Below is question from my French penpal. I will not give my pal the satisfaction of seeing a list like you would make before going shopping. I’m asked what will I offer my voters. The short answer is I will bring a radically honest voice to Congress to a nation so jaded about dishonesty that they voted for the most duplicitous politician on Earth to become their 45th president. To make it all the sweeter I plan to follow Will Roger’s credo in our paranoid world. Rogers said: “I never met a man (and I presume Will meant women too) I didn’t like.” That extends even to Donald Trump even though this wouldn’t have prevented me from voting to impeach him.
BTW: A much longer and more diffuse answer will follow:
“Harry I understand well that you run for Congress . That’s clear .
As I asked you some weeks ago what would be your task?what would you change in the policy of your country and at first in Minnesota ?
What are the problems that should be solved at first?
What are the main grievances, the complaints of your fellows citizens?
And what will be your responses and actions to improve the situation? ( point after point).
I would be pleased if you could summarize it for me..
My longer and more diffuse Answer:
I will bring a sense of humor , charity and humility to the hard work of scrubbing nastiness out of Washington D.C. It may not work. I’ve followed the same path in Duluth for thirty years. The Trib’s editors are short tempered about me. The people who’s noses I rub into the disaster that was their glory – the Red Plan – don’t like my “I told you so.” attitude and anyone who doesn’t like my writing about their pimples on my blog or in the Duluth Reader has reason to be put-out with me. I’m not Jesus turning over the money lender’s tables. I’m just a guy who takes seriously the call in John 8:31-32 English Standard Version (ESV)
“The Truth Will Set You Free”
Like my hero Lincoln, I have a sense of humor about myself which you can find all over my writing. And humor is a sponge that soaks in the truth something Lincoln had in spades. His nickname was “Honest Abe.” And like Lincoln I take myself very seriously. Abe’s law partner watched as Lincoln schemed to step from obscurity into greatness. Here’s how John R. Leopold described it in the Baltimore Sun a quarter of a century ago: “Lincoln did not wait for events to seize him by the collar and guide his political decisions. As Herndon said, those who think that Lincoln waited for people to call him have “a very erroneous knowledge of Lincoln. He was always calculating and planning ahead. His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest.”
My penpal’s question presumes that voters are motivated by tangible issues. For instance Pete Stauber has taken the side of copper mining in Northeastern Minnesota over the side of saving our Earth’s precious and ever more rapidly polluted water supplies. He governs as though only one side has a hold of the truth when in fact both sides do. At present I believe we have a government that can assure both sides win. Getting Donald Trump to force copper mining through is not the way. And probably, getting Obama to insure that copper exploration and mining came to and end was not the right way either.
For many issues there are no quick solutions as we are learning with corona virus. It took thirty years of research and development and investment to reach the mining and refining of low grade taconite ore thereby saving the Iron Range’s mining industry. I believe copper mining will be critical to addressing humanity’s future needs. But who knows. Maybe we are educating a new Einstein somewhere who will discover that sand can be used for the purpose of transmitting power. And that is another thing that separates me from almost every Republican in Congress now. I believe in science and education not de-funding them.
Lincoln himself was a devoted proponent of science and education. He despaired over his own meager public education. Had he not been sidetracked by the issues of the day, Disunion and slavery, he would have waded into this work. As distracted as he was during the four years of his Civil War presidency he still managed to lay the groundwork for railroads to the Pacific; the homesteading of the continents great interior; while holding tenaciously to the platform of his deceased political party, the Whigs’ for Internal Improvements.
Pete Stauber suggested that he was very interested in more fully funding Special Education in his attempt to distract critics from his Trumplican addiction. Of course, this will be futile after the massive funding to fight corona virus. And BTW, as a Duluth school board member prior to another distraction, 9-11, I too witnessed an opportunity for more national support of special ed when Senator Paul Wellstone came to a Duluth School Board meeting. He and George Bush were working on it.
But let’s face facts. Even in the good old days before Newt Gingrich and the Republicans of 1994 began dismantling the old pork barrel Congress, only senior Congressman could get lots of money to their Districts. That was the specialty of Cong. James Oberstar who funded small airports all over his northeastern Minnesota District as Chairman of the Air traffic Committee of the Committee on Public Works.
I filed and ran against Oberstar in 1992 and 2006 both times as an Independent Candidate. I was frustrated by the gridlock of Congress and that was before it became fully toxic at the behest of Republicans funded by the NRA and Dark Money. Wow. That accusation almost makes it look like I’m knocking over the tables of the money lenders.
I’ll point to my old foe and now friend former Representative Mike Jaros. I ran against Mike twice in 1976 and 1978. In the succeeding years as ever more ferocious Republicans took over the Party Mike would ask me plaintively where all the Republicans like me were. The answer. They were purged for not meeting Mao tse Tung like tests of purity, tests that even Ronald Reagan or the Party’s founder Abraham Lincoln could pass.
And even as I say this I fully expect that I can have cordial if tense relations with even the most rabid Republicans on Capitol Hill.
* I will bring a fresh, open minded and historically minded attitude to Congress to bring unity where there is now discord.
* I will do what generations of purged Republicans used to do – bring skepticism to the Democrats long-thwarted but right-minded desire to fix every problem.
* I will be very happy to reimpose an estate (death) tax on the rich who Reagan’s heirs restored to the status of aristocrats.
* I will be quick to restore and maybe even promote the Sandersesque Universal Payer health insurance plan.
* I will always promote honest science over dishonest actors of every stripe.
And most importantly
* I will fight to restore the Earth through green policies that will keep the ice on the Polar Ice Caps, forests in the Equatorial regions, purity to the waters of our oceans, and temperate weather to the Earth that our grandchildren will need to live in.