Letter: A need to move away from extremes

Published 7:46 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Last week in Austin I talked to Dan Feehan a few days after advertisements came out claiming Dan, with two combat tours in Iraq, and later working at the Pentagon, was anti-military. Dan Feehan has a better temperament than I do, as I was furious about these ads. He realizes this is part of the “game” now. I am not sure I want to accept this. This type of attacks, lies about a candidate’s strongest points, are the biggest problem with politics currently. Personally, I want to believe this type of misrepresentation by cowards who hide behind fancy P.A.C. names should not work in an area like Austin.

The problem is there are around 700,000 people in the First District which spans from South Dakota to Wisconsin. It is difficult for a candidate to shake every hand. But Dan Feehan is trying. I was fortunate to meet Dan Feehan about a year ago, and have talked with him dozens of times since then. My tendency is to favor candidates who want to do the work of a position, not just have the title. This is why I supported Dan Feehan in the endorsement process within the D.F.L. Dan Feehan has lived a life of service. He was an officer in Iraq, doing two tours looking for roadside explosives. After that he taught middle school in Gary, Indiana, the south-side of the south-side of Chicago. Then he worked for us in the Pentagon, where he had weekly meetings reporting to the Secretary of Defense, which would seem to be more pressure than any meeting I have been to. This is the kind of work Dan Feehan wants to continue. The first time I met Dan I asked him which committees he would want to serve on when elected. His response was the Armed Services committee in order to support our military.

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The other committee Dan Feehan mentioned was agriculture. This would allow continuation of the work Tim Walz has done for our area. Dan Feehan would work to ensure what is best for the First District on these issues. This is an area where a contrast can be drawn with his opposition. The President has taken actions with tariffs which are not in the interests of the First District. An article on CNN Money on Aug. 23, 2018 described the direct negative impact the tariffs have on the largest employer in Austin. On April 4, Senator Charles Grassley came out with a statement critical of the tariffs, siding with his constituency over the President. On April 8, Jim Hagedorn said he trusted the President. Jim Hagedorn is more in the pocket of Donald Trump than the guy who ran the whole confirmation circus for him. It is understandable that Jim Hagedorn would side with the President over his desired constituents. They both appear to be enjoying status that was inherited instead of worked for.

Ultimately, it is my belief that people are sick of the extremes on both sides. On Oct. 11, Jim Hagedorn said there was nothing we can do about climate change and the Earth has been heating and cooling since “God created it.” This is the kind of opinion at the very extreme of even the Republican party. If you are of such an extreme opinion yourself, you stopped reading this in the first sentence. If you are still here, and in the middle, consider which of these two better represents your opinions on issues. That is the point of the job. Dan Feehan represents my opinions, will discuss with people and learn when his opinions are “wrong,” and would be a spectacular congressman.

Aaron Jones