Don Bye, columnist
We are surrounded by good in our little corner of the world. Not many of the billions of people in lesser climes and circumstance have it anywhere near as good as we have it. Politicians are prone to pronounce their efforts to advance the elusive public good or common good. Of course, the good of one party or person can greatly contrast with the good of another; but overall we can agree that bits and pieces, and large examples too, of really good things surround us on an everyday basis.
Humpty Trumpty sat on his grand wall. Humpty Trumpty had a great fall. All Trumpty's horses and all of Trumpty's men couldn't put poor Trumpty together again. Was it his shutdown of government with no plan to restore? Did he walk out on his wall too far, and fall too far? Will the Mueller investigation, and consequences thereof, finally do him in? Or, will he be able to marshal, or again luck into garnering enough disgruntled groupings within his "great white majority" to eke out another win in November 2020?
While growing up, I watched and listened to too much talk about New Year's resolutions that didn't resolve, so I don't put much stock in New Year's resolutions. Most of those resolutions were aimed at cutting drinking or smoking or weight by people who really weren't ready to do any of them. They seldom lasted longer than a month, or week, or all day after the day they were made.
It appears that our Christmas crassness is running at a higher level this year than ever. Christmas selling is overwhelming our consumer society again. The commercialization of Christmas is sailing along unabated. It seems worse than ever to some of us old diehards who think our celebration of Christmas ought to be centered on the birth of Christ. Already, store hours are extended. We had so-called Christmas sales predating and following Halloween. We've endured the notorious Black Friday and now have gone through a larger than ever Cyber Monday.
The political pendulum swung a little to the left as a result of the Nov. 6 election. That was true nationally and in our state of Minnesota. All across the nation, in partisan races, more Democrats won and more Republicans lost than has been the case for the last several election cycles.
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.