60 days from this Thursday, at least by my calculation, will be the most consequential American election of my entire life. Actually, in my state, Minnesota, voting begins Sep 23; best to be registered to vote by Oct. 18. The Minnesota rules can be seen here. You can see your sample ballot here.
(For other states, a good resource seems to be from NBC, here.)
Everything you need to know is on your state secretary of state’s website. There’s never a year to sit on your hands till the last minute, and only then know anything about the consequences of your vote (which includes not voting at all, or voting for someone who has absolutely no chance of winning, just to make a point).
Love it or hate it, in our U.S. there are two viable political parties, Democrat and “Republican”, and at the state and national levels, there is no such thing as a truly independent lawmaker. Politics has long been a team activity in this country. If your local candidate, whether man or woman, says they’ll be independent, ain’t so. What the parties stand for at state and national level matters a great deal. This years ‘battleground, seems primarily be at the state lawmaking level – who will be your state legislator, or representative in the national Congress.
I watch what’s going on, and I note from the earliest campaign signs, the people on the Republican side on the sample ballot, are not identifying themselves as Republican endorsed on their signs. I don’t think this is an accident or a mistake. They would like to convey the impression of independence. Not honest.
My personal stand has been at every blog I’ve posted in the last 13 years. You can read it: “moderate pragmatic Democrat”.
A friend from childhood days, a man whose trade was words, a well known author, angrily dropped off my list a few months back, challenging my pragmatism. Fair enough. I looked up the word, and the definition that applies to me, indeed the first in the list in my dictionaries definition, was “practical”.
My entire work career in labor union work was spent sorting out stuff between, and working with, people, organizations, management and labor. There was no certainty any day in my job. That’s where both the moderate and the pragmatic came in. Solutions had to be found.
Re Democrat: that party has long been my brand, because Democrats are much more inclusive and bigger ‘tent’. That makes them seem, sometimes, disorganized. We’re a complex society – we each live in our own version of this.
In the days when “progressive Republican” was acceptable, I related well to those kinds of Republican. Dwight Eisenhower comes to mind at the national level; Gov. Elmer L. Andersen in Minnesota. These folks hardly exist in todays Republican party; they have been banished, which is why I put the word in quotes early in this post.
President Biden defined todays issue well in his recent speech in Philadelphia. It is worth a listen as you consider the future. Of course, his critics went ballistic; these, the exact same folks who cannot speak of people like myself without derision: labeling Democrat as “Antifa”, “Socialist”, “radical” on and on….
I’ll close this chapter with a review of the other “sides” position, which I highlighted in a blog some time ago, and asked several friends to respond. It’s a piece, sent by a reader, that suggests that we are not a democracy, and therefore talks about democracy or Democrats as somehow almost un-American. Initially, I dismissed it – it was so far out – but then I actually heard an Arizona politician convey the meme in a public speech. Here is the blog with the reference. Focus on the John Porter post which is the basis for the post, and the responses to it.
I have no idea who John Porter is. But do take the time, as with the Biden speech, to listen and reflect.
Then get to work. Our system of government, formerly the envy of the world, is at stake. Nov. 8 is two months away.
POSTNOTES: Check out my Labor Day post here.
Joyce routinely sends excellent commentary on national issues. I highly recommend each of these: Here, about the Court ruling on a Special Master for the former president. The Weekly Sift on the same issue. Heather Cox Richardson is always worth reading. I always read these.
Last night we watched the last of a three part series on the German people and Hitler. This was about the last two years of the war – when the dream of a thousand year Reich evaporated. At the end some scenes from Nuremberg trial, and the narrator said that even till the end many Germans still idolized Hitler…. It is mindful of the cult of personality still infecting the MAGA crowd.
POSTNOTE 2: I plan to continue as per usual in my writing, but I will less frequently visit your mail box with reminders. Easiest way to keep up with my thinking (or lack of same, as you prefer), is to go to the home page (here) and check the archive for the current month, which has every post for the month, most current first..
from Fred: Couldn’t agree more re your point about the election. The question is which party you support? Candidates are stalking horses for their party, no matter what they say. The Dems, as always, have differences about which they argue endlessly. No GOP candidate facing a primary or a party vote can risk can come against the leader of what, more and more, is looking like a cult.