I lived in Arizona for just over ten years, essentially all of the 1990s. When I was in Arizona bragging about how smart, progressive, and inclusive Minnesota felt good. Minnesota was a respected state with a strong economy, strong public services, and a strong sense of civic purpose. All of that strength created a lot of opportunity and rich futures for countless Minnesotans.
Much has changed. We have lost a lot of our bragging rights.
Today, unfortunately, we have a growing number of Minnesotans who view our traditions as mistakes, literally threats. Where we once led on civil liberty issues, for example, we are about to put the rights of gay and lesbian citizens up for a vote.
Meanwhile our economy has been wrecked and our state finances ransacked by short-sighted anti-government policies. Rather than correct those errors we let self-serving petulance divide the state and distract us from managing our state properly. This kind of dysfunction would have been unthinkable in better days.
We are willing to let our citizens suffer to protect the advantages of the few. That shouldn’t be acceptable anywhere, especially in Minnesota. But fear and intolerance prevail today. Ignorance will destroy us.
What has happened to us? I won’t name names. We know who they are. The reactionary leadership that runs contrary to our state’s traditions have turned us from an exemplar of what works in governance to a dismal example of how quickly the success of the past can be destroyed.
Let the Republicans mistakes haunt them not us. We deserve better. It is time to save our state. DO NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN!