A meditation Pt 10

Calling any public figure a “liar” is pretty audacious unless you are Republican Congressman Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar during the State of the Union speech. (Joe got reelected in 2012 unopposed)

School Superintendents are particularly unlikely candidates for such epitaphs and opprobrium. They work with children. Nonetheless, they can be scoundrels. Joe Wilson, for instance, worked for an ex-school superintendent, Strom Thurmond. The very white Superintendent Thurmond got elected to the US Senate after raging against race mixing shortly after he seduced/raped his family’s under aged, black house maid. Ah, as Senator Trent Lott once said, those were the good old days. Back in Strom’s day we weren’t busy reelecting black Presidents prompting millions of unhappy folks to petition to secede from the union. (I wonder that the father of Strom’s Republican Party would have said about those petitions?)

My Buddy emailed me this caution after reading the first of my tedious meditation posts about the prevarications I aledge that Dr. Dixon practiced.

I am not a fan of Keith Dixon or of the Red Plan. However, regarding whether Dixon was lying ( https://lincolndemocrat.com/?p=7929)
, see http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2003/10/logic-cop-asks-is-bush-a-liar.html.
Your Buddy

Point well taken Buddy. We’ve discussed whether George W Bush was a liar before. As I recall I never accused him of being a liar and certainly not a pathological or compulsive liar. He’s a politician who practices the art of persuasion. If his facts are fanciful as they were when he warned of a nuclear Iraq or talked of WMD’s I’ll cut him some slack for what his Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld would have described as “unknowns.” I think he misled America but that’s mostly because I think he misled himself and then, like other Presidents before him, wanted to convince himself of the rightness of his cause.

I think the notion that a good cause can justify an untruth is pretty common. We often speak of the means justifying an end.

Well, the beginning of the end of the Duluth Schools is already here and Dr. Dixon can be judged by that end. We have almost completed the Red Plan schools and we have some early data on the consequences. Classrooms are bursting. Our schools state test results are meager. There has been a flood of children exiting our schools. Our fund reserve is about to evaporate and voters have routinely been voting down operational levy requests.

If these things were not true and the Duluth Schools were prospering it might be easier to overlook the things Dr. Dixon said and did to build the grandest, most expensive new school facilities in Minnesota public school history. In time Duluth might yet achieve a renascence in its public schools but that time lies in the future. For the time being Duluth’s schools are the main drag on community growth and well being. In fact, the public schools are floundering at a time of exceptional community success if this MPR story can be believed.

I believe the Duluth Schools will eventually catch up and overcome the disastrous consequences of having the Red Plan forced down the throats of voters. As a truth groupie I believe, rightly or wrongly, that understanding what Dr. Dixon did to get his way is one of the ingredients that will help Duluth get past his follies.

I’m not a journalist, I didn’t do the kind of deep research a good historian would do to dig up the details of what is a pretty minor story in the larger world. Hell, its almost over. I did, however, pick up hints and clues which explain Dr. Dixon’s hold on Duluth and while I don’t think them flattering I find them interesting. In my view Dixon is a scoundrel and Duluth is paying a price for falling under his influence.

I’ve got a dozen other things I’d like to post about right now. The movie “Lincoln”; a short upcoming trip to Chicago and the great book I’m reading to Claudia about the World’s Columbia Exposition held at the City in 1893. Its a story about Chicago and the most remarkable and unsavory serial murderer in our nation’s history. He was a sociopath something I was told by a resident of Faribault that they though Dixon was. Dixon was no H. H. Holmes but he’s a piece of work and for better or worse he will have exerted a larger impact on our city than any other person I can think of since I first took up residence here in 1974. That’s an impressive list to stand on the top of including: Jeno Paulucci, Andy Borg, any of our Mayors or Congressmen. Dr. Dixon single handedly changed our our public schools overnight like that meteor that killed the dinosaurs 60 million years ago.

It’s now up to Duluth’s voters to crawl out of their holes in the ground and undo the damage. I don’t think a school board in denial about the consequences of the Red Plan is one we can count on to help us begin the recovery.

My next post will be about the Dr. Dixon I’ve learned about. It will be sketchy. It will be a reach. I do a lot of speculating. It won’t be gospel. With its completion I hope I too can begin to recover from Dr. Dixon.

About the author