What are Minnesotans’ great strengths?
We have so many; we’re resourceful (who else could live in such a cold place)? We’re smart – our test scores show it (although North Dakotans would seem to be smarter, by that measure); we’re communitarian, even without the heavy hand of government to drag it out of us.
We’re self-starters; we’ve created things as varied as sandpaper and the artificial heart; the homing torpedo and instant cake mix; the supercomputer and solid dish soap…
…and while government has had its role in many of those achievements, Minnesotans should stand up and take credit where it’s due; government at the very best merely got out of the way.
But look at Mark Dayton’s entire campaign. Everything about it reads like a return to the 1970’s, from the goals – resurrecting and perpetuating programs like Local Government Aid – through the “eat the rich” language.
Just as our companies, and our families, have had to change to meet the challenges that happen as times change, so must our government.
There is one candidate that will make government adapt to the same changing times we all face.
Tom Emmer has run a campaign that has not only focused on the positive – he even chided Ed Morrissey and I for calling Dayton “the opposition”, a stark contrast to the deeply, cravenly slimy campaign that Dayton has run – but looks to the best of Minnesota’s character. His budget doesn’t scapegoat classes; it calls for some shared sacrifice on the way to a much, much better goal. Mark Dayton’s campaign appoints others to be “Happy To Pay For A Better Minnesota”; Emmer puts the onus on all of us – and presents us all with the opportunity, not only to escape California/Greek/New York style stagnation and bankruptcy, but to share in honestly-earned rewards.
Tom Emmer has run a principled campaign; he presents the state with a tenable plan to balance its budget while taking care of the people who need taking care of, and asking a little more out of those who don’t – like city governments.
He appeals to Minnesotans’ better natures – our strength, our communitarian spirit, our intelligence, our vision. Not our passive-aggressive venality.
It’s just one of the reasons I’m voting for Emmer. But it’s an important one.
Four more to go before Monday. Stay tuned.