Going Viral

Going viral. Its going to remove Donald Trump from the presidency. I’m not sure that would have happened without corona. Impeachment, George Conway, Me; probably none of these things could have done it. Its quite likely that even George Floyd’s senseless murder wouldn’t have knocked Donald Trump for a loop but a virus!!! Today the entire world is living an experience that explains where the computer-age term, “viral,” comes from. Donald Trump went viral with The Apprentice. After several decades of feckless Republican control of America a plurality of America was ready for him. America wasn’t quite ready to trash the Republican Party but it was ready to use Mr. “You’re fired!” as a swamp cleaner. Current events have made it clear that electing Donald Trump was like opening the front door in response to a door chime and finding a flaming paper sack on your porch. As with Trump, stamping out the flames has revealed the hidden turd inside the sack.

This is my 18th time as an official candidate for public office. That makes me a local Harold Stassen, Minnesota’s own “Boy Governor,” who filed for the Presidency 8 times. he got addicted after almost tasting victory on his first attempt. In my case it took me seven elections to finally win office and it wasn’t the Presidency. It was for a spot on the School Board of the 300th biggest city in America. (BTW that ranking is a wild guess)

I must have done OK because I managed to win reelection despite the Duluth Teachers Union’s attempt to “target” me four years later. And, although I lost a serious election in 2007 after leading a fight to let citizens vote on a controversial school building plan, I managed to get elected in 2013 with the blessing of the Duluth News Tribune editors. It didn’t hurt that common consensus suggested that I knew what I was doing in 2007 when I opposed a popular school building project because voters were denied the final say on it.

I know how to win elections. I’ve seen venal, shallow, ideological Republicans do it for the past thirty years. As I am none of those things I have not found favor in the Republican Party. And today, the people who would sympathize with me are people who long ago abandoned a party which was once run by sensible centrists. I think there is a good chance that under the right circumstances I would win over young people who are convinced Earth is headed toward a great extinction. That’s me in spades. I believe that if nothing changes and I live another 30 years I will see that extinction well under way and, of course it will be irreversible. When it comes it will make today’s corona virus look like a mosquito bite.

Congress desperately needs people like me but I have few illusions about my prospects. Going viral could help. I’ve done it several times, most recently with a snow sculpture of Jabba the Hutt. Its not the first time or even my biggest viral hit. When I sculpted King Kong it showed up in newspapers all over the US. And when I followed that with a sculpture of Bill Clinton playing a Saxophone people mailed me front pages stories about it from all over. I also got on the national news when I used a voodoo doll as a prop to resign from my school board chairmanship. I did it to take away one of the Teacher’s Union argument’s for a strike after the School Board voted to experiment with a charter school. I have still not been forgiven for this even though the charter school is now twenty years old and tested. With significantly less funding all of its children went home during the pandemic with chrome books. As for the Duluth schools with their brand new buildings? The Red Plan so depleted them of funding that their “schools for the 21st Century could not afford to replace the classroom white screen computers that had broken down after the Red Plan was completed.

And that comment is one of the reasons that the editors of the Tribune among others don’t much care for me. I don’t have the grace to stop reminding everybody and no one likes an I-told-you-so. That’s true of Republicans as well and I have been writing tell-all columns for twenty years about how the Republican Party stopped caring about doing what’s right to win secret corporate donations for financially rewarding the short term interests of billionaires and lobbyists.

Pete Stauber? He’s a very nice guy. He’s also politically gutless. If I should find a way to go viral and win the Republican primary in six weeks I’ll still have to face an energized Democratic party. I can almost guarantee that Quinn Nystrom, the endorsed DFL candidate, will be as memorable as the the Eighth District’s two previous Republican Congressmen, William Pittenger and more recently Chip Cravaack. Could Quinn eventually become as influential as Congressmen James Oberstar or John Blatnik? Maybe. Will she make our grandchildren’s future Earth the cornerstone of her work? Not like me she won’t!

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