I walked with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar in the annual Woodbury Days parade yesterday. While I didn’t count, it seemed there were perhaps 30 of us, along with the Senator and her daughter, on the approximately two mile walk. Cathy, my wife, walked as well, as did Amy’s daughter. (click on photos to enlarge)
Over the years I’ve walked in a goodly number of community parades, supporting one political candidate or another. It is the very least I can do: to give support.
Whoever you see in a parade is working, no question about that. Amy and her daughter had been at the State Fair before the Woodbury gig, and went back there afterwards. We love to hate our politicians, but when they need to somehow touch base with, in Amy’s case, 5 million constituents, campaigning is also very hard work.
This year, unlike any of the others, I wondered how the folks along the route would respond.
We are, after all, in a time of hostility towards “government”, particularly “Washington” kind of government, even more particularly “Congress”, of which Amy Klobuchar is one of 535 sitting members. I see blood-vessel exploding rants against “them” frequently, as if they aren’t selected by “us”. One does begin to wonder if the community, local or greater, is full of these out-of-sorts flame-throwing folks.
Home afterwards, checking e-mails, was yet another anti-Congress e-mail – this the one which essentially suggests that our country should be run by volunteers who get paid the minimum wage and serve only one term…. Amy Klobuchar is one of “them”, of course.
Another was this, more positive little poem, though (it seemed) pointed at our entire body politic, including the politicians:
“What’s this proclivity
For increased incivility?
Is this what evolution picks?
If so, the genome needs a fix.”
But as we walked our route on a pleasant Woodbury day, yesterday, there was no sign that I saw or heard that suggested that the crowd watching was at all surly; rather it was respectful and, in fact, interested.
We tended to get a bit behind, solely because Senator Klobuchar was doing what good politicians do: engaging with people on both sides of the street.
I sensed a respectful audience for this public servant doing a necessary ritual for politicians in this country yesterday. Doubtless there were people along that route who don’t like the Senator, perhaps some who went back to their computer, as I have, but to raise one complaint or other about her and/or her colleagues. Governing a deliberately politically polarized country is not easy.
But the America I saw along this one parade route in Woodbury yesterday was a respectful and welcoming one.
It was my privilege to be along in support.