One Week to Go

Eight days from now we’ll have some idea what we have decided through our own ballots.  We seem to have a fantasy that it is the politicians who make bad decisions.  It is the voters who elect them that make all of the decisions about who will represent them; most especially, those who don’t vote at all, or vote with no knowledge of the implications of their vote.  In the end we have only ourselves to blame.

I marked my own ballot on Sunday night, and mailed it on Monday.  I have exactly the same power as anyone else.  No more, no less.

Never in my life have voters had such a stark choice as this year.  We decide our fate.  We truly are stuck with it.


I live in Minnesota.  Google tells me I’m 15 miles from Wisconsin – a very easy freeway drive.  Maybe 20 minutes.   Most recently, I was there in September.  It seemed every bit as hospitable as here…you wouldn’t believe this from television ads – in both directions.

A few days ago my friend, David, sent a photo he took of Mandela Barnes, candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.

Mandala Barnes rally, Hudson WI, Oct 26, 2022.

David’s comment was brief, but succinct: We attended a rally for the “other” Mandela on Wednesday in Hudson. He’s a very sharp and articulate guy.”  Of course, as a Wisconsin voter, he already knew this.  Who will prevail in that race?  We’ll see in not too long.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are separate states – I have as much authority over Wisconsin policy, as my friends across the river in Wisconsin have on Minnesota.  We may as well be Ukraine and Russia.  Especially this year, the decisions one state makes may have stark impacts on the others.

We’re in the same media market, so those in Wisconsin see the hideous ads about my state, as I see the hideous ads about theirs…Lying ads apparently work, otherwise, why spend millions of dollars on them?

But every one can make a little difference, and a little difference is all we need to make.  There is a single week to go.


A final note: Joyce sent along a Tom Sullivan commentary about President Obama’s stump speech in Michigan a few days ago.  She said “Well worth reading and listening”.  Here’s the link.  It’s worth your time.  I had heard substantial parts of the speech live.


Many of you have voted, as I have.  If you haven’t, exercise your right to vote based on the positive qualities of the best candidate for each office. And encourage others to vote as well.

For the last time, here are the links if you need information:

Information for a Minnesota voter can be seen here.  National information here.  NBC has a Plan Your Vote site as well.

For folks who live in the same community I do: SD 47.  (The link is the local Democrat website.)


Episode 5 of Rachel Maddow’s outstanding Ultra series is now available on line. I listened last night. The series takes the blinders off about this nations very close call with fascism…and we are by no means out of the woods yet.

COMMENTS (more at end of post)

from Molly: very strong clip by Rachel Maddow, and very well & concisely spoken, about 5 minutes.  Re Paul Pelosi being attacked, and the depth of its significance.

wow. and sigh.
Hugs to each,
4 replies
  1. norm hanson
    norm hanson says:

    It appears that the Democrats are going to take a pasting not only here in Minnesota but in many states as well including where many Big Lie supporting candidates win the offices that control the elections processes in many key states. As such, it will be extremely important for the Democrats to objectively evaluate “what went wrong” especially in the close races. Why did the Democrats lose? Positions, perception of the party, candidate specific. other? THEN, the Democrats will need to look carefully and objectively at the results of those evaluations to determine what they can do as a party and not just as a group of single groups who think their caucus or cause is more important than those of everyone else to come together. “We all do better when we all do better!”

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      Let’s compare notes at this space one week after the election – that is, on Nov. 15 or so. I don’t predict outcomes. It is a waste of time. I remember the first contested election I was a player in. It was 1974, and an election to choose the organization representing well over 1,000 teachers. My group was the majority organization at the time, and the challenging organization had the wind in its sails, and had lots of organizing help from the national union. When Election Day came, all indications were that we were going to lose. Late in the afternoon came the results, and in my recollection we tallied 60% of the vote – a landslide. We were as surprised as the opposition. It was a lesson I’ve never forgotten. I can almost hear your “yah, buts”…of course, there were those, then, as well. Whatever happens on Nov. 8 will happen, and afterwards I’ll work with the existing reality, whatever it happens to be.

    • Jim Klein
      Jim Klein says:

      Norm, I don’t think I know you personally (please correct me if I’m wrong and accept my apology), but I am with you – and I am with you right now as well as in two weeks, regardless of outcome. Even should the miraculous occur, it is my stance that DFL victory in MN has been made unsustainable for the future by a combination of: General trends nationwide on the progressive end of the spectrum; and, A whole lotta bad choices on the part of the DFL – both leadership and grassroots activists.
      I too love the Wellstone quote, and it irks me that it is so often misunderstood by DFLers, especially those furthest “Left”. The Senator was a very highly educated, intelligent, and articulate man, and he was well aware that that phrase is rhetorical nonsense, taken literally – a tautology. But how to “fix” it is obvious… So, I once cornered him at a DFL SD Convention, and asked him if in his mind it meant “We all do better when we each do better”, “We each do better when we all do better”, or that both are true and all “the good work” is in balancing the two. He got a huge smile, and with a twinkle in his eye, said “I think you already know the answer without my saying anything”. Thus telling me all I needed to know, while preserving the most important thing about the saying – it’s simplicity mated to ambiguity. The problem, of course, is that the first part is a “traditional conservatives” (Wall Street crowd, Trickle Down Economics, for example) statemen, and the second a liberal/progressive one (essentially a statement of classic Socialism). Only the third demonstrates nuance and balance. Paul had that. The DFL of 2022 does not. (Nor does the GOP, of course.)
      For an example of how Dems are carving THEMSELVES up these days, one separated from MN headlines, yet so characteristic and typical, Google “Dearborn MI, Muslims, LGBTQ” I would just provide a link, but I don’t want anyone reading this to think I’m cherrypicking coverage from “one side” of what is going on there right now among the Dems. The issue speaks to tolerance for other perspectives vs. enforcing issues-discipline on every single issue in an environment of Identity Politics. As with the Wellstone quote, I think less rigidity and more nuance would make all of them happier and more electorally successful. (It’s also an issue we’ll eventually be grappling with in the MN DFL soon enough… I’d be surprised if we were not already in some Mpls. precincts and SDs, at least…)

      • dickbernard
        dickbernard says:

        Jim, and Norm: I always wonder exactly who the DFL is, if it is not all of us. We aren’t, thank goodness, not a monolith. We are the only party working to represent everyone, which is a thankless endlessly imperfect task.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.