Scott Jensen is just the type of leader Minnesota needs as governor. His newfound rejection of consensus medical opinion, and even his own public statements, shows his conversion to true politician.

We need to stop Gov. Tim Walz and the DFL-led House, who have accepted all federal pandemic assistance, given us the lowest COVID mortality rate of all states touching our borders and helped achieve a record nearly $8 billion budget surplus. Now they're trying to give all front-line workers that federal assistance, just because they exposed themselves to COVID for our benefit! Enough already, it's Christmas; I don't want to think of my fellow citizens' problems.

I'm tired of reading the national polls showing Minnesota's status of leading most states in life span, overall health, government performance, homeownership, education outcomes and family wealth. It tires me out! We need a governor with the political courage to ignore a total lack of evidence and accept the national GOP's shrieking about the stolen election, "socialism" ruining the economy and the dire consequences of subsidizing renewable energy as much as we subsidize fossil fuel consumption. My grandchildren need the extra challenge of out-of-control warming and white supremacy so they don't get soft. And I need my anger fed daily.

Scott Jensen, a converted politician "fluid" enough in his thinking to reject all the evidence and logic while sounding like a free thinker, is just the man for the job.

Dave Paulson, Minnetonka


Biden vs. Trump? Please, no

After President Joe Biden intimated he'd run again if he was in good health, I tried to imagine what it would be like to have to watch Biden and Donald Trump on the debate stage again. Really, just digest that for a moment.

One half of this country thinks Biden is a senile communist, the other half thinks Trump is a treasonous criminal. This country needs a fresh start in 2024. We need candidates who would set this country on its ear. But it's hard to picture any future candidates who wouldn't set our collective hair on fire.

Or is it?

Ask yourself which politicians have stayed true to the roots of their respective party's policies. Who has stepped up to defend our Constitution? Who speaks with authority and resolution to the American public? Who has huge influence among constituents?

Two people stand out to me: Rep. Liz Cheney and Stacey Abrams.

We'd be set on our ears with hair ablaze. But wouldn't it be grand?

Mary Alice Divine, White Bear Lake


America deserves better. After enduring the two worst presidents of our era in Barack Obama and George W. Bush, we continued the downward slide with the chaotic Trump and the incompetent Biden. Indeed, we saved the worst for last. Biden will go down in history as the worst president in our nation's history.

Here is a short list of what these last four presidents delivered to America: the Iraq debacle, the ISIS disaster, the illegal immigration crisis, soaring crime rates and murders, politicized racial division, politicized school division, political corruption, weaponized government, weaponized media, inflation, unnecessary COVID lockdowns, election fraud, the war on police officers, the loss of credibility of the medical profession, unfair health care, Big Pharma abuse, Big Tech abuse, cyber threats, the China threat, the attack on our constitutional rights, and a major mishandling and excessive response to the COVID pandemic by both President Trump and President Biden.

In 2024, America has an opportunity to get it right and pick a leader who has the common sense, courage, correct policies and the strong leadership style to get America back on track. Veterans like me believe we need a real veteran to serve as our president again, too.

People are flocking to Florida for a reason, and it's not just because of the weather. Gov. Ron DeSantis leads the best state in the nation. America needs to finally get it right and select DeSantis as our next president. Our nation's survival depends on it.

Corby Pelto, Plymouth


The 22nd Amendment was passed by Congress in 1947, and was ratified by the states on Feb. 27, 1951. It says a person can only be elected president to two terms in office. It would seem that Trump must stop claiming that he won his second election in 2020 and declare that he was defeated in 2020 before he can run again.

Michael Herman, Chisago City, Minn.


Total 2020 voter fraud: A smidgen

It was reported in the Star Tribune on Dec. 16 that an Associated Press review found only 475 cases of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin out of the 25.5 million cast for president in these states ("U.S. total of 2020 voter fraud cases: 475"). That is a great result and shoots holes in the claims of former President Donald Trump and his allies of massive voter fraud. Unfortunately, it ignores the worst fraud of all, which is Trump's complaints of a stolen election without any evidence to back it up.

Trump's attacks on the integrity of the election are attacks on our democratic system. It undermines our trust in our fair elections and our nation. Trump and his supporters claim to be defending our Constitution, yet when he asked Mike Pence to not certify the Electoral College vote he was attacking our Constitution. Whether he was responsible for inciting the riot, by asking Pence to fail certification of the electoral vote, he was guilty of trying to overturn an honest and fair election. Making unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud is an effort to destroy America's faith in our electoral system and weaken voter turnout in the future.

Jim Weygand, Carver


It's hard not to sound like an alarmist when talking about the threat to democracy posed by Trump followers and a cowardly, self-serving Republican Party that's doing all it can to undermine the core principles of the American system of government that was once regarded as a beacon of hope for the whole world.

Despite the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election, despite the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by political hacks in the Supreme Court, despite Republican-controlled legislatures' voter-suppression laws, we're told that "the system will save us," that the Constitution's safeguards mean "it can't happen here" — "it" being an authoritarian takeover.

"It Did Happen Here: Recollections of Political Repression in America" tells a very different story. This book, written by Bud and Ruth Schultz and published in 1989, is more than 400 pages of evidence of how perilously close we've come to seeing democracy die. A carnival of demagogues — whether well-known like Trump, Joseph McCarthy and the comical congressman Louie Gohmert, or obscure judges, functionaries and "patriots" — have used every dirty trick in the book to successfully prosecute citizens for courageously using rights of freedom of speech and assembly to legally advocate on behalf of causes ranging from union organizing to anti-poverty work to voter registration.

When I found it on a library shelf about a week ago, the book looked and felt pristine — no dog-eared pages, no discoloration of its creamy white paper, no marks in it but the lovely penciling of the librarian who mustered it into the catalog a couple of decades ago. The stories it tells — of outrageous prosecutions and persecutions that ruined the lives of true patriots and violated every principle we tell schoolchildren to hold dear — make painfully clear that blindly believing "it can't happen here" is one of the biggest dangers this nation faces.

Steven Schild, Winona, Minn.

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