Red-baiting comes to Minnesota


by John Van Hecke | August 10, 2009 • I stand corrected. On Friday, in my Minnesota 2020 Journal column, I wrote that Minnesota conservative policy activists hadn’t engaged the national conservative Congressional member shout-down strategy. I was wrong.

Hindsight is the official blog of Minnesota 2020. Hindsight gives the run down on the news that jumps out at us on the issues that matter. Often times these stories show us how much further we need to go to have the progressive policy realized in Minnesota.

Last week, Congressman Tim Walz, representing Minnesota’s first district, encountered anti-health care reform protests at Farm Fest. Shouting disruptively, they accused him of supporting communism.

Walz, a retired Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major, didn’t take the charge lightly. Or, lying down, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. “I didn’t spend 24 years in the military to be called a Communist, I can tell you that,” Walz said.

First off, way to go Congressman Walz.

Second, I’m saddened that, in Minnesota it’s come to this. Subverting public debate denies our nation’s and our state’s democratic promise. We are not freer for disruptive persuasion tactics. Our liberty is diminished rather than enhanced when conservative public policy advocates resort to red-baiting.

Local expression of the conservative national health care reform rejection strategy, particularly one this depressing, is a dubious achievement. I wish it hadn’t happened here.

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