Convention leaves a sense of disillusionment

On Saturday, I attended my first city of Minneapolis DFL convention and watched pizzas and games trump the endorsement process. Each of the three top contenders for the DFL nomination for mayor of Minneapolis — Mark Andrew, Betsy Hodges and Gary Schiff — had pledged to abide by the party’s endorsement. To make sure that the front-runner, Andrew, could not obtain the required 60 percent support, first, booted candidate Schiff threw his support behind Hodges, then, second-runner Hodges cleared supporters with a directive and rewarded them with pizza.

All of this was, of course, perfectly in accordance with the rules. But was it honest and respectful to the process and the delegates, or helpful in getting a DFL mayor elected? Now those who had the least votes will muddy the election. I went into the convention undecided about the candidate I would support. I left with my support wholly and enthusiastically behind Andrew, not only because of his accomplishment and his vision but for the kind of person he is.

SARAH GUILLET, Minneapolis

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Saturday was my last DFL convention. The inconclusive marathon was a complete misuse of volunteer time. The desire by the party to have delegates endorse only one of the many strong candidates divided loyalties, rather than cementing them with the best leaders.

With ranked-choice voting in Minneapolis, the DFL would be doing a service to tell citizens the party’s top three candidates, since it may be hard for less-involved voters to sort through a long list. But die-hards willing to submit themselves to a convention should not be the ones to determine the next mayor. Keeping a strong field of candidates makes the candidates better, gives voters more viable options and will make the eventual winner a better mayor. A convention with RCV could have been finished by noon; I might reconsider if they amend their rules to use it.


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What’s more important is manipulation of facts

So it is news that half the state’s population thinks the White House directed the IRS to scrutinize nonprofit status applications from political groups? (“State split on IRS scrutiny,” June 17.) Hardly, unless the point of the article is to illustrate just how clueless most people are about facts. Add this latest sample to the 80 percent who believed that Iraq possessed WMDs (a baldfaced lie told by none other than Colin Powell) or the faked moon landing theorists, 9/11 conspiracy theorists and the millions of people who think the Earth is flat.

We live in a world of myth fed by fear and peppered by shrill, agenda-toting announcers who depend on credulity and stupidity to turn nonsense into advertising revenue. Next time it would be more interesting to read about the misapplication of factual information in both intentional and unwitting forms by political operatives. We suffer from a collective lack of critical thinking skills. Duty calls. Are the editors listening?


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It’s the health care system that’s unfair

I agree with the person who wrote that “there is no easy way to determine which individuals will receive donated organs.” However, I disagree with the assertion that the parents who publicized their daughter’s plight hadn’t thought about the next person in line who did not receive a transplant. Why should we assume that?

This case represents the worst of the U.S. health care system. Why should families be blamed for doing everything they can to save a loved one? Why should everyday Americans be competing with each other for the right to live? Who gains from snarling at each other for leftover scraps of health care? Not us.

We are all in this together, folks, and we need to stick together. If we’re too busy arguing over who gets whose organs, then it’s time to turn out the lights and watch this Roman Empire implode.


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At some point, people need to let it go

I have noted this about wars that supposedly end: They really end only for the winners. The winners get to continue hostilities (including public exposure and condemnation by newspaper reporters) against members of the losers — even those who only got inducted into the conflict as distinguished from those who planned and initiated it (“Ukranian war criminal uncovered in north Minneapolis,” June 15).

Winners get to define behavior by losers as “criminal,” while something planned and initiated by some of the winners as hellish as the Dresden firebombing is not so defined. Also, loser attempts to save one’s life by denying guilt (lying) is defined by winners as criminal and deserving of punishment, while winners are allowed in court to do this in self-defense. Perhaps really ending a war on both sides requires more self-­discipline than humans can manage.