Sometimes an “outsider” can see more clearly in Minnesotans what those born here might miss;
sometimes a loner senses more keenly what the gregarious lose in the constant background hum
of social intercourse. I am both: a transplant from the South who moved here almost forty years
ago, and a man usually content with a tiny circle of family and friends.
So how did a “non-native” Minnesotan, how did someone who’s a bit of a social introvert end up
at the Senate District 41 convention last Saturday? The answer is pretty straightforward, and is
provided by the date: Year Two of The Abomination.
For like many this year, I’ve come to the horrifying realization that our beloved republic is in
danger; that our beautiful democracy is being dismantled right before our eyes. And if anyone
thinks that language is overblown, I humbly submit that they haven’t been paying attention.
Like so many there last Saturday, I felt bound and determined to get off my keister and do
something about it. To get out of my comfort zone, and raise holy hell.
Minnesotans tend to be a phlegmatic bunch, doubtless due to the Scandinavian influence. Keep
calm, be gracious, just go quietly about your business. Sometimes known as Minnesota Nice.
I’ve got news for you. The era of Minnesota Nice has faded into yesterday.
What I saw at the district convention was what a false choice it is between focusing on local
issues as opposed to “nationalizing” this fall’s elections. I could see among the delegates what so
many Minnesota Democrats may not see themselves.
That there is an almost crazy anger raging just beneath the surface of Minnesota Nice, a boiling
anger at what the party of The Abomination is doing to our country and to our state.
Others who were there must have seen what happened whenever a speaker even merely nodded
in the general direction of the outermost suburbs of the unmentionable name of The
Abomination. I sensed in the crowd a foot-stomping, almost animalistic fury that, if they hadn’t
been Minnesotans, might have torn down the auditorium. I don’t blame the speakers for treading
lightly on the subject, for otherwise the convention delegates, Minnesotans or not, might have
And yet, I’m even now not sure that all our DFL elected officials fully grasp what they are
dealing with. The constant, daily drumbeat of atrocities perpetrated by The Abomination and his
party, made in his image, not just at the national level, but even here in our beloved state, have
finally transgressed upon a hidden chamber of the heart, a violation that they must be made to
To put it mildly.
I’ve heard talk of a “Blue Wave” that is building, that will begin to turn back the depredations of
The Abomination and his band of buccaneers, gangsters, and traitors. But I’m starting to think
we’ve got it wrong.
What’s happening is looking to me more and more like the buildup to the volcanic eruption of a
barely suppressed fury. When I saw in our subcaucus the face of a mild-mannered, middle-aged
Minnesota woman twisted with outrage at the daily desecrations of our democracy – something
I’ve not seen before, and especially here in Minnesota – then I can feel the tectonic plates
I’m starting to wonder, fellow DFLers, if a large part of our work hasn’t already been done for
us. Sure, we have to work our butts off to register new voters, and kick our fellow Democrats in
their mid-term butts to get them to the voting booth.
So don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a counsel of over-confidence.
We have been dealt, by our opponents, an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often in a
democracy. An opportunity that enables us to move beyond the idea of merely defeating the
Republicans this November.
We must do our damnedest to harness this volcanic energy out there …
To crush them.