Class Ceiling

Mark Dayton’s oh-so-predictable announcement that he is, yawn, reentering politics bolsters the DFL’s glass ceiling limiting ordinary citizens interested in serving at the highest levels of public service.

Dayton, Kloubachar, Freeman, Humphrey, Mondale, Dutcher… Puh-lease. The party of equal opportunity for all continues it’s embarrassing record of being dominated at its heights by those who received, as a birthright, a marketable name and/or a marketing budget.

Sure there have been plenty of exceptions – Moe, Growe, Perpich, Hatch, and many others. And wealthy candidates such as Ciresi, Doran and Franken are in a different category, since they earned their fame and fortune the American way, after birth. But a political party that is all about equal opportunity needs to put forth such self-made people much more consistently.

I was fortunate enough to work with Humphrey III, an incredibly honorable man who achieved amazing things on his own once in office, as have many of the aforementioned. None of this is intended to diminish their record of service. But it’s time for Democrats to break out of this embarrassing pattern, and support more candidates born without a household name or household staff.

— Joe Loveland

6 thoughts on “Class Ceiling

  1. Kelly Groehler says:

    I personally think there’s only one ceiling, with numerous cracks and evidence of previous attempts at shoddy patch work.

    This morning, NPR reported on the Dems dropping by Baton Rouge this past weekend for the annual black mayor’s convention. I found myself at 6:20 a.m. – sans caffeine, a terrible state – trying to decide whether gender or race is the more important ceiling crack for this country to punch through. I hadn’t even considered the class crack, but it could likely stand a blow or two of its own.

    I hold out hope for some seismic shift with this next election, but it comes with a side of concern: If one crack caves in, will the others benefit? Will some cracks stand defiant because they didn’t cave in first? Or will the cracks work together and bring it all down?

    And ultimately, will the load-bearing walls remain intact?

  2. jloveland says:

    Great point. My guess is the first dynamic is driven more by political hacks’ panic attacks about “electability” than actual classiscm. On gender v. race, I think gender is the tougher problem at the presidential level. People need the commanders-in-chief to have a tough side, and a female exhibiting a tough side is often dismissed, in thoughts or in words, as a “shrill b****.” Tough one to overcome.

  3. Barrack O'Kennedy says:

    Perhaps everyone’s obsession here with ‘ceilings’ ought to be replaced by a focus on qualified candidates.

    Pigmentation/genitalia/genetic/pedigree litmus tests are irrelevant and tiresome.

  4. jl says:

    “Focused on qualified candidates” is where I am, BOK. For instance, I support Senator Obama for President, because I think he’s the best leader, and no historical ceiling should stop him. And I am expressing skepticism about Senator Dayton’s latest adventure precisely because I think Dayton’s bankroll creates a ceiling that has for too long limited more qualified candidates.

    So, I heartily endorse your desire for a ceilingless world. But if you are suggesting that you and I currently live together in such a world, I would very much enjoy meeting the jolly pet centaurs and spirited unicorns that keep us company.

  5. Barrack O'Kennedy says:

    Mark Dayton stands about as much a chance of being governor as does Allen Quist. I think the “legacy” candidates and their progeny are a thing of the past.

  6. Kelly Groehler says:

    BOK, I love your constitution – and wish more in our society were as ahead of the change curve as you are.

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