The 2018 election is closer than we think. Republicans continue to get involved in the race for Minnesota Governor and to take on Amy Klobuchar in the Senate. My early money is that the GOP will lose on both accounts. Why?
The GOP in Minnesota falls victim to being too boring. When Jeff Johnson took on Mark Dayton in 2014, I didn’t even bother to vote. Where was the value proposition? You probably didn’t even remember Jeff Johnson until I mentioned his name just now, but here he is trying to run for governor again in 2018.
Republicans in Minnesota check the box. They support our troops, pat farmers on the head, rail on Democrats overspending, propose to cut taxes, then do nothing of the little they actually promise. Republicans in Minnesota need some inspiration, and as voters, we have to demand it.
Remember when Rand Paul got thousands of people to tune into C-SPAN 2 to watch a filibuster? That’s the same spark we need to tap into in Minnesota. Ron Paul and Rand Paul caught the attention of many people because they talked about issues no one else would dare to touch.
If Republicans are looking to excite people, why don’t they start talking about how Social Security is robbing young people of our labor in an insolvent system? Why don’t they start talking about the profitability of marijuana legalization to fund schools and roads (and how it could subsequently reduce racial profiling by police)? Why don’t they start talking about the dysfunction of the VA and the thousands of veterans who still won’t have access to care after we send them to endless wars?
In 2008, political outsiders trying to run as Republicans under the Ron Paul rLOVEution were labeled as nut jobs. But, Democrats running as outsiders today in the spirit of Bernie Sanders get profiled in USA Today. If the GOP actually committed to freedom and personal liberty on social issues alone, they would stream roll the ballot box. Instead, they chose the aberration of Trump and burned the grassroots planted a decade ago, the same grassroots that Democrats are laying today. Now, Democrats are emboldened to continue the national path toward a bigger government that they’ve never left.
Thankfully, states remain the laboratory for democracy and voters have the chance to try again. It’s time to experiment in Minnesota.
Brad Omland is a local talk radio producer. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of South Dakota in May 2013.