Saturday, January 18, 2014

The people's man!

                                         (credit: mnhs.org)

 

 In very general terms, I talked a tad bit of shit about Minnesota's "greatest" governor Floyd B. Olson in CounterPunch a couple weeks ago (see post below). Somewhat surprisingly (I assumed most people thought of Olson as the name of a highway), I received a few emails, in state and out, informing me I pretty much had no clue what I was talking about. True, if you compare Olson to Mark Dayton (who I find likable), he comes off as a scary Bolshevik. But that's hardly a correct comparison. Olson was governor when labor was at the peak of both its consciousness and political power. In that context, he was more like a brake than a spearhead. He was a check on power. (He threw labor leaders in jail during the '34 Teamster Strike while business leaders were literally killing people on the streets for god's sake.) I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given Minnesota's bizarre compulsion to turn politicians into faultless martyrs. (Cough, Wellstone, cough.)

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