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Walz’s commentary (the annotated version)
There is something incongruous about a commentary whose point is that the government must pass a farm bill without which farmers will not be able to “control their own destiny” (“Let’s finish a farm bill — together,” Oct. 29). That internal contradiction runs throughout the commentary by U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., but is no more evident than in this paragraph about the principles that undergird our nation. (I have taken the liberty of adding in brackets the contradictions that Walz ignores.)
“The good news is that the clouds are parting and America’s best days lie ahead [and somewhere a dog is barking]. Our nation is defined by an unshakable belief that we, the people, have the ability to control our destiny [except when it comes to educating our children, making health care decisions or planning for our retirement]. A belief that anyone can reach out and grab opportunity [provided one fills out the proper forms, secures the proper licenses, pays the appropriate fees and is among those favored industries or solicits the aid of their member of Congress to circumvent the rules] and create a more prosperous future for themselves, their children and their grandchildren [after a lifetime of creating under coercion a more prosperous present for total strangers and the benefit of government bureaucrats and payment of inheritance tax — one’s final parting genuflection of subservience].”
CRAIG WESTOVER, Afton
The writer is an aide to former state Rep. Jeff Johnson’s campaign for governor.
SEEDS OF DIVISION
One side is more fractured than other
While the Alger Hiss case does provide some general context for ideological partisanship (“The seeds of American division,” Oct. 30), the case itself is not the “seed” of such division as we know it today.
While modern liberalism remains a watered-down version of FDR’s ideological vision, modern conservatism has become a multiheaded monster. The modern conservative movement is the confluence of neoconservativism (think Cheney and Wolfowitz), the Religious Right a la Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, and true libertarians embodied in Ron and Rand Paul. Where is the Tea Party in all of this? Right in the middle, and it’s tearing apart the Republican Party from within. Tea Party members exhibit all three strains of conservative thought and often fail to note the contradictions inherent when trying to square biblical principle with the Ayn Rand style of social Darwinism.
Ultimately, the Alger Hiss trial and the rise of Joseph McCarthy that came soon thereafter is the history of an era defined by concrete enemies and an America that was united far more than today. Modern conservative ideology is represented by a fractured party unable to get out of its own way.
CHRIS NERLIEN, St. Paul
The Oct. 30 editorial listed Nate Griggs as a candidate for the Minneapolis City Council in the 10th Ward. Although his name will be on the ballot, Griggs states that he no longer seeks election.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.