Guest Column: Don’t let A.L. hospital rallies turn into protests

Published 6:16 pm Monday, August 21, 2017

My Point of View, By Ebenezer Howe

I forgot two important items in the fair recap in my last column: Nick, Alden’s newest entrepreneur, and his onion rings and a must see for next year, the wiener dog races.

Ebenezer Howe

The Freeborn County Republicans held our summer picnic Aug. 14, and those in attendance heard from both candidates running for attorney general endorsement. We also had the chance to hear from the three top candidates in our county fair corn poll vying for endorsement for governor.

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Peggy Bennett, House District 27A representative, gave a recap of this year’s session with some assistingon the Senate side from Carla Nelson, Senate District 26, Rochester area. Both Carla and governor candidate, Matt Dean, House District 38B, commented on Peggy’s asking questions on legislation until she was comfortable that she understood all sides of the issue.

Following the session update, Peggy gave an update on a meeting she had called with both sides of the hospital issue in order to get a better understanding of all aspects involved in Mayo’s decisions.

Carla came to our outing ready to assist Peggy. I think Carla might be thinking of jumping into a race for higher office. It was her first trip to one of our summer events.

Now to the events in Charlottesville: bigotry, violence and malcontents on both sides accompanied by a media that will not keep their bias out of reporting. Then add government officials so scared of offending the malcontents that they stand by and let things get out of hand. First, the folks on the right had a permit for a rally obtained with the help of the ACLU, reportedly to protest removal of historical monuments. Second, the malcontents on the left came hell-bent on causing trouble. They had not obtained a permit to assemble and were armed with clubs and bats. Had law enforcement kept them separated, the protest by the white supremacists (who mustered nationwide numbered about 500) would not have been a story worth reporting, unless to tell how miniscule their numbers were.

Why did I bring up this item? One, to get it off my chest. Two, there are some things here that Save Our Hospital folks need to guard against.

Lightning-fast progress has been made by the Save Our Hospital committee. This lightning progress will appear to substantially slow as solution(s) start to take shape. Some information will need to remain confidential. At that time, do not let your rallies turn into protests when some of you will feel that progress has stopped or is backsliding. Being disruptive at this time will only hurt the cause.

I have heard some stories regarding poor and unprofessional activity by Mayo employees (equated to all of Mayo Clinic Health Systems) that I just can’t bring myself to believe are true. This type of story can be very disruptive to the mission. Please do not repeat stories that you do not know are true.

Please keep the following quotes in mind.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” — Evelyn Beatrice Hall

“The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.” — Tom Smothers

Alden resident Ebenezer Howe is chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the local party members.