After the campaign, a toast

Years ago, during a Policy and a Pint discussion at the Varsity that The Current held, I was on a panel discussing whatever election season was upon us and voicing my frustration with the campaigns.

“Is it asking too much for us all to be inspired?” I asked.

Spontaneously, the joint erupted.

It isn’t asking too much and yet so few are capable of it.

So here’s a pick-me-up that should inspire us.

A couple of political opponents in a race for Minnesota Legislature wrapped up their campaigns against each other over drinks and prove that class and graciousness are not entirely extinct.

One won. One lost. Both are inspirational leaders in the truest sense of the word.

In the current political climate, this is an example of all that is right in public service. For those that don’t know,…

Posted by Jennifer Schoech Hovelsrud on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

(h/t: Angie Andresen)

  • Erick

    Where did they run? What are their last names?

    • wjc

      State Representative District 49A
      Republican Dario Anselmo 10584 41.78%
      Democratic-Farmer-Labor Heather Edelson 14725 58.13%

      Dario was the incumbent in Edina.

      • wjc

        I really like the Secretary of State’s election results site. They did a very nice job when they built that.

      • I saw their signs all the time during my drives through Edina on my way to work.

        Oddly enough, I couldn’t have told you the political affiliation of either candidate as it wasn’t apparent on either of their lawn signs.

      • Angry Jonny

        Let them eat cake.

      • crystals

        I wish we could have them both in the legislature. Heather is impressive and she’s going to do a great job for her district, but I also really admire Dario for how he represented the district. Yes, he has an R after his name, but he went against the party on several key issues (such as gun control) that he believed in and his community supported. We need more of that.

      • CharlieQuimby

        No one disputes that Dario is a nice guy, but he had zero chance of influencing his caucus on any of those more progressive issues. After two years, the voters of Edina obviously saw this.

  • Guest

    We used to be able to think “I know you are trying to improve MN, but have you considered this consequence of your policy”.

    Today so many seem to only be able to think anybody who opposes me has bad motives.

    • Blame the campaign strategists and political science majors. And George Bush and Lee Atwater. An entire generation has grown up completely unable to run for office by convincing people of their strengths and qualifications.

      • KariBemidji

        Hey…. I’m a political science major. I try to use for good not evil. And Lee Atwater is evil.

      • Lois Gaetz

        Don’t forget to give Newt Gingrich his credit for this mess

      • MikeB

        I keep going back and forth on this. Is it the fault of our leaders or that they figured a way to leverage base impulses of insecurity and fear? We live in a media culutre, and media companies are skating to where the puck is. Empires in decline are not known for their civility.

        • JamieHX

          Incidental: Do you watch “Madame Secretary,” MikeB? There’s a character on the show whose name is MikeB. He’s a sort of political fixer or something who does his share of figuring out how to appeal to base impulses, among other things.

          • MikeB

            I don’t. Can daydream about being a fixer but my dogs roll me constantly, not sure I could manipulate the body politic.

      • Sonny T

        I don’t know. Not surprised to see everyone ganging up on the GOP, blaming them. But is it true? Is it the Trump supporter unwilling to engage?

        • RBHolb

          Trump speaks of the Americans who oppose or criticize him as enemies or traitors (he did not disagree with the idea that members of Congress who did not applaud him at the State of the Union Address were treasonous). His supporters either agree with his assessment, or are willing to tolerate for the sake of whatever they think he is doing for the country.

          What kind of engagement do you have with the enemy? Respectful discourse?

          In keeping with Bob’s comment, I would argue that Trump is the inevitable result of the toxic politics cultivated almost entirely by the Republican Party over the past two decades. If not him, it may have been someone else.

          And before you go to the trouble of pointing it out, yes, some Democrats have behaved badly. The distinction is that Democrats have not ridden that bad behavior to popular success.

          • Sonny T

            “What kind of engagement do you have with the enemy?”

            Are you saying the GOP says this? Or are you saying it?

          • RBHolb

            I’m not calling anyone “the enemy.” The President has, as you probably know, been prone to using that term prolifically.

            Who was the Minnesota politico who said something to the effect that Democrats couldn’t be good Americans?

          • Sonny T

            Again, today and now, who isn’t engaging with who? I’m not talking about the politicians, who can be blamed for anything. I ask this, because it seems the anti-Trump people really don’t want to engage on the issues. It’s not what Trump does. It’s who he is. Hard to continue any dialogue.

          • RBHolb

            “Who he is” has set the parameters of discourse. Trump supporters seem to regard his behavior as an attractive feature. It’s hard to engage in dialogue based on inflammatory rhetoric.

          • Sonny T

            There are attractive features. He speaks without filters. Is unafraid of controversy. Takes questions without evasion. Speaks brusquely, rudely, crudely, directly. The way a normal person would speak, and not an oily double-speaking creep, which is how I’d grade the last five presidents. So yes, I regard his behavior as an attractive feature, as do the vast majority of his supporters.

            This is the behavior we all wanted. Until it was Trump.

            So again, my point. Do you consider Democrats capable of engaging on issues? Or is your hatred of the man so overwhelming you cannot hold a conversation free of insults? Because I gotta tell you, I’m having a hard time finding Lefties who will discuss Korea, Iran, trade, the economy. They don’t care.

          • // I regard his behavior as an attractive feature, as do the vast majority of his supporters.

            I think this is exactly right. His supporters love his behavior.

            That “we all” wanted a president who speaks rudely and crudley is a most debatable point.

            Applauding the beating of journalists, mocking people with disabilities, invoking demonstrable falsehoods to mislead, however…. are all in this stew that you’ve chosen to call “behavior.”

            I think people want dignity in the office and leaders who rise above that is which indecent and disrespectful.

            I think what we’re actually seeing now is the pushback to intelligence, formerly characterized by the “elitist” claim, the sort of thing that led politicians to drop “g’s” on gerunds to seem more like the common man.

            It’s at a new level now. today, for example, the president said in response to a question that he didn’t know who Matt Whitaker was. Aye, carumba.

          • Sonny T

            We’ve had respectful until it has bankrupted a whole class of people. And as for all your “demonstrable” falsehoods, these are just partisan accusations, arguable, and tiresome.

            (As an example:

            You’ve been lead to believe something that simply isn’t true.)

            No one believes he advocates beating journalists, and you know it. This is my point. can we get back to issues? Or do you find it impossible?

          • Oh, my.

            yes, let’s get back to the issues. The Mueller probe is an issue.

            Here’s a fine intelligent and respectful discussion now.


            In other times, this would be known “behaving like a child.”

          • Sonny T

            Watch the video. Unless he’s mocking Ted Cruz as disabled, the argument is invalid. Worse, it’s propaganda generated by the mainstream. Frightening

          • RBHolb

            //You’ve been lead to believe something that simply isn’t true.

            He denies doing something bad; Fox News backs him up. Therefore, he didn’t do it. Of course.

            //No one believes he advocates beating journalists, and you know it.

            What about the video of him beating the CNN logo? Was he just criticizing the corporate entity CNN? That’s an important distinction, and by “important distinction,” I mean “grasping at straws for a justification.”

          • Sonny T

            Back to reality. No one believes he advocates violence toward journalists. This is partisan lunacy.

            And I believe the montage shows definitely he never mocked the disabled. You should be alarmed by such fiction. We all should.

          • // No one believes he advocates violence toward journalists.

            I notice in your comments you often present your individual opinion as held by everyone. I’m curious your data point on this is.

            Also, one of his acolytes just sent bombs to CNN and the Democratic leadership. I think maybe that’s a data point you should consider before suggesting no one believes he’s advocating violence against journalists.

            We have security guards patroling the hallways where I work now. You know why? Because of the calls saying, “we’re going to kill you all” and the people who’ve tried to barge in to get to the newsroom.

            so, you know, maybe the lunatic label is on the wrong foot. And they have a nasty habit of killing people.

          • Sonny T

            I’m curious about yours. Playfully beating a CNN logo doesn’t cut it. But we can go around and around. There will be another opportunity. This is Trump, after all. And the mainstream media is the mainstream media.

          • Sonny T

            This is reprehensible. I feel for you and all the staff, and now understand some of the feelings you have expressed in past posts. This is awful.

          • RBHolb

            //Or is your hatred of the man so overwhelming you cannot hold a conversation free of insults?

            So it’s cool for the President to speak “brusquely, rudely, crudely, directly,” but when those of us who are opposed to him–the majority of Americans, according to ever credible poll–engage in similar behavior it’s a bad thing?

            That is the problem in a nutshell.

          • Sonny T

            Point taken. But he’s not ducking. Or refusing to address, which is my issue with Lefties.

          • And their issue with you is your definitions. Guess that’s just the way it’s going to be.

          • Sonny T

            I’m willing to argue definitions. Which we’ve been doing. My issue is refusal

          • there’s no point in arguing definitions.

          • Sonny T

            I’d need an example. Furthermore, isn’t everything a definition? Isn’t that the point of contention?

    • Rob

      Unicorns and rainbows may be attainable in the case of reasonable people discussing reasonable policies. That’s not the tableau we’re facing currently.

  • KariBemidji

    Reminded me of a story on CBS Sunday Morning this past Sunday. A good reminder that we can be kind and nice to those we disagree with.