The Paul Wellstone Anti-Eulogy

posted 10/25/03

I just don't get it. I didn't understand, a year ago, what the big fuss about Senator Paul Wellstone was, and I still don't understand it now, a year after his untimely and politically convenient death in a plane crash in a snowy forest in northern Minnesota.
Since his death, the man has been turned into some sort of saint by the immature, naive activist-wannabe college students of Minnesota. It annoys me immensely... Politically, he wasn't anything special - a loud-mouthed, outspoken liberal, sure, but the world is full of them, many with more charisma, political acumen, or hair than Wellstone. Personally, he was, I am led to understand, an awful father, a man with a fragile temper, and an unrepentant rascist. Why is everyone so eager to remember him as something he wasn't?
Because, I think, if there was one thing Wellstone did well, it was pander to the lowest common denominator, generate artificial appeal to the common low- and middle-class of Minnesota. His spin doctors and media controllers did masterful jobs of making Wellstone appear as a caring, approachable, ordinary Joe who really cared, but it was, to a large extent, a sham.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is eventually found that there was nothing "accidental" about the "accident" that claimed Wellstone's (among others) life. Trying to play politics with the big boys is a dangerous pursuit, as Wellstone may have discovered a year ago.
Let's not forget, if we're going to be forced to recall the crash year after year, that it also ended the life of Senator Wellstone's daughter Marcia... a neurotic, mentally- and emotionally-unstable woman unable to sustain a job or a relationship, and who seemed, at least at times, very resentful of her father and his influence. Having had the misfortune of having her for a teacher years ago, during her brief flirtation with a career in education, I do not miss her, nor, I expect, do many of her other former pupils.
Paul Wellstone is dead. He died at a politically convenient time, a year ago. Most of what he seemed to stand for was a sham, a carefully manipulated media image. Let him go. The unhealthy, rosy-glasses obsession people have with him is nauseating; not as bad, thankfully, as those who "can't let go" to 11 September 2001, but similar. Move on. Learn to think for yourself... and get a clue!


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