Thanks, Star Tribune, for the series of opinion pieces by Republican leaders. The commentaries by former Sen. Dave Durenberger and Tom Horner (“Minnesota Republicans, what are you going to do?” May 15) and Bob Carney Jr. (“Republicans: Take your party back!” May 20) stress the principles of the true GOP: an honest, competent, strong-but-restrained, law-abiding government that respects the Constitution. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty adds that dialogue rather than condemnation must return to our politics (“It’s now clear we must restore decency, civility to politics,” May 20).
Then we have Jason Lewis (“GOP isn’t what it once was. Good riddance,” May 20), a voice of the “modern” GOP, whose vitriolic, incendiary prose displays a lot of what’s gone wrong as every paragraph includes (his words): “clique of never-Trumpers,” “spewing the most vile invective at Trump Republicans,” “fat-cat public relations,” “political mercenaries,” and so forth.
This is not reasoned debate. And it is certainly not civil. This is a fine example of divisive demagoguery, and we don’t need more of it. I am glad that my dad, a World War I veteran and Eisenhower Republican, is not here to see this. I hope that Minnesota Republicans can gather the courage to indeed take back their party.
Bruce D. Snyder, St. Paul
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I read with growing concern the rage-filled spew of Jason Lewis, a person now running for the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota. It is as if, taking a page from the now top Republican leadership, he has raided its nastiest tweets, half truths and bloviated ideas to unleash on the citizens of this state. I suppose that a person with limited ideas must resort to this sort of mudslinging.
I urge the good people of our state to consider if this is the type of person one wants to represent them, in the Senate no less, a place that our forefathers designed as one where ideas and ideals would be legislated for the good of their fellow American citizens.
Patricia Rorke, Minneapolis
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Lewis is incensed that Durenberger and Horner call for a re-examination of Republican Party values. What is it that strikes such fear in his heart? Apparently, Lewis learned nothing from the 2018 election. The voters of the Second Congressional District showed him the door because he was President Donald Trump’s lap dog for two years.
Lewis holds firm to the politics of victimization and divisiveness that represent the Trump Republican Party. He rails against the predictable boogeymen: globalists, immigrants, environmentalists, pro-choicers and impeachment hoaxers. And, of course, Joe Biden, Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith.
Lewis showed his true colors from 2017-2019. He is a fake libertarian who eagerly supported an administration that decimated the rights and well-being of working-class Minnesotans. That is why he no longer represents the Second Congressional District.
Lewis is a prime example of why Durenberger and Horner have legitimacy.
Phil George, Lakeville
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Lewis managed to hit every Trump party talking point in his latest commentary rant. We hear how the “new” GOP he and Trump represent are “getting tough on China, securing the border” and “putting America first.”
Oh, please. The tariffs Trump and Lewis are so proud of only bankrupted farmers who watched their harvests rot in silos. The border wall Lewis and his president tout has done exactly nothing except force Americans in those states to sell their land to contractors who get paid handsomely to build sections of wall that are tunneled under or climbed over, and his party, with more than three full years in control of both the White House and the Senate, still has not put together cohesive or workable immigration reforms.
And finally, if Trump really wanted to “put America first,” he might have jumped on those pesky intelligence reports that showed a pandemic coming. Did he do anything about COVID-19 in the weeks after the January briefing warning of the dire consequences of this virus? Nope. In March the president was still claiming that by April it would “go away.” Now with an economy plunged into darkness, with a continued lack of testing, with no cohesive federal response or plan, and more than 92,000 Americans dead with hundreds of thousands more ill and millions laid off their jobs, what is their response? Just more talking points, more finger-pointing, more blaming other countries and other leaders, even former presidents.
Jason Lewis and Donald Trump are hideously similar: Neither accepts any responsibility for what is happening in our nation, neither offers real solutions and both love their talking points, filled with bombast and outrage, their fingers forever pointing at others, never aware that it is their duty to actually govern and do the messy, difficult work of forming cohesive policy and leading.
Eva Lockhart, Minneapolis
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Trumpian, sound-bite, talk-radio politics is awful. Lewis is an old pro at the political style, and shows it in his opinion piece. I’d like to also offer that U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar follows the same Trumpian, tweet-based, emotion-laden, good-vs.-evil political style as Lewis, and she’s on track for a heck of a primary battle in August because of it.
No millennial or Generation Zer is old enough to remember a time before Rush Limbaugh, et al., normalized inhumane vitriol in our national political discourse. More important, very few Minnesotan millennials or Gen Zers lack the intelligence and sensibility needed to understand that vitriolic speech and rhetoric don’t formulate the public policy needed to protect us from the grand, global and threateningly dangerous challenges that we face in the 21st century.
I suggest those running for public office figure out that the base, emotional appeals of the recent past aren’t going to win elections as we young people grow into the heart of the electorate. We don’t like it, we want change, and we know how to demand it.
David Muench Huebert, Minneapolis
Long past time to address racism
In his column on Wednesday (“Ignoring blacks for jobs racist and stupid”), Jim Souhan provided a blunt perspective about professional football today. I don’t consider myself a fan of professional sports and was pleased to see the article placed on Page 1 of the Sports section.
In our country it is important to provide pathways for success in all careers without the shadowy practices of our troubled past. Souhan’s comments are a needed wake-up call for professional team owners and managers to double down on their efforts in developing leaders of color in their teams and leagues.
I would encourage ardent fans to be vocal in sharing Souhan’s message with the owners/leaders of their favorite professional teams. Players and aspiring team leaders and coaches are depending on you.
And thank you to the Star Tribune and Jim Souhan for highlighting this issue.
Arnie Bigbee, Edina
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