We have seen the lessons of History. We know what happens when unchecked corruption poisons our government and our business. We know what needs to be done to save America for the average Americans, and for the aspiring Americans. We know what worked in the past to make America the envy of the world, the gold standard of prosperity, with small towns and big cities alike thrumming to the tune of progress for all. If we truly wanted to make America great, we need only to look to the past failures and successes of the American experiment to know in which way to move forward. Though it may be cut in our schools and derided in our culture, we must look back to History.

In the years following the Civil War, Americans kept taxes low and government weak. The result was a series of horrible economic shocks, one after the other: 1873, 1893, 1896, 1907, and even more. Banking panics, recessions, and stock market crashes, all running parallel with the likes of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, etc. More and more money going to the top, less money and jobs and less opportunity for those in the middle, quickly squeezed in with those on the bottom. And then, finally, the dam breaks entirely when the few left in the middle class borrow everything to afford the life they are told they need to have, and the global economy crashes in 1929. Only four years earlier, the President claims "the chief business of the American people is business," and unbridled business not only crashes the economy, but makes desperate and angry people the world over put strongmen and fascists into power, leading to World War II.

In the years following World War II, taxes were sky-high on the richest Americans, regulation of businesses and banks was strong, and wages were high. The government, knowing they had to keep the engine of America going when it stopped needing tanks and bombs to fight the fascists. As a result, government took the money from the rich and spent it to improve life for all: social spending for things like the Polio vaccine, the Man on the Moon, and the Interstate System provided jobs, money, health, and pride for all Americans. You could have almost called it Democratic Socialism.

Minnesota's caucus results prove that Minnesota often knows what is best for America before the majority of other states: we saw the damage a modern Republican government can wreak with Pawlenty, and when every other state went red in 2010, Minnesota went blue and enjoyed a prosperity only dreamed of by its Republican neighbors. Wisconsin, Kansas, Louisiana, and more including New Jersey and Iowa have felt the damage caused to an economy ruled by corporatists masquerading as "conservatives." Minnesota, the star of the north, stands as a beacon lighting the way to a better tomorrow, because it understands what happened yesterday.

History is on our side, facts are on our side, and the people are on our side: the DFL platform is a winning platform that has been proven to win in Minnesota and can be proven to win in America at large. Walter Mondale, a DFLer defined, was sold out by a political process that placed more weight on soundbites than the truth, and the past 30 years have proved that Mondale in 84 was right then, and he is still right now. If we do not take every chance to seize upon our successes and make it known to the greater country, we could very well be condemning our larger, united body to hard times coming again once more. Do not let 2016 become another repeat of 1877, or 1932, or even 2007. Get the message out that a progressive movement, a nationwide DFL movement, is what is needed to beat back the tide of anger, frustration, and ultimately crisis.

Hard Times Come Again No More

Please forgive me for my absence. Many things happen, as things often do. But, forever, Doremus goes on in the red sunrise, for a Doremus Jessup can never die.

If I were to ask you to name a time period in America where the one of the country's largest industries fell into ruin due to the failed speculation of a few people, leading to an economic disaster that saw massive protest movements boil over in the coming years, along with a decline in real wages and growing frustration of the populace with corrupt business and a government that seems unable to do anything to help regular Americans... you might guess that I'm talking about 2007. Or maybe 1929. But, in fact, I'm referring to what became known as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

Reckless speculation in the railroad market led to a financial panic in 1873 called, appropriately, the Panic of 1873. In the years that followed, wages declined, businesses were forced to cut back, and a rising tide of resentment began to sweep away the American public. Congress, firmly in the back pocket of big business due to blatant graft and bribery, saw no issue with what was happening in America, as it was merely an extension of what was making America an industrial, economic powerhouse following the Civil War. With a broken social contract, no Congress to listen to them, and no safety net to help them, the people of America had finally had enough by 1877.

Noted social historian Howard Zinn describes the scene:

"At the Baltimore & Ohio station in Martinsburg, West Virginia, workers determined to fight the wage cut went on strike, uncoupled the engines, ran them into the roundhouse, and announced no more trains would leave Martinsburg until the 10% [pay] cut was cancelled. A crowd of support gathered, too many for the local police to disperse. B&O officials asked the governor for military protection, and he sent in militia"

America, as Zinn also notes, was in the midst of a Depression. In fact, ever since the days of George Washington, America had suffered major economic panics, collapses, recessions or depressions on a regular basis. With businesses left to their own, they naturally tried to snatch up as much as possible, and routinely crashed the economy in the process. In 1877, poor working conditions and wage cuts led to out and out revolt. Zinn, again:

"In Baltimore, a crowd of thousands sympathetic to the railway strikers surrounded the armoury of the National Guard... The crowd hurled rocks, and the soldiers came out, firing. The streets now became the scene of a moving, bloody battle. When the evening was over, ten men or boys were dead, more badly wounded, one soldier wounded. Half of the 120 troops quit and the rest went on to the train depot, where a crowd of two hundred smashed the engine of a passenger train, tore up tracks, and engaged the militia again in a running battle.

By now, 15,000 people surrounded the depot. Soon, three passenger cars, the station platform, and a locomotive were on fire. The governor asked for federal troops, and Hayes responded. Five hundred soldiers arrived and Baltimore quieted down."

There is only so far you can go with the American people. When times get too hard, when belts can no longer be tightened, people will turn to anyone and anything promising a change to a better life. It was only through the work of unlikely Presidents (both Roosevelts: one Republican, one Democratic) that business was reigned in, the banks contained, and the country kept from plunging into the darkness of extremism, whether it is Communism on the extreme left or Fascism on the extreme right. Social changes must take place, such as TR breaking up big business and FDR breaking up big banks. Social programs must be reinstated or expanded, because America became the greatest country on earth when it adopted a hybrid socialist-republic formula following the Great Depression. If there is not action to stem the frustration seen in Occupy, Black Lives Matter, the Tea Party, or in Trumpism, then those railway depots will be burnt again.

We must take every step imaginable to prevent this. We are running out of time before the fire ignites.

At Your Service,

Doremus Jessup

Bernie Sanders Wins Presidential Preference Vote

Great turnout at the 2016 caucuses.  Many first time caucus goers and most importantly for the future of the party, many were "young" people.

The actual number of attendees was 408.   Of those 102 were elected to serve as delegates to the Fillmore County Convention on March 19 in Fountain and Senate District 28 Convention on April 2 in Rushford.

Congratulations to Senator Bernie Sanders who won the presidential preference vote.  The results of the voting were:
  • 215 Sanders
  • 186 Clinton