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A Drop of Ink: Vote For What Makes Minnesota Stronger

By Reed Anfinson
We are all fed up with the political advertising spewing from our television sets. The demonization of opponents, the creation of not only opposition but bitterness and hate toward candidates, is demoralizing. It is us versus them in a fight for the salvation of our nation – but it’s not.
We’ve seen the consequences of such advertising on TV and the web. Death threats against candidates and public servants have increased dramatically in the past two years. Death threats against the media for reporting news people don’t want to hear have increased – even in rural America.
When it comes time to vote, try to put aside the worst of what you view and read. Simplify your decisions. Don’t fall for the outrageous lies, twists of the truth, scare tactics, and threats of doom. Vote for what aligns with your beliefs.
In the deepest Red States in America, in courts with Republican-appointed judges, and in states with Republican secretaries of state, no single 2020 election has been overturned. More than 60 courts have thrown out challenges. The news media that supported election fraud lies against Dominion and other electronic voting machine companies are facing massive lawsuits. Hand counts consistently verified the electronic counts.
If you believe the 2020 election was rigged or stolen, you are likely to vote Republican despite the evidence.
If you believe our elections are fair and accurate and that we shouldn’t meddle with a system that is working, vote Democratic. 
Climate scientists have warned that a warming climate will lead to crop-killing droughts, creating widespread famine. It will create migrations of climate refugees fleeing areas made uninhabitable by deadly heatwaves. It will lead to regional wars over water and food resources. Droughts will cause livestock losses. Groundwater resources will be depleted. Forest fires will become more frequent.
As the climate warms, it will have a significant impact on Minnesota lakes, aquifers, and the Boundary Waters ecosystem.
If you believe the world is warming and action to slow it to ensure a better world for your children, grandchildren, and future generations is needed, vote Democratic.
 If you think the science is wrong, that we are just going through a natural climate phase, then you will likely vote Republican. 
While wearing masks, social distancing, closing schools, and temporarily shutting business took their toll, without these steps, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would have been far worse.
Compare the stands of governors in Minnesota and South Dakota. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz implemented the steps needed to keep people safe; S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem rejected the measures. A CDC analysis in July 2021 of COVID death rates by state showed Minnesota at 136 per 100,000 population. South Dakota was at 230 deaths per 100,000 population. 
Minnesota has lost 13,825 people due to COVID-19. It would be nearly 26,000 lost without the steps Walz implemented. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura has endorsed Walz partly because of his pandemic measures.
Often the choice during the pandemic was what was good society, our neighbors, over self. If you agree with this thinking, support Walz. If your individual rights are more important, vote for Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen.
We need secure borders and a bipartisan effort to reform immigration. At the same time, if you believe immigration is key to rebuilding rural Minnesota, where our employers are desperate for employees, our schools need students, and our main streets seek to fill the holes, vote Democratic. If you believe in tightly shutting down immigration, you are likely to vote Republican.
Law enforcement
Walz and Jensen are both supporters of law enforcement. Don’t confuse the too-liberal, Twin Cities’ efforts with where Walz stands. He is a moderate. Walz has proposed $300 million to help fund local law enforcement.
The world is suffering from high inflation. It is not limited to America. Its causes lie in the effort to keep America’s economy afloat during the worst pandemic since the flu epidemic of 1918-1919. The stimulus funds given to Americans helped businesses survive, employees of closed businesses pay their bills, and citizens in all walks of life pay their mortgages and grocery expenses.
It is also due to China’s continuing strict COVID-19 rules that lead to constant factory shutdowns with deep impacts on the U.S. economy’s supply chains.
No matter who was governor of Minnesota, or president, these past two years, we would face the same inflationary pressures.
For us, voting on paying taxes often comes down to supporting what we believe in. What is worth more to you, a few extra dollars in your pocket, or supporting those rights you feel strongly about?
Though it is a highly divisive topic, there are people of good conscience and character on both sides. People whose opinions differ from yours are counted among those you call friends.
If you believe there should be no exceptions to an abortion ban, including rape and incest, vote Republican. If you believe in a woman’s right to choose, vote Democratic.
If you are conflicted on the issue, and many people are, vote Democratic, and work toward a compromise such as a time limit.
Where we struggle on this issue is knowing the world can’t sustain a population of 20 billion. It is coming. We will complete our stripping the land and oceans of all resources. We will further decimate other species. Billions will suffer starvation. Millions will be born only to starve to death. There will be increasing climate migration as people in overpopulated countries flee to those that can provide the food and water needed to sustain life. Wars will be fought over migration, food, and water.
Walz strongly supports funding public education. If you agree, vote for him. If you think our public schools are a failure and need to be restructured, and privatized in some cases, vote for Jensen.

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