I want a real Minnesotan

Growing up the daughter of the local newspaper publisher, the truth of the matter is — politically — well, I can usually see both sides. Even the Pope County Tribune was non-partisan. I guess if I had to tell the absolute truth, I lean more right than left these days. I heard a great Winston Churchill quote (which winstonchurchill.org says is falsely attributed to him) to the effect that if you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart and if you’re not a conservative by 35, you have no brains. I have run that course. I don’t usually get too hot under the collar when the subject of politics comes up.*

One conversation in Minnesota politics has really got me burning this fall and that’s the race for senate. Norm Coleman, a native of Brooklyn, New York, and former mayor of St. Paul is running against Al Franken. Franken admittedly grew up in St. Louis Park, but has spent the majority of his life NOT living in Minnesota. I ask you: Which one of them can get to my home in West Central Minnesota without a map? Which one of them can name any other town in my county beside the county seat? How about the largest lake in my county? Who is it’s largest employer? What is the name of my town’s festival? Do either one of them own the kind of clothes needed for ice fishing, an extremely popular activity in my community? Do they know how the firefighters and other community services are funded in my community? Have either one of them sent a child to Minnesota Public Schools? Which one of them has a clue about my life in rural Minnesota? Does either one of them know the struggle, the strength and the pride that comes from choosing to live out here, and how can I be sure that either one has my best interests at heart and is not just using the name of the great state of Minnesota as a stepping stone for their own personal political career goals?

I didn’t think so.

* I really like that scrappy Sarah Palin, though.


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