From the Left Hand Corner: Primary election reflection
This column may not interest many of our readers. I say that because only a small fraction of Minnesota's eligible voters took the very minimal time and trouble to exercise their right and opportunity to vote in the Tuesday, Aug. 12, primary election.
The primary election result was great support for our existing party endorsement system. It showed that the political parties can make their own selection for general election choice just as well or better than a minimally interested primary electorate.
In the Republican primary, Jeff Johnson won against three strong anti-endorsement competitors. One, a multimillionaire, had money to burn, and did. Scott Honour spent mega of his megabucks to buy the election away from the endorsement selection.
Two other well-known candidates with strong legislative office experience campaigned extensively statewide, but to no avail.
The choice of the Republican party is now the final choice of the Republican primary.
Similarly, and even more encouraging in our DFL primary, not only did the endorsed candidate win, but she won by a whopping, walloping margin. It is indeed significant that endorsed state Auditor Rebecca Otto won by a 4-1 vote tally over the would-be, wannabe Matt Entenza. It is even more significant since she did so despite being outspent by a reverse 4-1 margin by megabucks Matt. That was a huge validation and victory for our endorsement system.
On primary election reflection downside, less than 10 percent of Minnesota's eligible voted, which is dismal, if not shameful. Much of the blame is placed on the August date, but more is remiss than that.
Whatever you understand it to be, whether a right or a privilege or an entitlement, the opportunity that we have in America to cast a meaningful, counted vote is something that most people of our world never had or have. In other parts of the world where voting is allowed, it is tenuous and fragile, and the limited opportunities to vote are done under fear and repercussion.
Throughout world history, life and death decisions are made based on individual strength or weaponry or collective military action. That has been true, no matter how cruelly unjust. Innocent individuals and groups are powerless to prevent or guard against enslaving and atrocity, and countless people live under lifelong oppression. Countless more lose their very lives to untrammeled cruelty and inhumanity toward fellow inhabitants.
If we continue a downslide in election involvement, we will self inflict and create weaker representative capacity, and implicitly invite government by a more opportunistic few. Those few will most likely be a few with the most access to power of military or power of money, or combination thereof.
If we fall further into that mode, we threaten our future, and abdicate our dearly held power of our people in self determination.
We have had, for the last couple centuries, the very rare and uninterrupted privilege to participate in a free and meaningful voting process. We have that opportunity to govern ourselves.
We are not using it very well. If we don't reverse our course, and instead continue toward lethargy, we will most certainly facilitate the threat and possibility of a bleak future for ourselves, but more for those who follow.
Vote on Nov. 4. If you prefer, vote by mail or computer after Sept. 19. But do not fail to vote.