I’m not from Minnesota so the battle of mutual animosities between Edina and other Twin Cities suburbs never interested me. They were just suburbs, after all, essentially uninteresting places with only minor degrees of distraction on offer to compensate for the inexplicable choice people made to live there.
You could blindfold me, throw me out of a car in the middle of a Twin Cities suburb and I’d have no idea which one I was in. That’s kind of the point of them, isn’t it? In college, a Korean monk professor of mine, who affected an intellectual mandarin style, dropping the names of those with whom he’d studied and knew personally, like Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow and John Berryman, once described suburbs as “a peculiar kind of nowhere.” I can still say those words in his precise accent.
That was game over, I’m afraid, as far as suburbs concerned me. As I lived in different cities after college and law school, I would occasionally hear people discuss the merits of one suburb over another. I could never really understand the arguments, let alone care about them, because I could never comprehend living in one. Life was proving to be full of existential terrors; why would anyone voluntarily compound the situation?
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After moving to the Twin Cities and finally exploring Edina, I felt like James Comey: “That’s it?” To be sure, Edina was nice, possessing a veneer of insecure affluence. Like many things in life, the tell was in trying too hard. Gradually, I came to understand Edina was a kind of Minnesota talisman, a totem, indeed a fetish. What people thought about it, I realized, said as much about them as it did the suburb. Mostly, though, it was on a par with talking about the best fast food: why was the subject even being discussed?
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I came across the term “blue locusts” in one of my late night forrays down certain mystical Twitter rabbit holes found on a private list I keep only for myself. Much wrong think, there. It refers to liberals fleeing to other areas once they’ve made a mess of their own places through bad policies of all stripes, bringing with them identity politics and a personal nastiness you don’t often find on the conservative side, only to begin all over again the ruination of their new environment.
Edina is not the only suburb in the Twin Cities to have suffered a blue locust infestation but it currently is the most dramatic and severe. Culturally and politically, Edina has fallen to the onslaught both because residents weren’t alert to the dangers early on, but also because conservatives there thought that by being accommodating they could blunt the force of the impact.
Politically, Republicans were wiped out in Edina in 2012, losing their state senate and two house seats in one neat execution. As the saying goes, things happen gradually, then all at once.
Culturally, I knew the battle was lost when I read in 2015 that Edina would allow backyard chickens, or as it called them, “residential chickens.” From this beachhead there is no recovery. The official Edina Twitter account’s avatar has a tutti frutti rainbow and the Cultural Marxist slogan “All are welcome here.” Really? Edina has only token Section 8 housing.
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Since then things have gone, as they do, from bad to worse. Edina schools have become national laughingstocks due to their extreme social justice warrior makeover but a Republican led effort to take back the school board failed. Last week, a school board meeting was canceled at the last minute that would have removed one of the two (or three, depending on how you count) Republican members. The crime? One of her social media posts offended the Cultural Marxists. This is but a battle delayed, not won.
Erik Paulsen is on track to lose his seat in Congress. Once this district goes Democrat, there’s little chance of taking it back. Three political tracking groups have moved the race from leans Republican to toss up. Paulsen has little connection to the activist base in CD 3 and by design. Bleating on about human trafficking is seen as leadership by him when in fact it’s ridiculously easy, but also ineffective for his chances in November.
The insular career politician last week was one of only two Republicans in Congress to vote against the “Right to Try” bill, which gives grievously ill people the opportunity to try experimental drugs in a last ditch attempt to save their lives. What kind of person votes against this?
Dario Anselmo, representing House district 49A, is on a similar glide path to defeat but with substantially more panache. Does that lessen the sting of the loss? Anselmo never misses a chance to promote himself alongside Ilhan Omar, CAIR’s successful trojan horse. Has he ever heard of her close friend, Linda Sarsour? Am I the only one with an internet connection and a search engine in Minnesota? He can save himself time by reading my column “United In Hate: Ilhan Omar & Linda Sarsour.”
As with Paulsen, we’re told Anselmo has a tricky district. That may be but so does Jason Lewis, who is in a vastly superior electoral position in a similar environment. Being less Republican, less conservative, is one way to approach such districts but the cold truth is that after too much of that, voters will go for the real thing. Eroding distinctions at the ballot box ultimately doesn’t work for Republicans, especially in Minnesota where the drivers of media and culture are increasingly on the Far Left.
Tweeting pictures of himself with Mayor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis’ Justin Trudeau as a friend of mine calls him, won’t cut it. Trying too hard. At some point, Anselmo has to stand for something, has to offer voters a real choice. Raising the age in Minnesota to buy cigarettes to 21 is Anselmo’s desperate, cost-free analog to Paulsen’s obsession with human trafficking. Neither works.
By positioning himself closer to his opponent than to a real alternative, Anselmo makes it easy for that choice to cut against him. If my measure of the man is correct, he’ll pride himself on the eloquence of his concession speech.
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Blue locusts infest more than Edina, of course. They infect increasingly large areas of Minnesota and with similar, dire consequences. Rural areas are being massaged by earth mothers and aging hippies in order to dilute, hopefully negate, their essentially conservative nature. Left unchecked, this will happen. Is anyone awake to the danger?
Blue locusts also infect states. California is Third World but its residents are fleeing to other states. Too many of them will do in their new states what people fleeing Minneapolis have done to Edina and other suburbs.
Unfettered illegal immigration from Mexico and other Third World countries is the Democrats’ unabashed plan to change the demographic makeup of traditional America in order to win elections. As Ann Coulter has said, if any other attempt to reduce white Americans from historic levels to the present was examined, it would be called genocide. We’re expected not to complain, to acquiesce in this monstrous “fundamental change” to make us Brazil North.
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The lesson, it seems to me, is for other suburbs and locales to hold fast to those local institutions we most take for granted. City councils, school boards and other hyper local bodies provide the first line of defense against blue locusts. Don’t let them get a toehold, an entry point. From there, like the destructive pests that they are, they will go on to do great damage and quickly the ability to reverse their gains will vanish.
It may be too late for Edina. Katherine Kersten columns can factually describe the disease but not save the patient. Too many think otherwise, think shining a spotlight is the same as an effective response. It’s a beginning but with no follow through of substance, it remains a blanket with which we swaddle ourselves, sucking our thumbs as we succumb.
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In addition to Alpha News, John Gilmore is also a contributor to The Hill. He is the founder and executive director of Minnesota Media Monitor.™ He blogs at MinnesotaConservatives.org and is on Twitter under @Shabbosgoy. He can be reached at John@alphanewsmn.com.