Down the Ballot

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why I Still Miss Paul Wellstone

I can still recall sitting in a rental van going through the streets of St. Paul and Minneapolis 8 months after the Wellstone plane crash. The green signs were still up in yards all over the place. I was there for a conference after graduation from high school. It was still unreal to many people, including myself, to live in a world without the Senator who had championed PEOPLE during his entire stay in the Senate.

He had a belief in putting politics back in peoples lives. For many today, I feel that politics is even more removed from people than it was during his time. Money, ads, mailers, uninspiring candidates, candidates that don't put in the time to make themselves available to voters and their opponents to have a discussion of ideas has soured many away from politics.

To fight that, people need to become their own leaders. When you become unsatisfied with the leadership being offered, the solutions being offered, and the state of the community, YOU have to step up. That's what Paul Wellstone taught us. He had that ability to both inspire you and make you think about how you can get involved.

If stepping up means going down to your local soup kitchen, heading over to the local campaign office, or putting your name on a ballot; we have to do it. Sure, we're going to lose some fights. Paul was no stranger to losing. Yet, he picked himself back up and went to work on the next fight. He may have lost sometimes, but he was never defeated.

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