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Charles Linderman, Published November 07 2010

Forum editorial obituary for Democrats doesn’t square with ND political history

The Forum editorial (Nov. 4) says that “North Dakota Democrats have a lot of soul-searching and regrouping to do” and that their “boat is foundering.”

In a lifetime of following politics and elections, I have seen each of the political parties declared down for the count more than once. Every time, that party made a comeback, usually in a year or two. More often than not, they come back refreshed and stronger than before.

I do not, however, feel the need for soul-searching. The people I have associated with in the North Dakota Democratic-NPL have pursued political policies that tend toward empathy for others and that are based on logical political, social and economic principles. My political philosophies and my opinions on particular issues are based on a lifetime of experience, not on the outcome of the most recent election.

Paul Wellstone once said that there are worse things than losing an election. Our recent congressional election is a perfect illustration of what he meant. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., voted for the Affordable Health Care Act because it was long past time to do something about the problem, and this was the right thing to do. He also knew that, contrary to the overheated opposition, a large majority of citizens actually support the individual provisions in the health care act.

I am sure he knew after the long debate and the outrageous demagoguery that he would be subject to the most vicious attacks. If there is a definition of political courage in the unabridged dictionary, they can put Pomeroy’s picture beside it.

There are Democrats in Congress who voted against the health care act and lost their re-election anyway. But Pomeroy can leave Congress knowing that he did something very important and very courageous. There are indeed worse things than losing an election.