This submission is a response to a DNT Letter to the Editor found here:
Did you hear the one about the congressman who actually represented his constituents, introduced bills supporting district issues that benefited everyone, and stood by his party in Congress? No? Neither did we! But we should have.
I have lived in Duluth for over forty years. A bustling community in its younger days, the last 60 years have not been kind. The city has struggled to retain its identity during that time. ‘Growing’ would not be the first word one would think of when describing Duluth, and its infrastructure has seen much better days. During this time the Democrats have dominated the political climate.
The last election, for the first time in forever, a Republican was re-elected in this congressional district. It was also only the second time that a Republican was elected to Congress in the district over the same time frame. Like many other congressional districts across the country, this seat was considered safe for Democrats. The problem of course is that the population of the region continues to decline. Thus, with each new redistricting plan, the district must claim additional territory to maintain the required equal population. While Duluth continues to vote overwhelmingly Democratic the congressional district has acquired large areas dominated by Republicans. But don’t tell the political leaders or the newspaper that. They don’t want to hear it or address the issue. And therein lies the problem.
The left leaning newspaper plays to its population. So instead of supporting local leaders with a vision that includes regional growth they would rather attack the congressman than look for a solution to the problem – lack of population.
Congressman Pete Stauber’s resume reads like a person with all the right stuff to be in Congress. A college grad, a pro hockey player, a policeman, a local elected community leader at both the city and county level, he’s married to a retired military person, they have four children, and he has been shot. What part of the good, the bad, and the ugly components of community do you think that Stauber does not understand? And while you may not agree with everything he does or says, his rational judgment under difficult situations is beyond reproach.
That said this part of his district, including the local newspaper, have mercilessly attacked him for supporting the population of this district that he is politically (not policy, mind you) elected to represent. And of course, if Stauber does something that Democrats disagree with then Stauber must resign – now. One writer listed the number of times he disagreed with Stauber telling us that he called and wrote to explain the differences. In each case, the disagreement was clearly political. The writer suggested that Stauber was not elected “to write bills and vote on legislation.” But the writer is wrong. We expect our elected officials to make policy that supports our way of life and maintains our constitutional rights.
The writer explained that “my congressman signed his name to an amicus brief as part of a doomed lawsuit challenging election results in four states” and that Minnesota was not one of them. He correctly pointed out the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case for lack of standing. What he failed to mention was that the argument in the lawsuit was the same argument that the MN Supreme Court upheld several weeks before the election. And Stauber knew it. Stauber also knew that the Republicans that elected him would expect him to play an active role in this political issue. For the writer to think otherwise demonstrates a critical lack of basic understanding of our political system. It is exactly that lack of understanding, education if you will, that divides us. President Obama may have been the first to expose and promote this divide, when Republicans suggested that he consider their concerns moving forward after the election of 2008, he replied, “you lost, get over it.”
Even the local newspaper criticized Stauber in an article titled ‘No harm in Stauber joining efforts to confirm the election.” But they are wrong also. Maybe after the new administration is seated but until then “it ain’t over till it’s over.”