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Voice of our Readers Oct. 14, 2021

Brown: '... there must be common ground between each of us ...'
To the Editor:
Like many, I have observed with sadness the division in our nation. We also observe this division within our community.
Much has changed since COVID-19 came into our world, but that’s only part of it.  Some of the things that divide us now haven’t changed in the past two years, but have since been used as leverage to create a chasm between ourselves and our neighbors in our own community.
Who is leveraging our differences of opinion in this endless tug of war? What is the motive for this division? While I certainly hold my own opinions andplan on keeping them, I can also recognize that there must be common ground between each of us on some level, in some way. In other words, where there appears to be a bold line of demarcation, I wonder if there’s a little fuzz in the line somewhere? I wonder if the chasm isn’t as wide as we believe?
I’ve become aware of certain “purity tests” on each side – where you have to check all the boxes to be on “our side” of a line. Is your side demanding a purity test? Are more criteria added regularly? Is your opinion nuanced, but you don’t want your friends finding out, or you might not pass the purity test?
For instance, are you pro-vaccine but anti vaccine mandate? Are you pro-vaccine but anti-mask?
I have heard a local person state that anti-maskers are anti-vaxxers. Is this really true? Is it possible to have a nuanced view? Is the pro-vaccine anti-masker welcome in any circle or are they outcast to all? Is the pro-mask anti-vaccine person welcome in any circle or are they outcast to all?
Are we aligning our thoughts so specifically to a purity test that we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves? I ask you to consider if you are conforming to a purity test, or if you are consciously or unconsciously demanding the same of others.
Are we looking at our community member convinced that they must be evil because they sit with the “other side,” even when we’ve known these people for years? Surely there’s nuance. Surely we are still a community.
Additionally, in the discussions I’ve heard, there are many absolutes, and no limiting principles on either side. There is no end game, just continued argument and requirement, devoid of grace.
Honestly, I think the difficulty in discussing issues hails back many decades where it has been considered impolite to discuss politics and religion in public, at family gatherings, or otherwise in polite company.
Maybe we should bring our beliefs to the light. Maybe we should discuss the uncomfortable respectfully in order to know how to. Maybe the time is now.
Mary Brown
Prekkers: 'Hagedorn is a climate science denier'
To the Editor:
Jim Hagedorn is a climate science denier.
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that man-made climate change is real, dangerous, and increasing at a rate far exceeding the earth's natural climate cycles.
Despite the exhaustive evidence, Minnesota’s District 1 Rep. Jim Hagedorn claims he doesn't believe in man-made climate change at all.
At a town hall in Austin, Minnesota, Hagedorn stated, “I don’t believe [in climate change] and I’m not going to risk our U.S. economy and way of life over it.” According to Hagedorn, if climate change was hypothetically real, his solution would be to simply “move people around,” a remarkably ignorant thought, considering climate migration is already affecting millions around the world.
During his first term as representative, Hagedorn voted “No” on 47 of the 50 bills focused on environmental protection and combating climate change. Along with the encouragement to expand fossil fuels, Hagedorn opposes any limits on carbon emissions, and to date has received $34,000 in Fossil Fuel Corporate PAC money. It’s clear our congressman is failing to protect the very agricultural communities he boldly claims to represent.
Our community and its farmers have already suffered the effects of global warming: severe droughts, excessive floods, worsening storms and decreasing air quality. In 2019 alone, record flooding prevented the planting of over 20 million acres of farmland across the U.S., Minnesota among the worst affected.
I urge our congressman to endorse the pro-environmental bills that will shift our country toward 100-percent renewable energy and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. Minnesotans want clean air, clean water and a safer planet for future generations, and we deserve a representative who will work hard to ensure it, not ignore it.
Hagedorn must be the change or we will change without him.
Andrew Prekker,
Evan Prekker,
Thone: A message to our governor
To the Editor:
Like Adolph Hitler and the Gestapo, we’d like to thank you for doinggod’s work and exiling us for not licking the government and big businesses Jackboots.
On behalf of Rosa Parks, the Japanese internment camps, enslaved Americans,the Holocaust and the newly exiled freedom loving Americans I’d like to say to you Governor that its time to get a different job.
Signed every American that loves the constitution and Freedom from atyrannical government.
Terry Thone,

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