I bet you’ve already thought of this because we in Minnesota stood a good chance spotting a Trump success. After all, we have the Ventura experience under our belts and could see in DT the shade of JV. Trump looks like a national version of what this state had with Jesse Ventura. The ways these two might be alike and comparisons of them don’t seem all that valuable to me, but there’s an external factor I think they share. Each is so brassily outside normal politics I think their acceptance is a sign of considerable and deep dissatisfaction within the populace for politics as usual. Ventura was certainly a wild card that broke through the suits and runs of the cards in both parties’ hands. And who knows, Trump could be a trump card. But, I’m not enough card player or gambler to take than analogy any further.

Instead, I find it interesting that our citizenry will break the molds of political parties in order for a countering or contrary voice to stand on the stage of public action. That is very American, I hope you know. The Native American population was certainly aware of the use, power, and need for the contrary voice to be heard. A “Contrary” often played a key role in the actions and tales of the group. A tiny vestige of a contrary tradition remains in Western lore (if it hasn’t been expunged for some reason) in the character of “Mary quite Contrary.” The role and value of the contrary has, I believe, been routinely shoved aside or denied in favor of orthodoxy, no harm to anyone at any time, and other sorts of “safe” ideas that live and breed in hothouse boxes with little regard for anything but a set view and foregone conclusion. I think it’s a healthy thing for the unpopular contrary voice to be heard. I’d by far rather see a Ventura and Trump ruffle the feathers of the complacency fowl than suffer the social and intellectual death having politicos and religious rule over the peons with one eyed minds and one way theologies.

When I say things like the above the responses I’ll by-and-by hear are that I either “lost” someone or they’ll treat me to a taste of their finest no content feelings. Quite frankly, it’s discouraging that so much of our very important political life gets muddled up in gush about personalities or gets glazed in impenetrable layers of label. We all use labels or types to simplify a position, but doing so is not the main game. The main thing is to look into the content and make decisions from that and not from the suppositions of judgmental labeling. If I say I think the best way to help Syrian refugees is to keep them in Syria that’s not racist. Syria is not a race nor is the majority religious belief there “racial.” When someone goes off on an argument with a card such as “racism” it generally means one thing. They are defending a foregone conclusion on their part which they do not want to question or see challenged. I can commend them for sticking to one of the finest ways known to remain ignorant, because it is surely ignorance at work when an individual favors application of labeled judgment over digging through fact and content.

It is neither nuclear physics nor racist to ask what you or I would most prefer if our homes were devastated by natural or human forces. Do a show of hands. How many right not think, “Oh, I want to be in Morocco instead of my home.” Uprooting people to put them in climates and cultures they aren’t at home in is pretty harsh and about as welcome as shoving folk into a nursing facility. The experience of the past decade in the African Lost Boys (younger males who escaped Muslim bands rounding up females for breeding) is a worthy example. It was very hard on the ones who made it to the US (many returned “home” when able) and it was extremely difficult for local communities and services to treat effectively needs at that level. Charity and social justice are also at times heard as good reason to help refugees, and those are good reasons. But the concerns remain the same. What’s the best way? If we bring people here how ready are we to supply the large measure of attention and aid needed? That’s the same as asking how many asylum seekers of a different language and culture your family could absorb.

I know a little about that because as a teen I nagged my family into taking a pair of refugees. It was a challenge for all of us and a good experience, but it took lots of personal time and effort. It meant many little changes in ways I’ve no space to cover here. The people living with us were lost being away from their native tongue and miserable being on the Iron Range after life in the tropics. I’ll wager relatively few families have or will make so large and serious a commitment. Yet on a political level we do so with smiling confidence because the act won’t put a refugee in our own houses. It is easier that way, but irresponsible when we drop on others a weight such as that.

In any case, a person can question the efficacy of one approach versus another or ever challenge the basis of a refugee “claim” and do so without being racist. Rather than mocking (as seems to be the sad state of politics) Obama, Hillary, or Trump we should be darn proud we have in them people who try to make a difference. But if the body politic is going to do its business on the basis of personalities in a play pen let us at least get above gassing about the stink in someone else’s diaper. You already know these things. Look at the content and not just the label. The sizzle is not the steak.