Election Day is over, and we have a host of newly elected officials.
You have run your campaigns on ideas and principles. Many of you “played to your base” with your ideas and principles. During the campaign you faced a challenger who ran on ideas and principles, and maybe they also “played to their base.”
You have won by maybe 51 percent of the vote. Congratulations. Soon you will take office after being sworn in to that office. Now you represent all of us, not just the 51 percent who voted for you.
If you conduct yourself while in office guided only by the ideas and principles you campaigned on, you are still “playing to your base.” That is no more than fulfilling your oath of office by merely trying to get re-elected.
I do not ask that you abandon your ideas and principles. I only ask that you remember the ideas and principles that challenged you during the campaign and temper your ideas and principles by what you hopefully learned from the challenge you met during the campaign. If you do that, you will do a better job of representing us all.
Good luck, and do a good job, all.
William Jepsen, Stillwater
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The 2018 midterm elections have come and gone after months of increasingly superheated rhetoric and posturing.
While the conclusion of election season is viewed as a relief to many, few, if any, will engage in the necessary introspection and self-examination that asks: “How did I help to create this?”
So much politically induced anxiety persists because we have allowed politics and government to become too powerful, to have too much influence in our lives. We think that one social problem or another can be solved by selfishly demanding mastery over others, over “those people,” while indulging ourselves in smug justifications of faux piety about how our demands are good and just and how we would never stoop to such tribalistic lows — after all, that’s what the “other” side does!
It truly is long past time to stop seeking new and innovative ways to harass and subjugate “those people” with the legalized force and violence that is the state. If we would all do that, we’d find each successive election season far less terrifying, far less intense.
Matthew Rothchild, Isanti, Minn.
• • •
Apropos of no particular item or issue, but considering everything between the lines of all the news — including the inescapable truths that we are all intimately interconnected, dependent on a common home, and that we share similar needs, struggles, fears and dreams as we try to do our best to navigate this world and experience the fullness of our existence — I breathe deeply and lovingly wish “may all beings be well in mind and body. May all beings, omitting none, be safe and secure, protected from internal and external harm. May all beings, near and far, known and unknown, be strong and healthy. May all beings, large and small, weak and strong, born and yet to be born, be filled with kindness, compassion, joy and wisdom. May all beings’ lives unfold with as much ease as possible and may they be happy, free from suffering and its causes, peaceful, and may they be touched by love.”
Imagine what kind of society we could have, if we took only minutes each day to orient our minds and hearts toward others and wish that all people would find the strength and support they need to face life’s difficult challenges. If we made a point to emphasize our common ground and feel the connection of wishing simple human kindness, we might discover we are inclined to speak and behave in that way, too.
David Jones, Minneapolis
PROPOSED VILLAGE FOR HOMELESS
Support from an important source — a community health provider
I am writing in response to the proposal for a village of mini-houses for the poor and homeless in Minneapolis (front page, Nov. 6). I specifically want to applaud the fact that this project stems from a collaborative effort between Hennepin Healthcare and the homeless community. It is encouraging to see medical providers in our community acknowledging what a powerful impact homelessness has on an individual’s health. People experiencing homelessness face costly and ongoing medical issues; thus, housing stability is an essential foundation for achieving better health outcomes (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, 2018).
It is my hope that other Twin Cities hospital systems will support the Envision Community’s village proposal, as creating effective hospital-community partnerships is one important way to build a citywide culture of health (Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence, 2018). As the proposal states, our health care system is already paying to house the homeless in emergency departments and intensive-care units when they come into hospitals with serious health concerns. Rather than taking this reactive approach when health crises arise, this initiative offers hospitals a unique opportunity to be proactive in contributing resources to ongoing housing solutions.
Jenna Van Proosdy, Roseville
Roadside tragedy and others define another social problem
Regarding the sad tale of the young man who was “huffing” before he drove into and killed four people (front page, Nov. 6) in western Wisconsin, that story is terribly sad. He is addicted and is not getting help with this destructive problem. That does not excuse his actions but helps to explain what happened. That addiction has left him charged with four homicides, and those deaths he will probably never outrun or forget. Many lives were destroyed, and others ruined.
My nephew, Zachary, became brain-dead from huffing, and ultimately died. We miss him every day. He was using that particular intoxicant because it cannot be detected by drug testing, which may also be the reason for the role huffing played in the recent deaths. The bottom line is that we have to get these terrible toxic chemicals off the market. Too many lives have been ended already.
Mary McLeod, St. Paul
Why was a 10-year-old handling a 6-month-old in the first place?
The 10-year-old girl charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of a 6-month-old in a home day care run by her foster parents (“Wis. girl, 10, held in baby’s death,” Nov. 6) is herself a victim and should be sheltered rather than prosecuted. A 10-year-old has no business struggling with an infant, especially as an employee in a day care facility.
John Crivits, St. Paul
100 years later, we honor vets but should not neglect peace
This Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the ending of World War I. Around the world bells rang, especially in churches, 11 times at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The ringing of the bells and the massive movement that followed called for “The War to End All Wars” to be just that.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. In the 1950s, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day. Our veterans certainly deserve a day of honor, but doesn’t peace?
Be aware this Sunday of our hope for a more peaceful planet that we all deserve.
Mike McDonald, St. Paul
The writer is vice president of Veterans For Peace Chapter 27.