Minnesota needs to follow the lead of California and Oregon and adopt the automatic registration of voters. On Saturday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the New Motor Voter Act, which will automatically register California citizens to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license or a state identification card. This makes California the second state after Oregon to allow automatic voter registration. Numerous other states, including Minnesota, are considering adopting this measure.

Voting is the right of every citizen; shouldn’t the state make it as accessible as possible? Supporters in Oregon thought so, and the state passed its law earlier this year, saying it would help every voice be heard. Minnesota has a proud tradition of breaking down barriers to voting and can continue by passing this reform. California passed its New Motor Voter law because of its low turnout in the last election. This reason also applies in Minnesota. In the 2014 election, Minnesota barely broke 50 percent of citizens of voting age turning out to the polls.

Automatic voter registration is a common-sense way to make voting more accessible to all and will help get more Minnesotans voting.

Jeremy Schroeder, Minneapolis

The writer is the executive director of Common Cause Minnesota.


Opposition to ‘cleansing’ is simply an ignorant perspective

So an Oct. 14 letter writer finds cleansing period paintings at the Minnesota State Capitol reprehensible. What I find reprehensible is someone so historically ignorant that they are unable to fathom why an American Indian photographed in the 19th century might have looked a little grim. Maybe if we had forced them to “smile and say cheese” (to borrow the letter writer’s sarcasm), it would have made our genocide more acceptable. We might have even got them to dance for us if we had shot at their feet.

William Voje, Newport

• • •

Like the Confederate flag, our historical Minnesota State Capitol artworks belong in a museum. The works in question aggrandize the white man’s colonial supremacy over the indigenous peoples of this state. They are historically valuable resources and should be preserved as historical artifacts, but not displayed in honor as public art at our State Capitol. I applauded the leaders of South Carolina when they moved their Confederate flag from their capitol to a museum. I urge Minnesota’s leaders to display the same courage in moving these powerful, painful symbols to their rightful place as well. Our State Capitol is for all Minnesotans. Let its art reflect that fact.

Sue K. Hammersmith, Woodbury



The right is sensible; the left is not but gets to set the tone

Why is it we read about right-wing nut jobs but never about left-wing nut jobs?

Edward McHugh, East Bethel

• • •

That so-called Democratic Party debate on Tuesday night (“Candidates tangle over war, gun control, foreign policy,” Oct. 15) was worse than a bad football game! Everybody knew what questions they were going to be asked! If Americans think this country is on the wrong track under Obama, after that silly, ludicrous debate, now they know for sure that under one of those idiots it is definitely going to pot!

God help America!

Jeanie Drown, Marshall, Minn.

• • •

Someone call the diversity police. I watched the Democratic debate, and all I saw was four old white men and an old lady. All I heard was them bashing the policies of our first historic half-African president. Let us get this fight of the century on — Trump vs. Sanders. One is a maker; the other, a taker. Who will win the soul of a nation?

Michael J. Stratton, Minneapolis

• • •

I was more than a little disappointed with the Star Tribune’s coverage of the debate. This was not a replay of the Republican debates in which personal attacks (she has an ugly face) or silly proclamations (I’ll tear up the Iran nuclear agreement my first day in office) held sway, but a serious discussion of current political issues. Whether it was Bernie Sanders commenting that he represented a rural state and, thus, had voted against gun regulation as a representative of people who valued gun ownership or Hillary Clinton pointing out the political power of the NRA in Congress, these were real political issues. Candidates did not agree on them, but were able to respectfully discuss their positions. The Star Tribune’s suggestion that this discussion was aggressively personal missed the point. We should and can discuss political disagreements. The Democratic debate showed that such a discussion is still possible.

Lance LaVine, Minneapolis

• • •

Watching the debate, it was clear that one candidate stood out above the others, displaying courage and a keen understanding of what is wrong in the United States today. Bernie Sanders clearly and unequivocally stated that big business owns our government and is controlling the legislative agenda and outcomes. Its big money is buying elections and the votes of our elected officials. Whether or not Sanders is the best person for the job remains to be seen, but the first step in any job is to understand what you are dealing with, and he gets it. If only the rest of our elected officials had the strength and courage to do what is right for We the People of the United States of America.

Mark Anderson, Ramsey

• • •

Two recent letters to the editor reflect the true nature of the left-wing Democratic Party, which is filled with hatred and lies.

The letter writers call the Republicans anarchists, clowns, crass and zany, and make false statements that the Republicans want to shut down the government.

The Republicans have put forth a bill to essentially fund all of government, but not Planned Parenthood, a stance that President Obama has threatened will lead to a veto. Obama is the one who would be shutting down the government, unless the progressives’ solution is that Congress must do everything Obama wants. Despite what Obama may want with his phone and pen, this is still a representative government, much to the chagrin of the progressives.

If the roles were reversed and a Republican president tried the same tactic, these same people — and the liberal media — would be screaming.

People with conservative views, not the far-right views, are principled people with a core set of values who, when they stand up for those principles, are branded as radicals. When did it become so radical to support the very things that our founders fought for, such as limited government, the rule of law and upholding the Constitution?

I would agree that the current GOP leaders have failed to properly express these views (which were espoused by Ronald Reagan) and explain our position, so it is time to replace them with principled people who do know how to communicate this set of values.

Name-calling and spouting off with no factual basis is a favorite tactic of the progressives to try and silence all opposition. They don’t want a debate; they want compliance, something every American should oppose.

Dale Probasco, Backus, Minn.