#649 Dick Bernard: Election 2012 #66. Your Thoughts about What November 6 means; and a memory of a long-ago and very significant political event in Minnesota.

Here is data about the November 6 elections, MN local and state and National.
(click on photos to enlarge)

At a Minnesota polling place November 6, 2012

If you wish, send me your brief comment about the meaning of yesterdays vote and I’ll post it here. Keep it very brief, perhaps a paragraph. Send to dick_bernardATmeDOTcom. Unless you specifically say otherwise, I’ll assume that I have permission to use your comment. I will include your full name and your state.
Working on another project on election day, yesterday, I had reason to look at a historic Minnesota document which likely very few have ever seen, from March 5, 1968 (See photo, click to enlarge). My thanks and credit to long-retired businessman Lynn Elling of Minneapolis for the major part he played in this long forgotten Declaration of World Citizenship that came to be only 44 years ago.

Minneapolis MN Declaration of World Citizenship March 5, 1968

Note especially the signatories on the Declaration*. They are of all the major Minneapolis and Minnesota political luminaries of the time, Republican and Democrat, religious leaders, etc. (The out of place signature you’ll see in the lower right hand corner is that of Marshall Tito of then-Yugoslavia, who the Ellings visited in person in then-Yugoslavia and who signed the document for them.)
Within the signature block was this statement: “This is the first American community that we know of to take such action. We hope that many other cities and counties will follow this example whch is a valuable step in building a world community and world peace.”
The story of this document can be found here. Scroll to the very end of the faqs and read the comment from former Minnesota Republican Governor Elmer L. Andersen in his book, I Trust to be Believed.
Look here for the Minnesota version of this Declaration, issued three years later. Again, note the signatories. And watch the made-in-Minnesota movie from 1972 that is archived there..
Yes, both documents came to be controversial in their time. But for a time in our own recent Minnesota history, there was true bipartisan political will by our leaders to work for a better world, one in which all of us were citizens.
We tend to forget that the term “politician” applies to each and every one of us. It is not “them”. Yes, political leaders try to move agendas, but over and over again I read comments from even the highest of the high and mighty that they do pay lots of attention to the will of the people.
The people simply have to work cooperatively for a goal.
Lynn Elling, retired WWII and Korea Naval officer, is still very much alive and willing to talk about the history of these declarations. Let me know, and I’ll see if a talk can be arranged.
The day after: outside Caribou Coffee, Woodbury, November 7, 2012
* – The Signers of the Minneapolis and Hennepin County Declaration of World Citizenship March 5, 1968:
Chair, Henn. Co Board of Commissioners Robert Janes; Mayor of Minneapolis Arthur Naftalin; President Minneapolis City Council Daniel Cohen; Gov. Harold Levander; Oscar Knutson, Chief Justice Minnesota Supreme Court; Eli Kahn, President Minnesota Rabbinical Association; Congressman Don Fraser; Chairs of Minnesota Republican and DFL parties, George Thiss and Warren Spannaus; Aux. Bishop of Catholic Archdiocese James Shannon; Irene Janski, President of MN League of Women Voters; President MN United World Federalists, Sidney Feinberg, Minnesota State Bar Assoc; Harold Greenwood Jr, United Nations Association of Minnesota.

Lawn Sign Woodbury MN November 7, 2012

For previous Election 2012 entries, simply type the words Election 2012 in Search Box and click enter. See especially post for November 6.
My personal comment: I was an election judge in my community in 2010; and a voter in 2012. In 2010 I noticed the relatively small turnout and the palpable anger coming in the door of the polling place; yesterday, I noticed a very heavy turnout and a very serious demeanor of the voters when we voted at about 10:30 a.m.
Now, your turn. NOTE: there will also be responses included at the end of this post. Don’t miss them.
Will Shapira, Minnesota: You read it here first months ago: Romney himself was the guarantor of Obama’s re-election. In 2008, we voted for Obama and got Bush III. Now, with no re-election hanging over his head, Obama can rule with impunity and you can expect drones hanging over many heads, at home and abroad, and an entire new litany of oligarchical, plutocratic war crimes as well, executed in the name of hegemonic capitalism.
Those of you who campaigned for him, donated to him and voted for him are now responsible for him for the next four years. When you stop celebrating, you can begin calling him to account.
Sunday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day/Armistice Day would be the perfect time to begin by speaking out for PFC Bradley Manning who has embarrassed the Obama regime with his and Julian Assange’s historic, heroic Wikileaks revelations.
Since AG Holder serves at the pleasure of the President, do not expect anything from him, DOJ and war criminal Secretary Leon Panetta when it comes to advocating for fair treatment of Bradley Manning humanely when he soon will have has his day in what could well be an Obama-curated kangaroo court.
May I remind you to read the Nov. 11 Star Tribune’s special ad section for Veterans Day and when you see my ad on behalf of PFC Manning and perhaps others, do not hesitate to write letters to the editor in support of Bradley Manning opinion@startribune.com and demand fair treatment for him in prison now and soon in court.
And when my friends and colleagues in Twin Cities Chapter of 27 of Veterans for Peace orchestrate the ringing of the bells of peace next Sunday, also remember this from John Donne’s Meditation XVII:”…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
Jeff Pricco, Minnesota:
Congratulations to Minnesotans on once again showing common sense in voting No and No twice!
Also on proving that 2010’s Republican state legislature “victory” was as I said then, a mile wide and an inch deep.
I enjoyed Lori Sturdevant’s comment that she looked forward to covering an undivided state govt for the next 2 years, and having to report on the usual squabbles of the DFL… the herding of cats!
Nationally I am not surprised , it went pretty much as I expected for Obama, although I was surprised in wins in VA and FL.
I expect to see (and hope they are not brain dead) the Dems pursue immigration reform and other legislative and regulatory reforms that speak to the Hispanic and general immigrant community, and as I said before I expect to see the GOP face a soul search on this issue… do they continue with the Tea Party and the Knuckledraggers and Limbaugh/Savage? Or do they also see the future in gaining a larger share of the Hispanic Vote? I believe the GOP has a good case to make , as many Hispanic voters often are sympathetic to the social stands of the GOP. It should be very interesting.
SAK, London England:
Congratulations of course.
And let us take a moment to remember an aspect of the presidency & times of LBJ – race was then a seriously divisive issue, hence his declaration:
“There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. And we are met here tonight as Americans–not as Democrats or Republicans-we are met here as Americans to solve that problem.”
Let us hope that Obama in his second term will be as effective as LBJ undeniably was because what we have now is not a liberal problem; it is not a conservative problem; it is not a rich problem or a poor problem. It is a global problem.
Dick Bernard Nov. 9, 2012: I’ve been watching and reading quite a lot about the meaning of what happened on Tuesday night. A good summary is provided by my favorite blogger here. His ‘cut and paste’ from other commentators left and right reminds me of Nate Silver, who accurately predicts election, largely, it seems, by aggregating all of the polls to get a larger and thus far more accurate sample.
At some point, Silver will blow it, like Karl Rove did on Tuesday, but so far Silver manages to catch a wave of reality, where others dwell in wishful thinking.
When I put together the above piece the day after the election, I focused on two things:
1) as powerfully demonstrated by those 1968 and 1971 declarations – in times when we were intensely divided as a people over Vietnam – powerful people of very different points of view came together to suggest a different direction; a different path.
(I know a fair amount of the back-story of how those Declarations came to be. The key leaders were Republicans who were not at the time elected leaders, and thus were not signers, but were very much part of building the narrative that led to the Declarations.)
I think I see coming together in common cause happening again, most dramatically with former Republican Governor Arne Carlson and present Democrat Governor Mark Dayton appearing together in a brilliantly produced and timed ad urging that the Voter ID amendment be sent back to the legislature for a redo. The Governors didn’t defeat the amendment unilaterally, but their ad sure helped at a crucial moment.
(Though I’m liberal, I’ve long admired Arne Carlson. He is no stranger to courage. We first saw him maybe six years ago in the yard of Rebecca and Shawn Otto, standing with former Vice-President Walter Mondale, endorsing DFLer Otto for State Auditor – an office she still holds. He knew something about her, and he gave public witness. It was a ‘goosebump’ moment to see he and Walter Mondale standing together on that suburban lawn.)
The movers and shakers who worked together back in 1968 and 1971 are mostly dead now, but there is a new generation working quietly and effectively for a new course in how we are as a people. These quiet leaders – Democrat and Republican – are not publicly seen or heard very often, but they’re talking with each other about how to change our polarized and destructive course.
2) The other observation I made above, on November 7, was this: “I was an election judge in my community in 2010; and a voter in 2012. In 2010 I noticed the relatively small turnout and the palpable anger coming in the door of the polling place; yesterday, I noticed a very heavy turnout and a very serious demeanor of the voters when we voted at about 10:30 a.m.”
When we election judges huddled after the tallies were made in the precinct we knew – all of us, Republican and Democrat and Independent – what that small turnout and angry feeling meant.
The Republicans won that precinct easily, in every election of any consequence.
Too many Democrats had stayed home.
I have frequently observed, since that Tea Party near-sweep in 2010 (which will still be very much with us in the 2012 House of Representatives and many state Governorships and legislatures and even the Senate), that the angry conservative switch happened not because the Tea Party et al had such good ideas, but more so that the more liberal left first helped elect President Obama, thought voting him in was all they needed to do, thus making him responsible for outcomes that were impossible for him to achieve, and refusing to do much other than make demands and complain about how he wasn’t even liberal. Many were so terminally angry they did not vote at all in 2010.
Voting three days ago on Tuesday (if you did), was not a destination, it was a beginning of your – and our –day-to-day work for a better future for us all.
We are a changing country, and I’m still getting that stuff from the Angry Old White Men contingent that suggests they just don’t/won’t get it. But their influence is dwindling, and that terrifies them, and we can help find a better way.
There is a better future, but only if we are ALL engaged in building it.
Let’s not only get to work, but stay at work.

1 reply
  1. Bruce Fisher
    Bruce Fisher says:

    From Obama’s victory speech I don’t think he gets it. He said he was going to sit down with Romney to get some ideas on how to work together, get America off foreign oil, and reduce the deficit. Romney(Republicans) doesn’t have any worthwhile ideas, domestic oil isn’t any better for our economy or environment than foreign oil. I fear he plans to compromise(capitulate) with the Republicans rather than prevent fracking, stop the Keystone Pipeline, retrieve our society from the robber barons, protect our entitlements. The next two months will tell the tale with sun setting tax cuts and budget resolution looming on the horizon for a lame duck congress. I’m not confident that he is up to the task.


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