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Today the world knows the precipitating events that led to the Earth’s demise when its atmospheric temperature rose by a long-predicted average of six degrees. Five billion humans living on the coasts clawed their way to safety in each continent’s interior due to the rapidly rising oceans. The resulting scorched Earth “Wars of Desperation” between a half dozen nuclear armed autocracies fighting for adequate territory led to a succession of massive extinctions until the only land animals remaining, other than humans, were toy dog breeds able to live on farmed algae and cats necessary for keeping the rodent population in check. It’s rare that something of such global significance can be traced to one man’s actions on a single night but that’s how this catastrophe happened. It’s a cautionary tale.
The man’s name was Harry Welty and his 2020 suicide, a few days after the reelection of Donald Trump, was the talk of Duluth for a day or two. Welty, a former School Board member and occasional columnist for a small-town tabloid, walked in front of a light rail train on University Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He blamed himself for Trump’s reelection.
Two years earlier during the mid-term elections he had failed to object loudly enough when four other old, white men, constituting his tabloid’s “editorial board,” narrowly voted to endorse an “independent” candidate for Congress who would, at best, siphon votes away from a luke-warm Democratic challenger to the eventual Pro-Trump winner of the local Congressional seat, Pete Stauber. The national election, which had once seemed like a shoo-in for Democrats turned sour in the last few weeks as Trump’s approval ratings increased. By winning Pete Stauber became the Republican Party’s one-point margin of control in the 116th Congress which was split between 218 Republicans and 217 Democrats.
Having started with the promise of denying President Trump control of all three branches of the Federal Government, 2019 yeilded Trump all the power he needed to assert his authority with a compliant Republican majority. Republicans who had previously spent their time investigating the hell out of a former Secretary of State no longer feared that a Democratic Congress would return the favor by investigating the swamp-infested Trump administration’s misdeeds.
Instead, the Republicans continued to pack the Courts with judges friendly to the quasi-Republican Federalist Society. These Courts in turn overruled challenges to election law tinkering by the emboldened Republicans. The absolute right to vote for the majority of American citizens was further compromised. Republican legislatures were freed to gerrymander legislative districts and loosen fund raising laws to protect the increasingly rich donors who happily repaid Trump supporters for generous tax cuts and federal contracts with vast new anonymous contributions.
Trump, who had gained office legally despite losing the popular vote by three million in 2016, came closer to winning the popular vote in 2020 because five million Americans were surgically disqualified from voting. Although Trump would not live through his third term the die had been cast. A newly passed constitutional amendment repealed the 22nd amendment limiting Presidents to two terms. This was ironic because the original amendment was the brainchild of Republicans who passed it in the wake of Franklin Roosevelt’s four terms of office.
Welty died before these events took place unable to forgive himself for the 25,000 tabloids circulated throughout the district a week before the election encouraging fussy voters not to vote for Stauber’s only serious opposition. It was all the more galling for Welty because he had spent two months of the summer as a thorn in Stauber’s side; a challenger trying to prevent the death of the “Party of Lincoln.”
There was so much more Harry had hoped to communicate before his name was attached to Skip Sandman’s endorsement. He wanted to remind voters that it had been Trump’s GOP financier’s who had pushed the Free Trade that had outsourced their jobs and then opposed feeble Democratic attempts to protect workers whose jobs were lost. It was the same with health insurance where Republicans undermined the Affordable Care Act while deregulating the pharmaceutical industry that promptly succeeded in addicting millions of sick Americans to opioid drugs and then treated them as criminals.
The poor Democrat who lost to Stauber was suffocated under a pile of daily mailings showing him, sickly green, but eager to raise taxes. No doubt he also supported letting poor people cast multiple votes. No worries. Pete Stauber would help Donald Trump put a end to all that……. before the Antarctic melted and put an end to Earth as we know it. Trump’s voters promptly raptured into heaven.
Harry Welty is a local eccentric and perennial candidate for office in Duluth who also pontificates on his blog: www.lincolndemocrat.com. BTW Harry swears that everything written here is true and will come to pass. Like our President he can be expected to deny that he ever authored this should any detail of it fail to materialize.