LETTER: McGovern conference brought ‘truth-telling’This is to thank Tom Lawrence for the excellent coverage of the McGovern Conference at DWU: “Moving Beyond Political Polarization.”
By: Michael Ryan, Mitchell
To the Editor:
This is to thank Tom Lawrence for the excellent coverage of the McGovern Conference at DWU: “Moving Beyond Political Polarization.”
My first impulse was not to attend, because I knew it could never happen. I am so glad that I did, for I would have missed the marvelous example of friendly discourse between Ben Nesselhuf, chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party, and Tony Post, executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party. While both agreed that partisan politics are here to stay, their conversation conveyed mutual respect and understanding for the positions that they took in the recent election battle between them. Post referred to the inevitability of extreme partisanship, “especially in a post-Citizens United world,” where unlimited amounts of money can be spent by corporations and pacs in election campaigns.
When two former members of Congress from the time of the Bill Clinton presidency took the stage, Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.) and Max Sandlin (D-Texas), husband of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, we were treated to an even more impressive example of truth-telling in politics as they gave their separate accounts of the political struggles they engaged in, and how they maintained their friendship across the aisle. When both agreed “that the preponderance of money has endangered the system and the country itself,” I wanted to cheer.
Only when the “Citizens United decision” is overthrown by the Supreme Court, or by constitutional amendment, will civility return to election campaigns in the U.S. with much less political jabber on our TV sets.
It is too bad that the audience for this moment of truth telling in U.S. politics was so small, so thank you, Tom Lawrence, for bringing it to the readership of The Daily Republic.