Scott Honour has an uphill battle before becoming the GOP candidate for Minnesota governor, but he is gaining traction and getting noticed. That means we get to hear more from Scott Honour.
That’s good news because anyone who is paying attention will recognize that opponents don’t have to tell you why Scott Honour is wrong for Minnesota, he’s doing it himself.
Scott Honour’s website lists a broad range of policy issues sprinkled with feel good goals. Who doesn’t want a better state, right? An ambitious goal, indeed. It’s the details that matter.
And the policy positions that get the most play — and probably matter the most — deal with the state’s budget and taxes. Scott Honour eagerly tells us he will repeal recent income tax increases, cut spending (10% across the board, typical neophyte “strategy”), and reduce regulation. In short, Honour is telling us he will return the state to the same policies that failed us for so many years.
Minnesota has benefited tremendously under the leadership of Governor Mark Dayton and our Democrat-led legislature. The state has corrected its chronic and systematic fiscal crisis, eliminated its debt, and helped turn around a struggling and stagnate economy. Minnesota has also made progress on individual rights and welfare. The state recognizes the rights of same-sex marriage and we have embraced health care reform to the benefit of tens of thousands of Minnesotans. All pretty good stuff.
And on matters of things like business and regulation, Governor Mark Dayton has proven himself to be a pragmatic and purposeful leader. He listens to concerns about regulations, supporting the repeal of unnecessarily burdensome laws.
Why isn’t all of this good news good enough for the pro-Minnesota GOP? Well, a cynic might say — without too much cynicism– that conservatives really don’t care about the general welfare, but more about selfish interests, as misguided and self-destructive as that might by. Or one might point out that the Republican record speaks for itself. It fails. One is hard pressed to identify much, if anything, that conservatives have done to help build a better, stronger Minnesota in recent decades.
In the end it all boils down to a fundamental misunderstanding of government’s role in our society. Conservatives don’t understand that the common good is good for all. A strong, intelligent, and healthy society builds a strong economy, security, and opportunity. The private sector does not deliver the infrastructure and institutions that protect and support our common good. The public sector does and government is responsible for managing that, not dismantling it.
Finally, I find it puzzling that people think a businessman has the credentials for higher public office. If anything, such a resume makes a person uniquely unqualified for the job. The interests and objectives of business are entirely different from those of government. Moreover, government finance, budgets, and fiscal objectives are entirely different from private enterprise. Government is not working to optimize profits for set of shareholders, government exists to serve the interests of all, regardless of how unequal that might seem to some. People like Scott Honour not only don’t seem to understand that, they seem to deliberately set on disrespecting government’s obligations.
We don’t need people like Scott Honour in higher public office. We have better, fresher ideas in the state capital now. Let’s keep it that way.