Monday, June 02, 2008

Power versus Freedom

Last week I attended the Republican Party of Minnesota's convention in Rochester, Minnesota. While there I also went to a fundraising lunch for US Senator Norm Coleman who is up for re-election this year.

During this Senator Coleman lunch I sat at a table that included a retired state legislator (let me call him "Fred" since I respect his privacy - for now anyway!!) from Rochester - a Republican. Now I am no partisan especially since neither the Republican or Democratic Party is emancipating us from the tax (and regulatory) slavery we live in today but the lunch conversation with this former Republican legislator, Fred, really troubled me but more importantly made me happy he was no longer in "public service." Fred was commenting on the 2008 congressional campaigns when he told us, "I am supporting Congressman Tim Walz (Democrat-Minnesota) for re-election this year and Senator Coleman because I love power. This way the Rochester area will have someone with the governing party in the US House..............."

Yea, yea, I understand this Power Politics 101 stuff having not only studied it but via my nearly 20 years of professional political work. But shouldn't we all pause to ask -- "isn't greater freedom for all of us more important than raw political power?" I didn't pursue this conversation with Fred for numerous reasons - primarily because I had better things to do such as meeting with the Rochester Post-Bulletin newspaper to promote the idea that Minnesota needs to create a government spending transparency like the one we have at a federal level -

No, Fred, your world view is a broken one. We should be more concerned with empowering citizens via comprehensive tax reform not simply kissing the ass of the ruling party.

Please stay retired,


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