Don Bye, columnist
I didn't realize until last week that I'm a buddy of a Randy Johnson, and I doubt he'll ever know me. Counterpart is probably a better word. Mr. Johnson refers to his 50 years of voting Republican and being a Republican activist for over 50 years. I'll match with straight DFL voting for 62 years and DFL activist for 65 or more continuous years.
If women unite in increasing numbers and voting percentage over the next month, we will have better government in 2019. If the recent debacle over the selection of Justice Kavanaugh and rightward turning of our U.S. Supreme Court leave enough women angry, bitter and in a mood to do something to change, our nation and governments will swing left, as the Supreme Court went right.
It is "gooder" to have and be happy with all that we have than to ever be striving for some unrealistic and unachievable state of "greatness" built on greed. I'd rather have in Echoland, our state and nation a society that is satisfied with being good to self and others and that is less concerned about being "great again." America has lingered under the delusion of its "greatness" long enough.
A headline in a Minneapolis newspaper recently read, "Charitable gambling in state soars past $2B." It makes it sound like a favorable accomplishment, a growth industry. I don't think our forefathers gave it much thought, and neither did we until a few decades ago. As with many issues, there are two sides to the gambling coin. Some welcome the dollars and excitement. Others decry it as part of a decadent society. Some feel that no gambling is charitable.
By the time you read this, our 2018 primary election will be a little bit of history. If early and mail-in ballots are any indication, more Minnesotans will have cast primary votes than we have had for some time. Unfortunately for us DFLers, for some time Republican voters have tended to be more disciplined and habitual primary voters. They tend to be more regular voters in every election, while Democrats are more prone to skip primaries and non-presidential elections.
For a lot of crazy reasons, our 8th District congressional campaign has been pushed to a back burner by the media the last couple months. The craziness started with our respective Republican and DFL conventions, compounded by the following craziness in switching offices to run for, calls for resignation and changing minds in runs for governor and attorney general, all of which has pretty much dominated media attention.
Both President Trump and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty have shown us, much too vividly, how candidates for political office can pander their way to election. In Echoland, we've been "blessed," or some of us would say "afflicted," with two years of a president who will say anything to get and stay elected. He is already spending big bucks of other people's money in an effort to turn the likely two more years into six. We in Minnesota had eight years of a governor with a penchant for pandering - Mr. Pawlenty - who is now threatening us with another four years.
As we celebrate our nation's Independence Day this week, I invite thought and reflection as to how we feel regarding our nation's status and direction. We celebrate our rare existence in a very rich nation with an unparalleled quarter of a thousand years of continuous, uninterrupted freedom border to border.
We are just driving back from our biennial DFL State Convention in Rochester. It was not a new experience. I believe it was my 27th such event, dating back to 1964. It was another three long days of fascinating frustration to us DFL junkies, of boredom and bewilderment to some of the less interested, and a mix of the two to many participants and observers.
Another horrible and senseless occurrence happened in Texas last week. It was another isolated, but too common, event: a school shooting with multiple deaths of students and teachers. Our society in aftermath wonders, "Why? Why? Why?" Then, while the almost constant coverage is in play, society ponders what we can do to prevent the same or similar future happenings.