The Feb. 3 commentary by Heidi Joos (“The Sanders- McGovern comparison explored: Observations for the younger, idealistic members of my party”) was spot-on. Except, as a McGovern campaign worker and young idealist back in 1972, I offered her same argument to my twenty-something grandsons, who are as passionate as I was back in the old days. I love seeing these young people so enthused and wish them good luck. Who’s to say it won’t work this time? I’m just about ready to jump on the bandwagon!

Linda Hove, Isanti, Minn.

• • •

The comparisons between Bernie Sanders and 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern are hollow, if not wholly invalid. There are many major differences between then and now, between that election and the election we face today:

• McGovern was up against a popular incumbent. This time, neither candidate is the incumbent, and Sanders will be up against a candidate from the most divided and fractured Republican Party to date.

• McGovern’s follies in vice president selection were unfortunate, but unique to his candidacy alone. Since then we have a far better understanding of and more societal empathy for the mental-health issues that tormented vice presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton, and thereby bedeviled the entire McGovern campaign. That lesson was learned. That “mistake” will not be repeated when Bernie Sanders is nominated.

• The 1972 general election had one of the lowest voter-turnout percentages in history. We can already see that will not be the case this year. Voter turnout is expected to be very high. And when turnout is high, Bernie Sanders consistently wins.

• McGovern’s antiwar and pro-civil-rights stances made him a hero with the liberal young voters of 1972. Sanders shares those values and is a hero to the young people of today, but with the disparities between the rich and the poor the worst they have been since the Gilded Age, Sanders’ message of economic justice is striking a chord with hardworking middle-class families and senior citizens on both sides of the aisle.

Sanders is much more electable than McGovern was, and according to many polls, more electable than Hillary Clinton.

Gabe Barnett, Minneapolis

• • •

I’m a 60-year-old father of three teenage sons. I tell my kids sometimes you have to do what’s right. It doesn’t always work out, and so I don’t regret supporting George McGovern back in 1972. I tell them living with a courageous heart is much better than living like a mouse hoping the crumbs will get better.

With this in mind, I’m not going to tell my sons to forget about expecting politics to represent them. I’m not going to tell them they should expect that a government almost wholly owned by immensely wealthy political donors can be changed by candidates who take in fantastically large political contributions from the fattest cats on this planet. I’m not going to tell them college will eventually become affordable without a political revolution to change this ghastly situation. I’m not going to tell them they will have health care or housing that’s affordable without a political revolution, either. I’m not because it’s delusional to believe otherwise.

In my view (to borrow a phrase from Bernie Sanders), supporting the least disagreeable option only slows their slide downhill. Hey, kids, keep feeling the Bern! I’m with you.

Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis

 

TRASH HAULING

Cost, disruption of multiple trucks is hard to swallow

I could not disagree more with a Feb. 4 letter writer’s comments opposing single-hauler trash collection. Five trash haulers serve our neighborhood. That is 10 trips per week up one side of our street and down the other. Then there are 10 more trips to pick up the recycling. We are talking big, heavy trucks here, and they have destroyed the street.

Aside from this, the “freedom to choose” is costing us money. My sister lives in an adjacent suburb that hires one hauler for its residents. Last time I checked, they were paying substantially less than we are.

Freedom to choose your hauler is nice, but it is uneconomic and inefficient.

Lee Javorski, Lino Lakes

• • •

I live in Golden Valley on a one-block, dead-end street with seven homes on one side and a nursing home on the other. The seven homes are served by six trash haulers, and the nursing home is served by another firm. This is in addition to separate trucks for recycling. All of these trucks must turn around at the end of the street, so they all travel the length of the street twice. I am sure you can see what “Trash Day” is like on our street.

The Feb. 4 letter writer says she wants to maintain her “freedom to choose” her trash hauler. Would she also like the “freedom to choose” who responds in a fire, police or medical emergency? Or would she like to choose who plows the snow, cleans the street in front of her house and picks up recycling? She can choose who cleans her house, mows her lawn or paints her house. But there is no “gummint conspiracy” if the city tries to limit street damage and protect the environment by using one trash hauler.

As far as forcing small haulers out of business, she may want to look at Waste Management, Aspen and Republic. They are hardly small haulers.

David Hanson, Golden Valley

 

MINNEAPOLIS SUPERINTENDENT

Call off your search; the best candidate is before your eyes

I have more than 40 years of experience hiring leaders in the education field. I have watched with interest the search for a new superintendent in Minneapolis. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. The primary attributes include: a passion for education that serves all students; the ability to work with a variety of groups — parents and guardians, community members, business leaders, unions, foundations, the school board and the Legislature; a proven track record of leading change in a collaborative manner, and the ability to build trust and confidence in the Minneapolis School District. In my view, the ideal candidate exists: former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. The school board should call off the beauty contest, offer the job to R.T. and allow him to assemble the talent Minneapolis needs to set the schools on a path that leads to success for all students.

Dave Metzen, Mendota Heights

 

GRAIN BELT SIGN

Glowing monument to beer is nothing to beam about

It’s one thing to have a big sign advertising flour (the Gold Medal Flour sign), but to have a giant sign (no matter how attractive or historically important it’s considered to be) looming over the riverfront advertising an alcoholic beverage — promoting alcohol consumption — is about as misguided as it gets (“Iconic Grain Belt sign will glow again,” Feb. 1). How many lives and families need to be destroyed due to the disease of alcoholism before folks wake up and put the brakes on stuff like this?

August Schell Brewing Co. President Ted Marti may think it’s “cool,” but I would ask him to inquire into what the loved ones of the damaged or deceased alcoholics who paid for the sign think of its coolness. If he likes it so much, he should do us a favor and relocate the sign to his corporate headquarters.

Folks, this isn’t about Minneapolis history; this is about the accumulation of money, at the expense of alcoholism, through the promotion of drinking alcoholic beverages. (And, yes, I’ve got a few frosty ones in the fridge, but I don’t set them up in the front yard for neighbors to look at.)

Michael Kehoe, Minneapolis