What a difference a year makes. Last night, Senator Bernie Sanders virtually tied Secretary Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses. In April 2015 a Views from the Edge post began:
Ted Cruz, Ron Paul, Marco Rubio, and Hillary Clinton are taking their places in the starting gates for the horse race to the White House in 2016. Smiles and frowns all around, emails asking “Are you IN?“ with requests for money from the partisan Yea-Sayers and Nay-Sayers. But the fact is that every horse they ride – conservative and liberal – is owned by Wall Street.
I’m not “IN” until a candidate rides a different horse into the starting gate. Until someone acts and sounds like Floyd B. Olson….
“I am not a liberal. I am what I want to be — a radical,” said Governor Olson to the 1934 Farmer-Labor party convention. A radical is not an ideologue. It’s a person who insists on going to the root of things. Olson was the nemesis of Wall Street, a champion of the people.
Most Americans have never heard of Floyd B. Olson, the popular Minnesota Governor regarded at the time as President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s successor before his untimely death. The Views from the Edge piece concluded:
“If and when someone like Floyd B. Olson rides a different horse into the starting gate for the 2016 White House horse race, I’ll be IN with both feet. Until then, I’m not IN.
That was before Bernie Sanders came on the scene.
Last night’s Iowa Democratic Caucuses resulted in a dead heat between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders. Unlike all other candidates, Senator Sanders is not funded by Wall Street. He’s supported by over 3,000,000 small donations by people drawn to his clear message, unwavering consistency on the issues, integrity, courage, and a populism like that of Floyd B. Olson.
In Minnesota many people ask, “What would Wellstone do?” referring to Sen. Paul Wellstone who demonstrated the same straight-talking as Floyd B. Olson, and who, like his progressive predecessor, died too early to run for President.
What would Wellstone do? What would Floyd B. Olson do? Ask Bernie Sanders.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Feb. 2, 2016