So we’ve determined a few things so far in this series:
- It can be frustrating, being a conservative in the city.
- Tossing “warm body” candidates out there to take their shots at Congress, State Legislative and city/county offices can feel pretty futile.
- It’s largely because the Democraticicicicic party has spent several generations and four decades patiently insinuating itself into every facet of urban life. The entire infrastructure of the city is tied up in the DFL; many of the inhabitants of both cities are either government employees or – after several generations of using the city as a warehouse for the poor or an unloading point for immigrants – beholden to the government. (It’s not entirely a bad, or at least malicious, thing; Bruce Vento was instrumental in bringing the H’mong from refugee camps in Thailand to Saint Paul. Did the late congressman do it to earn the loyalty of thousands of future voters? It was Bruce Vento, for crying out loud; he didn’t scratch his nose if it didn’t benefit the party. But no sane person begrudges the H’mong their place in America; they earned it, and, if you leave out the whole “patronage” thing, it was perhaps Vento’s greatest achievement).
So how do we – Republicans who live in the city, and/or Republicans who know this state’ll never be a “red” state until we can at least contest Saint Paul and Minneapolis – start to put the city in play?
There are a couple of options:
- Wait for a Ronald Reagan or a Brett Schundler. You might be waiting a long time.
- Keep throwing candidates at offices they’ll never win, barring a visit from a Democraticicicic-seeking virus that leaves the entire DFL electorate flat on its back on election day.
- Start building some real grass roots in the cities.
We’ll talk about #3 on Monday.