Tone, defined, for the purpose of this blogpost: “Noun, 2. the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation, etc.”
Tomorrow (Tues, March 3) is the Minnesota Primary Election. There are 16 Democrats on the DFL ballot; there is one candidate on the Republican ballot. Two other parties have chosen not to participate in the Primary. There is only one issue on the ballot, the Presidential preference.
All details can be found here.
I will vote tomorrow. My personal philosophy appears at the right hand side on this page, as it has appeared since the blog went on line in March, 2009. I gave those words some thought, then, and have seen no reason to change it since. I will choose one of the 16 candidates presented on the Democrat ballot tomorrow. I think they – all of them – reflect a strength of the Democratic Party. (For various reasons, nine candidates on the DFL ballot have already dropped off, and more will.) In the end, one will be nominated by delegates selected at local precinct caucuses or their equivalents around the United States. It isn’t perfect. Neither is it perfect to present only a single candidate, as this state’s Republican Party has chosen to do.
I have mixed emotions about this (for Minnesota) new election. Previously, the presidential preference was a function of the precinct caucus. Mostly, I am concerned that this simply further amplifies the perception of many that the only election that matters is that for President of the United States.
There seems undue and excessive and dangerous emphasis on who will be President, period. And that whoever is elected to be President should have a corner on Power. The notion of Three Branches and the power of the people has been eroded over the years, and in recent times been severely damaged and too many have stood idly by. Civic commitment too often is to, perhaps, vote once, for President, and that is enough.
It is not enough.
This is where the business of “Tone” comes in. Our national attitude seems less caring than what I remember in the not-so-good old days before “Tribalized” politics, and government by Twitter and Trolls and Bots and on and on.
Our national civic sloppiness is not, and will not, serve us well. Our local, state and national “tone” is lacking.
Every elective office is important, indeed essential. In one of my recent posts, I suggested writing down the names of the people who represent ourselves in each level. Of course, I’m one of the people, and I did this for myself. I did pretty well, though not for offices like our towns Mayor and Council, or our County Commissioners.
So, I took the test, and I passed, but no “A” – that’s for sure.
The calendar says its about 246 days to Election Day, November 3, 2020. That’s plenty of time to get up to speed on who’s running for what, and who they really are, beyond just their names, their pitches against their opponents, or their self-congratulatory stories about themselves.
Whoever it is: President, Senator, Congressperson, Governor, State Senator or Legislator, on and on, get to know them, and vote, and vote very well informed. This is your country, and ours….
JUST FOR INFORMATION SAKE:
The U.S. Population now is more or less 330,000,000 people. We don’t all think alike; nor do we all have identical abilities, or needs.
Each U.S. Congressional District has a population of about 760,000.
Minnesota, my state, has about 5.7 million people, more or less two percent of the national population. Each of our legislative districts has about 43,000 population.
One philosophy will not dominate, even if one ‘side’ or the other thinks it can control the others.
Any person who has ever been elected to any office soon learns that to ignore an opposing point of view is dangerous.
Collectively, we need to learn to live together.
Some time back we participated in a meeting about a movement called Better Angels Check it out.
Recent personal posts on the topic of Politics (access in Archive, at right): Feb 13, 16, 21, 24, 26, 29
POSTNOTE TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2020, 3:30 A.M.: I published this yesterday, before Amy Klobuchar announced she was pulling out of the presidential race. Later in the afternoon, I happened to turn to MSNBC at 6 p.m., the beginning of the Chris Matthews hour, which I normally don’t watch – too strident. Matthews came on, briefly, to retire. An obviously stunned Steve Kornacki filled in. I didn’t watch the rest of the show since, as I said, I normally don’t watch it. Overnight, the New York Times had an article about what I had seen. Also, overnight came Just Above Sunset, “Simplifying Matters”. It’s worth your time. Brace for the upcoming months. Not long ago I did a post, “Nation of Manchurian Candidates?” I think we’re about to find out. Probably Wednesday Mar 4, I’ll add a postnote here, and I’m inviting comments, the first two of which are below. “We, the people” are about to be tested, and it is the collective we that will decide our fate going forward.
POSTNOTES March 4, 2020, 8:45 a.m.
There are several comments in the comments section, and there may be more, later.
I voted Tuesday morning. I marked my ballot for Joe Biden. I would have voted for Amy Klobuchar, but she had withdrawn the previous day. I’m two years senior to Mr. Biden, so I know both the limitations and the assets of age and experience. A few others told me who they voted for – a variety – but this is their business. It seems obvious to me that people are paying serious attention to the importance of this election.
Biden has not yet been nominated, of course, and I “don’t count chickens till they’re hatched.” Personally, I could have supported almost all of the Democratic candidates who were listed on the DFL ballot yesterday (16 in all). Tulsi Gabbard’s candidacy puzzled me. Though she seemed to be a fine person, too, she was my exception….
Here is where you can find more about the Minnesota vote yesterday. [Added March 5: These were the top vote-getters: Democrat – total votes cast about 740,000 among 15 candidates on the ballot, one “uncommitted”. Biden 287,248; Sanders 222,276; Warren 114,606; Bloomberg 61,832; Klobuchar 41,478 – she had bowed out the day before the election, but her name and all the others were on the printed ballot.
Republican – 137,155 for incumbent President, 3298 for others. Only one candidate was allowed on the Republican ballot per the Minnesota Republican Party, who controlled whose name(s) would appear, as was also true with the Democrats.] I would suggest a visit to the home page as well where there is some information about election security.
I was an inadvertent witness to one piece of drama yesterday. I wanted to verify our voting place, which sometimes changes, and when I went to the Secretary of State website it redirected me to another site, which was very helpful. The Star Tribune writes here about this happening. I visited, it appears, during the 17 minutes of the incident. Were ‘bots’ involved? Should the Secretary State resign? All of these and more will be in some conversation. I went to the site to find out where to vote, that is all. I’m glad the alternative was available.
Check the other comments below. In addition, here is a comment from my friend and DFL activist, Norm, on what he observed at his precinct in suburban St. Paul yesterday: