Tom Horner was the 2010 gubernatorial candidate of the Minnesota Independence Party, scoring 11.9% in that race. Tim Penny is a former Democratic Congressman and Independence Party candidate for Governor in 2002, when he received 16% of the vote. The two penned an editorial in the Star Tribune, a major newspaper in Minnesota, calling for Americans to demand that their politicians do “big things”.
As we head into summer’s trifecta of national holidays — Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day — politicians are readying their speeches to graduating students, patriotic picnickers and political rallies.
Almost certainly, the speakers will remind us that our nation became great — and our freedoms protected — because throughout our country’s history each generation shared a vision of a future that is better than today. And, as a nation, earlier generations were willing to pay the price for progress.
These speeches will predictably praise an America that used to do big things. Audiences will be reminded that Social Security and Medicare were created to provide a safety net for the elderly.
Some politicians will speak of leaders who shaped a bold future by building a national network of highways and launching a program to place a man on the moon. Many will highlight how we started on the path toward a more fair society with the Civil Rights Act.
Missing from most speeches, though, will be the attribute that also is most absent in public policy today. Americans in previous generations didn’t just do big things, they did them with a commitment to shared sacrifice for the common good.
There has been some questions as to whether Penny still identified with the party, but this seems to clear the issue up a bit.