The Coming Days.

August 21 I wrote my personal endorsement of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  I ‘covered’ the DNC and Trump Conventions in this space the last two weeks.  Seventeen August posts precede this one, and at least one and possibly two will follow by September 1. Ten Tuesdays from now is Election Day.  Early voting begins later in September.

Every state has different rules for casting ballots.  Here’s Minnesota’s.  The name of all candidates on every ballot in Minnesota is now available on line.  Read your ballot very carefully, and know who your candidates are for all offices, and know what they stand for.  You have a single chance.  Period.

In 2016, 4 in 10 eligible voters did not even vote.  5% of those who did vote, voted for two fringe candidates, Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.  Hillary Clinton polled 3,000,000 more votes than Donald Trump.  Trump won the electoral college, and intends to win again, this time with a record to defend.


If you happen to read this, you’re likely well informed about the abundant issues apparent in this election.  I’ve done 18 blogs this month, and thirteen of them have directly related to politics.

Today, I went back to the crime scene from late May, where George Floyd was killed; where my friends restaurant burned to the ground.

Down the street a half block from the restaurant is the burned out shell of the postoffice; across the street from the former Gandhi Mahal, someone wrote in the name of Jacob Blake from Kenosha.

One building away from the postoffice is the church, undamaged, which did yeoman service to the community in the times of trial after the fires.  A half block the other way I found Midtown Farmers Market, bustling with activity on a pleasant summer afternoon.

Within a block of the ruins of the restaurant I saw all sides of the present, the good and the awful.

I think the good will prevail.

Get engaged.

The ruins of the postoffice, with undamaged Holy Trinity Lutheran Church behind it, from 27th Ave S, Minneapolis, Aug. 29, 2020.  The church immediately became a relief center after the night of flames.

August 29, 2020, on the other side of the street from the ruins of Gandhi Mahal

The Midtown Market, ‘two doors down’ from the badly damaged 3rd Precinct Police headquarters in south Minneapolis Aug 30, 2020. The night of violence was about May 29.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Minneapolis 31st Street at 27th Ave S Minneapolis Aug 29, 2020

I have been back to this neighborhood many times since May 25, just to witness.  From the first day, seeing neighbors cleaning the residue of the previous night, I have been watching resilience.  People saying by their action that they are not defeated.

I didn’t expect to see the Midtown market yesterday; the gentle man who stopped me at the entrance, and asked me to wash my hands, first, gave an unexpected welcome to a sacred space.

To my right, a half block, the space which had been a burned down building was vacant, completely cleaned since my last visit.  I will keep visiting these spaces, places of hope in a troubled time.

Across the border, in Kenosha, already there are similar signs.  From the beginning, the parents of Jacob Blake, and others, are speaking.

A short while back, my friend, Kathy, gave me a book by Mitch Album, “have a little faith” (2009).  It is time to read it.  “Mitch Albom tells the story of two incredible men whose lives demonstrate what faith is all about.  They impacted his life, and now – without ever having met them – they impacted mine as well.”  Tony Dungy, former NFL coach and author of Quiet Strength.

Finally, these past days came our pastors John Bauer’s words on Racism: From the Pastor20200830_0001 (click to enlarge).  Actually, the words are from a colleague of his from St. John’s University.  These, too, are words of hope.

Evil triumphs only when good people do nothing.



from Fred: Thanks for this post and its thoughtful, hopeful updates on the election and the current status in south Mpls neighborhoods.

from Jeff: Good thoughts monsieur, and justice must prevail, while bullets and torches should not.

from Carol: I have made up these slips (pdf below) to hand out to checkout persons, etc.  You can print them and cut in thirds. I’ve had good responses.  A young doctor’s assistant the other day said, “Oh, my mom’s an election judge and she calls me all the time to tell me about voting!  She’ll be excited to know you’re doing this.” Feel free to use. VOTING handout – CJT (click to enlarge).

from Judy: As usual Dick, thank you for this information.  Have a good day.

from Molly: Thanks, Dick. Good post & good reference from Rev Bauer.  Peace, Hugs, Blessings,

from a long-time Friend:  I image that you cringed as I did watching the RNC presentations when that anti-union teacher was on TV ranting about how awful the teachers union is.  I was on the engineering union board during the dark times when the … employment [in my very large manufacturer reduced by nearly two-thirds] in a little over a year and there was that sign board asking the last person to leave [our city] to remember to turn off the lights.  They had some very dynamic speakers on, but it would have been better if they had told the truth.

The battle between good and evil continues on, but I do have concerns that the voter turnout will  not be that great because people are getting so tired of all the back and forths.

from Thomas:  Thanks for keeping me on the list, Dick.  I always find your comments interesting.

from Julie: Thanks for making me more hopeful. It’s really hard right now. Especially living in the rural area with Trump signs all around me. I almost got run over yesterday by a motorcyclist who didn’t care that I was in his path. He swore at me for crossing too slowly and nearly ran right into me. I thought, “for him it’s more important the he has the right because the light had turned, than that there is a human being who he nearly killed.” That really struck me. I can’t stop thinking about how vulnerable we are right now. I am sure he’s a person who is hurting too.

from Mike: (this relates to a comment from Mike and my response, below): Solvable or not, it’s an argument worth having.
I’m sure we would agree that corporations are not people and that money is not speech. I don’t see why anyone who holds those views would insist that a vote for Howie Hawkins is a vote for Trump.  If you wish to revive this discussion on your blogpost, I will gratefully participate.

response from Dick: I surely support conversation.  Please note Lydia Howell’s comments, in the on-line comments, and directly below:

from Lydia, supplement to previous comment below:

Please understand that what I’m trying to say about going after people who vote Third Party:
1.It simply Does NOT work in terms of persuading 3rd Party people to vote for Democrats.(at least for president)
2.It is a strategy that IGNORES a far LARGER pool of potential Democratic voters–NON-voters, which may not have voted in the last election for a variety of reasons that, frankly,. the Democratic Party SHOULD have been dealing with for the last 10 to 20 years. I’m referring to REPUBLICANS’ VOTE SUPPRESSION techniques like closing polls in Black & Latino neighborhoods, obstacles to youth voting on college campuses, shrinking early voting periods, etc. All these voter suppression techniques have ESCALATED since the 2013 Supreme Court decision GUTTING Voting Rights Act, “pre-clearance” provision for making changes to voting rules, polls, etc. Democrats should be asking how they can reach more of that much of that larger pool of non-voters: are their ISSUES that matter to them that Democratic candidates could have some focus on? Is the challenge that VOTER REGISTRATION needs to be done far better?
3. .Democrats attacking Third Party voters only FURTHER ALIENATES these people from the Democratic Party. I can attest to this personally:  RALPH NADER is one of the most HONORABLE people to ever run for president & is STILL SCAPEGOATED for the 2000 (S)election of GW Bush by the Supreme Court–when VOTER SUPPRESSION was rampant in Florida–from (at least) 100,000 Black & Latino voters were PURGED from the voting rolls, when the VOTE COUNT WAS STOPPED by the “Brooks Brothers” (GOP) “protesters threatening the bi-partisan poll workers, ect. DR. JILL STEIN  is scapegaoted for the election of Donald Trump in 2016–when Hillary CLinton DIDN’T BOTHER to campaign in significant Midwest “swing states” & the Democratic Party FAILED (again) to address GOP VOTER SUPPRESSION like voter purges, closed polls,etc.
This scapegoating only FURTHERS DISTRUST of the Democratic Party, Dick–and distracts from PROTECTING OUR VOTE actions that the Democrats SHOULD  have been taking for the last 20 years. (The House of Reps, has FINALLY passed some legislation that’s stuck on Mitcvh MCConnell’s desk).
Again, I still vote for Demcoratic candidates. Sad to say in the U.S.–allegedly “the greatest democracy on Earth”–we are NOT given other choices most of the time. Two CORPORATE-sponsored political parties–one of the mostly “moderate” & afraid to take any firm stands on most things most of the time (Democrats) & the other an increasingly right-wing extremist party (GOP). The “choice” between the 2 is obvious!!!
In closing, I have been pleasently surprised by Joe Biden 9so far)–even though I’m quite aware of  his voting record. My HOPE is NOT with Bidebn: it’s with WE THE PEOPLE & that we don’t go into fetal position after Biden’s elected: that we continue organizing and making demands for a progressive agenda–which is the ONLY way to REVERSE the Trump-GOP destruction of the last 60+ years of policy that represents everyday people–NOT JUST Corporations and Billionaires. My hope is that, at 78 y-o Joe Biden cares about the FUTURE of our country and can be persuaded that some of his policies of the past had some “unintended consequences” that he’s got the change to change–a chance that DOESN’T come for most politicians.
In the meantime, I’m campaigning for him


8 replies
  1. norman hanson
    norman hanson says:

    We live in a democracy and we have to be informed and engage citizens to keep it viable. Involvement in the pubic policy/political process was always important to may parents and remains so for me today as well. I am always amused when I hear people say that “He or she, is not my president as I did not vote for him or her!”

    Hmmm, since whomever wins the right to become the POTUS is, in fact the president of us all, who do they think is their president? Putin? Kim? The dumb bottom little prince that would if he could be from Saudia Arabia? Other? Hearing them say such a dumb thing almost seems unpatriotic to me but…

    • Anna Himel
      Anna Himel says:

      To Dick Bernard. I have not said anything before it can remain silent no longer. Agree to disagree. When people are for abortion at the last moment before birth or kill them after they are born burns down to me core. I had 3 children that had birth defects but I raised them to 12 for the girl and 9 for the twin boys.KILLING was never in my mind. Also I have always had respect. For. Whoever was president but the Demos and and late night talkers are so against the president it makes me sick, so I would never watch such programs. As someone said we never disrespected whoever was president even though he was not doing a good job for whoever, kinda like Nixon or for that matter Clinton. Finished venting but I felt like it had to be said again Agree to Disagree

      • dickbernard
        dickbernard says:

        I discussed this issue at greater length in blogs some years ago, and so advised Anna, who’s a great friend. The link is titled abortion. There is a biblical admonition that applies here: “Judge not that you may not be judged”. Mt 7:1-3. Being the Bible, of course, there are many different slight variations in exact text (this text is from my grandmothers 1909 Catholic Bible), and thence endless interpretations of what this verse from the Sermon on the Mount means. I’ll leave it at that. Thanks, Anna, for raising the issue. I just can’t agree with your judgement.

  2. Mike Maddden
    Mike Maddden says:

    Thank goodness we have an alternative to Biden and Trump. The Green Party, by successful petition, has placed the Hawkins/Walker ticket on the ballot.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      To each his own, Mike. A vote for the Green Party is a vote for Trump, same as not voting at all. I’m probably as “green” as you are, maybe even more so, but in political terms, we are a two-party system in this country. We can, of course, have our own opinions.

      • Lydia Howell
        Lydia Howell says:

        Dick: Thanks for this update & your continued visits to my south Minneapolis neighborhood as we try to restore it. Also: thanks for putting VOTER INFORMATION out there.

        It may surprise you–knowing that I’m much farther “left” than you are, but, I intend to vote for Biden/Harris. NO progressive policy or issue I care about has a snowball’s chance in hell under Donald Trump and frankly, I greatly fear for the future of the U.S. as an even marginally small-d democratic country with ANOTHER four years of Trump and the extreme right-wing that now runs the Republican Party.

        However, I must take issue with your argument against those voting for the Green Party (or other Third Parties). What loyal Democrats such as yourself still don’t seem to understand is that Greens (or Socialists or other leftist third party people) WOULD NOT VOTE AT ALL if there was no Green on the ticket. What the Democratic Party never says is that many Greens who vote for their own party’s candidate for president go on to vote for DEMOCRATS in down-ballot races. They certainly DON’T vote for Republicans in those races!

        Instead of bashing Greens (yet again!) Democrats who hope for a Biden/Harris victory have a lot of Get Out The Vote efforts they SHOULD be doing right NOW: focusing on Black, Latino, and Indigenous/native communities as well as, women. It’s OVERDUE to try to mobilize YOUTH–who have the most to lose with another 4 years of Trump–since it’s their future that will be destroyed.

        So, let’s reach out to NON-Voters–it’s a HUGE pool (as you said 4 in 10 did NOT vote in 2016). Let’s educate them about EARLY VOTING; VOTE BY MAIL that makes voting easier. let’s talk to them about what’s at stake. Let’s win with Biden/Harris–and then, PUSH them for REAL change to UN-do the damage done by Trump and TAKE ACTION on critical issues such as police brutality, climate change and re-building an economy that works for the 90% of us currently left out


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.