• 81°

My Point of View: Democrats played key role in virus effects on small business

My Point of View by Brad Kramer

In a recent letter to the editor from Ms. Susan Joyce published on May 18, Ms. Joyce stated that the facts I shared were incorrect, as it relates to which political party/candidate different industries contributed to.

Brad Kramer

The figures that I shared in the My Point of View column from May 12 came directly from https://www.opensecrets.org/2020-presidential-race/industry-totals?highlight=y&ind=A02&src=a

The numbers I shared were in fact correct. I’m not sure where Ms. Joyce got her information from on the site that she claims contradicts me, but the facts I shared match what is on the website. It focused on the 2020 presidential race. I also searched in the congressional races for the information that related to Congressman Hagedorn and Dan Feehan. I got the figures for their in-state vs. out-of-state contributions from https://www.opensecrets.org/races/geography?cycle=2020&id=MN01&spec=N

She stated that big tobacco contributed more to President Trump. Directly from the website, however, it states that Joe Biden received $98,814 and Donald Trump received $89,243 from the tobacco industry and lists other candidates the tobacco industry contributed to, including Pete Buttigieg ($27,434), Bernie Sanders ($16,231) and others. The only Republican presidential candidate other than Trump on the list was William F. Weld ($1,000). Total contributions to all presidential candidates were $263,624, with Democrats receiving 65.7% and Republicans 34.2%.

In another rebuttal letter, Jennifer Vogt Erickson said, “In last week’s column, Brad Kramer didn’t mention that it’s a very recent trend for corporations to give less support to Republicans than Democrats. Much of that withdrawal of support pivots around the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection led by Trump supporters.” Because my figures were taken from 2020’s election (which was already over by Jan. 6), my numbers also stand and disprove Ms. Erickson’s assertion as it relates to 2020 donations.

Ms. Erickson claims that it’s not elitist for government to shutdown small stores while leaving big-box and online retailers to have the competitive advantage. Gov. Walz claimed his emergency powers over 14-months ago. He failed to turn management of the pandemic over to the elected Legislature and refuses to consult the representatives that we elected to govern. That is elitism. He has chosen which businesses were able to keep operating and which could not. Obviously there had to be some hard decisions regarding how to best navigate COVID-19, but for one man to take over that decision-making role without a legislative body of local representatives with careers like being doctors, teachers and business owners, is misguided and arrogant. The beauty of the Legislature is that it brings in 200 lawmakers from around the state with different views and skills based on the communities they are from and their respective careers and personalities. Walz disregarded each of them when he decided how to navigate the state through the emergency powers on his own.

Other routes of action may have been taken had the legislative body been consulted. Some of the largest corporations, like Amazon, Walmart, and Cargill, raked in their highest profits ever while most local businesses struggled to even survive. For a party that claims to be for the middle class, Democrats really played a key role in the largest corporations being even more profitable, while main street businesses owned by our friends and neighbors had to shut down or lose a substantial amount of business. Many small businesses will never recover, and the gap between main street business and massive corporations will have grown wider.

In a recent study from MIT (https://arxiv.org/pdf/2101.07993.pdf), it was found that conservatives often understood data better than their liberal counterparts when it comes to understanding and communicating the science behind masks, vaccinations and other COVID-19 topics. Part of the implications, if we are to learn from the study, is that people do not trust government to produce, interpret and enforce findings, but that our population, and conservatives in general, are able to interpret findings without a traditional hierarchy dictating how to proceed.

In the Dark Ages, if something wasn’t understood through science or academia, Church and government stepped in and essentially said, “we decree, and expect you to comply” to a population that couldn’t read, much less interpret data, even when there was little or no science supporting the assertion (such as the universe revolving around the Earth). Today’s population is educated enough to want to see the data without the filters that Dr. Fauci and Gov. Walz want. The term “the science is settled” is contradictory to science and has become synonymous with the “just trust us” when a good ol’ boy or other corrupt group tries to govern when they can’t support their rulings with good data.

Most conservatives I know simply want access to transparent data being used to justify decision making by our representatives. That is probably the least “elitist” concept you can ask for. “Just do as I say” is quite outdated.

Brad Kramer is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.