No Kim and Lisa, don’t get excited. I am not, in actuality, moving to Canada. Instead, I’m invoking the time worn phrase muttered so frequently over the years in the days following an election that hasn't gone in your favor. You know, when you mutter under your breath “if things don’t shape up in this country, I’m moving to Canada.”
Not to turn this blog into a running commentary on my political beliefs, but let’s just say yesterday’s election was a disappointment. The likely recount of the Minnesota governor’s race likely is a frustration. I don’t care which side of the political fence you sit on, or even if you sit on the fence, after the eight month long recount in Minnesota for the 2008 U.S. Senate seat, Minnesotans just aren't getting excited about recounts anymore. “How long is this going to take,” we all groan.
As an aside on the whole “let have a recount” mentality, Anne Lamott writes that the counterpart to faith is certainty. It makes me wonder: if we weren’t so certain that something terrible had happened during the voting process, if we had faith that things went all right the first go round, just what sort of state would this country be in? What would happen if we could remove just a teeny weeny bit the hysteria that seems to be dictating our actions as a nation?
Anyway, back to the whole Canada issue . . . .
I got to thinking . . . . Canada really isn’t that far off. In fact, the lake I worked on all summer is an international lake: the Canadian border runs smack dab down the middle of the lake. I’ve spent the last year pretty much in spitting distance from Canada. I mean, I could set up camp on the north side of the lake and just motor on down to the museum every morning next summer. It would be like nothing had changed at all . . . .
But isn’t that part of the whole problem?
If we keep calling for change but instead opt for the path of least resistance over and over again for ourselves, then we’re not really changing anything. “Watching our backs” doesn’t do anyone much good. Setting up camp in Canada might make me feel better about myself, but no one likes a quitter.
I don’t know what needs to happen to get the country “back on track.” I don’t know that anyone does. But I do know that getting up and fighting for what we believe to be true is the only way to actually change things. And I know that change can be slow and ugly and demand a lot of hard work. And I know what’s good change for one person is bad for another. We’re not all ever going to be on the same page. That’s just not what democracy is about. Democracy is about sticking around, about not only believing that things will get better, but working to make things better.
So I guess that means moving to Canada is O-U-T.
|Rep. Jim Oberstar|
Last but not least, thank you Representative Oberstar so much for your 35 years of service in Congress. I literally don’t know a MN Eighth Congressional District without you and as we push off into these uncertain times, I can say one thing for certain: we’ll miss you.