By Eric Leitzen
For those of you who don’t know, I was on the ballot as an independent third party for the Minnesota State Senate last year. I ran a mostly one-man campaign, took no big money, and instead hit the road and went out to the people to get the message out: for almost 50 years now you have worked harder and gotten less, while the rich are richer than ever. The deal was supposed to be that this system was supposed to trickle down, and it didn’t. And when you get swindled in a raw deal, you demand to get your money back.
I spent about $500 on the entire campaign and got over 1,000 votes. That’s about 50 cents a vote. As the weirdos on Wall Street might say, that’s a heckuva good return on investment. But why did I do so well? Because my message appeals to everyone down here, left and right alike. You ARE getting put through the wringer by the rich and powerful, and it is not wrong to demand to get your money back for the work you have done. Profits and productivity go up, but wages haven’t kept up, so where is that money going? Yachts and mansions for the disgustingly rich. My message was popular, and just imagine how it would have done with support from the “big two” parties.
But instead, the DFL and GOP are holding hands to try and make it even harder for anyone outside the corporate-approved pipeline to get on the ballot. HF2802 wants to make it a two-team game: Team Rich and Team Richer. This is very clearly a warning from the rich and powerful: stay in your place. We own everything and don’t try to get out of line. But it also says something interesting: they are terrified of people like me. Like in the movie “Dune,” my name is a killing word. Myself and people like me who want to change the system to help people like you are a threat to those who run the show, and they think kicking us off the ballot will stop us… but that will only make us fight harder.
We’re not going away. We can’t. People are starving, dying, falling apart from working three jobs and still not making rent, while landlords and their toadies in government are fatter than ever. Our schools need funding, our roads need fixing, and you deserve more money in your pocket because you haven’t worked any less, or struggled any less, but the folks up top really believe they have no reason to care if we live or die. Well, let’s give them a reason.
We all need to come together and demand our basic needs are met. No more of this nonsense about litter boxes or deplorables. We are all human beings and must be treated fairly and decently, all of us, every one. We have the ability to take care of everyone, we can afford it, and we have a duty as human beings to do it. Yes, some folks might lose their seventh house, or not be able to send junior to Yale to study Bootlicking 101, but frankly I don’t care if all the babies of Minnesota have full bellies. It is far past time for the people to make themselves heard and demand their needs are met, and no amount of shenanigans in St. Paul will shut us up.
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