My old college chum was going on about the mass leaker Edward Snowden who skipped town and settled in Russia. He mentioned a former secret service agent who had guarded both George W Bush and Obama and has been busy pedaling the allegation that Obama chased him away because he had dirt on Obama. This fellow Daniel Boingo Boingo quit the Service to run for the US Senate while imitating Rush Limbaugh as a radio talk show host. Conspiracy buffs can make lots of money this way kinda like get-rich TV Preachers. Boingo’s also been on Fox’s Hannity and Info Wars. My old friend wrote something about Obama laundering millions of dollars through Switzerland to help terrorists in Iran or something like that. I guess Snowden had made this all public and Obama wanted to shut him up. It sounded vaguely familiar and not unlike the Info Wars’ hooey that prompted a young man from one of the Carolina’s to shoot up a Washington DC Pizza Joint said to have been protecting Hillary Clinton’s pedophile friends.

Anywhoo: After explaining I wasn’t a “Deep State kind of guy” I sent this final riposte:

OK. I Googled Snowden. This comes from WAPO so you can be assured it isn’t as trustworthy as Info Wars. Still, you must take into account that deluded people like me invest a great deal of faith in the rag that exposed Nixon’s treachery.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/16/trump-once-demanded-edward-snowdens-execution-for-giving-serious-information-to-russia/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6343e0b4b091

I really have to ration my Facebook debate time. I could spend the next thirty years in a very Deep State rabbit hole.

Harry Welty’s Suicide, Censored?

NOTE: THIS POST SPECULATED THAT THE DULUTH READER MIGHT HAVE HAD ITS NOSE OUT OF JOINT OVER MY KARPING ABOUT ITS ENDORSEMENTS AND CENSORED ME. I’M RELIEVED TO SAY I WAS WRONG.

I’m kinda like an eager pet dog that bites his master just as happily as he bites guests. Republicans found that out about me long ago.

I have been waiting to link to my latest Not Eudora column in the Reader but when I checked out its latest contents online just now mine was not yet among them. I hope that its simply yet to be added and that it was not dropped because I made light of the five old white men that constituted its editorial board. (It included me)

If my contribution was dropped from the online Reader the slight was too late. My column about my exaggerated death had already been published into the far more widely read newsprint edition. I hope its only a matter of time before My Suicide hits the Reader’s online version but, just in case I’ve too greatly offended my fellow white editorialists, I am giving my “eight loyal readers” a chance to read it here in Lincolndemocrat: Continue reading

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.

Some quick Welty analysis of the primary results

The NY Times is still updating Minnesota’s primary election results.

I hoped to get 10 percent of the vote in Duluth. I did better than that across the entire 8th Congressional District in places where my name means nothing. Pete Stauber was so well publicized as being Trump’s candidate that I presume that anyone voting for me didn’t much care for the Trump/Stauber connection. That’s not good for Pete even if he currently has a million dollars in the bank. He’s already beginning to soft pedal his loyalty to Trump but that too is a problem for Pete.

As for what I spent to get my 5,000 votes compared to what Pete Spent to get his 40,000 votes that’s noteworthy too. I only spent $300 to file for office ten weeks ago and bought one tank of gas traveling to Hibbing twice. (One of those trips was a mistake) So my cost per vote was about 6 cents. I’m not sure how much Pete has spent so far but I’m guessing its about $400,000. If so, his 40,000 votes cost him $10 bucks each. I like that comparison. Now that the Democrats have settled on a candidate the DFLer will not be outspent by Stauber. They will be even steven.

The more worrisome issue for Pete is the primary turnout. The combined Democratic candidates won about 16,000 more votes than the two Republicans Harry Welty and Pete Stauber. Pete can’t count on all of my anti-Trump votes swinging his direction any more than we can be sure that all the votes for the losing Democratic congressional candidates will swing to the DFL winner Joe Radinovich. However, I think the primary turnout is a harbinger of what’s to come in the General election. Even the safe Minnesota First Congressional District Republican candidates got fewer votes than the Democrats running against them. I’m beginning to smell some blood in the water.

U.S. House District 8 »
Democratic Primary……………..Republican Primary
CANDIDATE…VOTE….PCT……..CANDIDATE…VOTE….PCT.
Radinovich..26,319..43.4%……Stauber…..40,122..89.6%
Lee………16,983..28.0…….Welty…….4,6814..10.4%
Metsa……..7,633…12.6
Others…….9,680…16.0
60,615 votes, 92% reporting …44,809 votes, 92% reporting

(These figures are from 11:30 CST from 742 out of 806 precincts)

My Seven minutes on KBJR TV

From the KBJR Website, at last, my seven minutes (as well as Pete Stauber’s and Jason Metsa’s seven) with reporter Dan Wolfe:

DULUTH, MN –
The August Primary in Minnesota is just around the corner.

That means candidates vying for their preferred party’s nomination are hitting the campaign trail hard in the days leading up to August 14th.

Over the next three weeks we’re going to introduce you to each candidate in the 8th Congressional District race. That’s five Democrats, two Republicans, and an Independent all vying for the seat currently held by Democrat Rick Nolan, who is retiring in November.

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Headlines, Dan Wolfe sits down with Pete Stauber, Harry Welty, and Jason Metsa.

Jennifer’s Question’s A, B and C

I’ll be working on this all night. Stay tuned.

You’re apparently planning a trip to France circa September. A fair portion of your time now seems to be taken up with preparing for that trip. Other so-called “outsider” candidates, like Skip Sandman and Soren Sorensen, are spending this time pounding the pavement. They’re in it to win it, even if they know that’s a long shot.

Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, take your candidacy seriously? Enough to donate to you?** Is your entire candidacy intended to make a point? And, if so, couldn’t that point have been made more directly? You had a weekly column in the Reader. You could have spent every column telling us why Pete Stauber is a Trumpster and the wrong candidate to support. But as a candidate, you had to give up your newspaper column—which seems like it was a very direct way to reach your audience if making a point was the idea.

Here are my ABC’s

A- Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, take your candidacy seriously? Enough to donate to you?

Dear Jane, I want your vote first in the primary especially if you 1. are an Independent or 2. a Democrat who wants to let Pete Stauber know that you are rooting for a change in Grand Old Party even if you are planning to vote for a Democrat in the General election or 3. a discouraged Republican fed up with the Donald Trump cess pool.

All of these Janes can vote in Minnesota’s Republican Primary. If they did and that’s a HUGE if, I’d beat Pete Stauber. As for the donation, it will likely make Jane feel better than me. I will, however, put it to good use……especially in the Primary.

B- Is your entire candidacy intended to make a point?

Yes, but more than that its a genuine attempt to turn the huge Edmund Fitzgerald called the Republican Party away from Whitefish Bay during the gales of November. For the sake of God, the whole Party is letting a diaper clad kindergartner turn the ship’s wheel to Vladivostok. I have a lifetime’s investment in preserving the Party of Lincoln. Abe famously fought a lot of losing battles himself so I’m in good company fighting this improbable campaign.

C- couldn’t that point have been made more directly? You had a weekly column in the Reader. You could have spent every column telling us why Pete Stauber is a Trumpster and the wrong candidate to support. But as a candidate, you had to give up your newspaper column—which seems like it was a very direct way to reach your audience if making a point was the idea.

Jane, Jane, Jane,

You give my bi-weekly column in the Reader waaay too much credit. I know I have my fans but the Readership only goes out to about 35% of the voters in the Eighth District.

Everybody in Duluth knows that when election season comes I’m like a dog who sees a bone. Until a week before filing I had given no thought to filing a protest campaign. But the continuing circus in the Oval Office and Pete’s shameless Trump support and the fear that Stauber would win in a District that gave Trump a %16 lead over Hillary was more than enough to convince me that by challenging Pete Stauber I could hobble at least one “Trumpkin.” For America’s sake that was a bone very much worth chasing – win, lose or draw.

And if I lose the Primary I suspect that the Reader’s publisher, Bob Boone, will let me pontificate again ahead of the General election. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Click here to go to Jennifer’s next question regarding my party affiliation.

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

Tomorrow’s video

My Dad, Daniel Marsh Welty, died shortly after we moved to our snow sculptor’s palace thirty-one years ago. He never got a chance to see it although I shot a VHS tape of it to show him where we had moved to. His Vietnam was the “Good War” and for years afterwards he read the memoirs and histories written by men who had fought in it. I kept a bunch of his paperbacks after his death and today I’ve got them arranged in a modest glass case with other mementos of his life. As you can see they include a sketch that my Mother made of him when he was in his late twenties. In life he never looked that fierce.

I plucked one of the books from the shelf a couple days ago to begin reading to Claudia in anticipation of our September trip to France and more specifically to the hallowed coast of Normandy. Its Cornelius Ryan’s “The Longest Day.” After beginning its chapter ten in the first section I had to put the book down and shoot a 6 minute video of me reading and commenting on a passage that talked about the modesty of my fellow Kansan, Dwight David Eisenhower. The depths that we have sunk to politically with the Trump Presidency led me to shoot another video to share my thoughts with my blog’s treasured but minuscule audience. I’ll upload it tomorrow.