If my math is correct, my maternal grandmother was not allowed to vote until she was 45. I remember my mother telling me, “Just think, my mom was one of the smartest people I ever knew, and she couldn’t vote.”
We have a variety of political opinions in my family. I have three granddaughters and a daughter who are Bernie Sanders backers. Their mother and grandfather and sister and I have backed Hillary Clinton from the beginning. My niece, a single mom, is a champion of Hillary. The discussions, when we get together, are, to put it gently, “animated.”
Caveat: I have followed Bernie Sanders for years, way before most people I spoke with had even heard of him. I love what he’s about; I admire him greatly. But then here is this marvelous woman, having paid so many dues, who is smart, articulate and scrappy, and has a keen social conscience, and she is my candidate.
I turned 70 on the first of June. Last night, watching this talented and mature woman speak about her own mother, my heart was full. I thought about my grandmother, my mother, my deceased sister, my daughters and my granddaughters. It’s still not an even playing field, of course, but it’s a damned good start.
Congratulations, Hillary. We have your back. I’m so very proud of you.
Lois Rafferty, Minneapolis
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Despite the Star Tribune’s breathless headlines on Wednesday, Clinton did not yet “win” her party’s presidential nomination. She is still 199 delegates short of the number needed to win the nomination. Any suggestion to the contrary is based on a survey of superdelegates who will not cast their votes until the convention in July. Recent opinion polls show Clinton with a small lead over Trump in a head-to-head matchup. Should we expect the newspaper’s report of Clinton’s presidential win next week?
Doug Trouten, Roseville
The writer is a professor of communication at University of Northwestern-St. Paul.
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Well, it’s 99 percent certain that Clinton will be the Democratic Party nominee for president — not Sanders. Instead of voting for Sanders, I’ll be voting for a woman to take our nation’s highest office. She’ll have a stellar record: Opposition to the Iraq war from the start, denunciation of (and divorce from) Wall Street corruption, never selling out to corporate special interests, and long calling for universal health care and free secondary education. Doesn’t sound at all like Hillary Clinton, does it? So you might wonder what woman I intend to vote for come November. Answer: Jill Stein.
Jeffrey D. Davis, Burnsville
INTERACTING WITH THE POLICE
Responses to state Rep. Tony Cornish’s list of best behaviors
In response to state Rep. Tony Cornish’s June 8 letter “Interacting with the police: Really, this isn’t complicated,” responding to advocacy groups seeking to reduce the use of force by the police by listing guidelines for citizen behavior:
If he were writing to criminals, he would be right. However, he misses the point of criticizing racist structures. Movements against, or criticisms of, racist structures are not a criminal endeavor. People who are criticizing are not advocating for criminals; they are advocating for people who are being treated like criminals. It is one thing to say “don’t do a crime.” It is another to be externally labeled as a criminal because of appearance. I believe Cornish may benefit from some empathy and experience. His self-proclaimed “dirt-poor” upbringing still had the privilege of whiteness. So to say to someone “I did it, what is your problem?” is to first disregard issues of race and privilege and also to disregard the opinion that you have even “made it.” Given Cornish’s poor viewpoint and logic, I am inclined to think we ought to at least require some college for politicians, at the very least some classes in logic.
Ian Wolfe, Minneapolis
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Yeah, it really isn’t that complicated:
1) Try not to be born into a race that was once held in slavery and has since been subjected to 150 years of systematic prejudice.
2) Try not to be part of a minority that will never be hired by many large corporations because they fill their quotas with … well, other minorities.
It’s pretty obvious to me that the last thing we need is someone from Blue Earth County thinking he has the answer to all of the crime issues in Minneapolis. The travails he claims to have known in his life are on a whole different level from that which African-Americans will experience every day of their lives in the inner city. I’m afraid Cornish will literally never have a full understanding of this until he walks the proverbial mile in their shoes.
Dale Jernberg, Minneapolis
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I agree with Cornish’s letter. If you are a law-abiding citizen, there shouldn’t be an issue with the police. I’m not sure how many generations it takes to turn poverty situations into sustainable living, but I know it doesn’t take many. Like Cornish, I was born and raised on a farm, poor, with 13 siblings. My father made it through eighth grade, not because of his academic potential but because of the requirement to work. Half of us have college degrees and were able to come out with little or no debt. How did we do it? Summer jobs, work-study, military service and part-time work — and, for me, part-time college while I worked a full-time job. I know that it is difficult, but as the saying goes, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Read a couple of chapters of Tom Brokaw’s book “The Greatest Generation.” Military men and women returned from war and got back to work: working hard, being responsible and being respectful of others.
Karen Martodam, Plymouth
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Now that Cornish has solved the state’s crime problems with the simple admonition (paraphrasing here) “Just Don’t Do It!” (which should be every bit as effective as “Just Say No!” was on the war on drugs), maybe he can turn his mind to the state’s infrastructure problems. A possible resolution to the dangers of potholes could possibly be: “Just Drive Around Them”?
Tom Obert, Alexandria, Minn.
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I applaud Cornish on his letter. We finally have someone not willing to sugarcoat the issues and have a common-sense approach on what our officers have to deal with on a daily basis.
I assume that Tony is one of the thinking conservatives, and perhaps a run for governor should be in his future.
Dana Isaacson, Bloomington
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I’m writing to thank you for publishing Cornish’s horrifyingly offensive letter, as I did, per his intent, learn a valuable lesson from it. I like to contribute as much money as I can to various political candidates during an election year, but my discretionary income for such things is pretty limited, which makes it hard to determine who gets how much.
But then I read Rep. Cornish’s letter and, upon further research, learned that his opponent’s name this year is Josh Haseman, whose campaign will be getting a check from me as soon as possible.
Adam Skoglund, Eagan