Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

The Embarrassment of Political Theater


When I was young the “grown-ups” would study candidates, learning about their views and how they’d vote if they were elected. Now we have the misfortune of having the court’s jesters paraded out on stage and encouraged to be as outlandish as possible to get attention and votes.

I’m not saying there hasn’t always been a certain amount of mudslinging and horse trading amongst candidates and delegates. If you think politics in this country was ever like that you’re more of a Pollyanna than I. Certainly there is a time and a place for calling-out someone when you disagree with the way they voted or handled things.

But at what point did we abandon common sense and a shred of decency for political theater?

My guess is that it happened somewhere around the same time as when the news stopped delivering the news. It is practically impossible to find a source for straight, unbiased current events. Every channel has a slant and political viewpoint. Most stations seem unapologetic and downright brazen.

TV Anchors no longer deliver the news, they’re reporting stories from a perspective that they want you to share. It is pointed. It is shameful. We’ve turned away from having the news delivered to us in a way that we can have a discussion and form our own opinions.

Now we get persuasive sound-bites on social media.

When I was growing up people didn’t wear their political opinions on their sleeves. Those opinions (like religion) were not discussed in polite company. In fact, one time my mother wouldn’t even tell me who she voted for; she claimed voting was a personal, sacred, duty. Now it’s hard not to know how people think. Politics and government have become a polarizing and divisive topic.

Shame on us, America.

So to all of the candidates, regardless of party affiliation, how about a return to reality? Whatever level of office you seek, it’s up to you to get your message across. We don’t care about your height or what size gloves you wear. Tell me how you’ll lead our country.

We all deserve reality, not a reality show.


How to Win a Presidential Election

Newseum Animals IP

We already have a negative ad running in northern Minnesota; yes, it has begun, election season.  It’s no surprise that people are speculating who will be in the Presidential candidate pool.  I saw an interview with The Donald and it was an eye-opener.  He said that if he opts to run for President, he is willing to spend whatever it takes to win.  Trump is worth about $10B, yikes.

So, in the spirit of playing nice and on the behalf of all Americans, let me lay out a positive plan to help you win the election.


  • Make a monetary commitment to do good in all 50 states
    • Instead of the attack ads on TV and radio that people hate, or printed mailers that people throw immediately into the trash, invest your funds proportionately amongst the 50 states
  • To discover how to spend that money, make a time commitment in each state of 2-3 weeks
    • Hold town-hall meetings
    • Meet with those who work with the poor and homeless—understand their needs and how you can help them
    • Meet with those in local governments—what are their desperate issues being ignored
    • Meet with the business community—what can you do to help them expand and hire more people
    • Meet with teachers, not administrators, and find out how you can help them—set up some scholarships
    • Meet with medical professionals—how can you increase access to doctors in rural areas
  • Come up with a platform that focuses on the real issues of our country, let’s give the social issues a break just for a while and really fix the economy and the population here
    • Put your platform online and try to maintain an electronic presence that doesn’t waste paper
    • Communicate personally as much as possible instead of passing everything off to staffers
    • Don’t just tell us what you want to do, tell us how you’ll actually accomplish these things and what the realistic timeline would be
  • If you’re using your own money, skip the major parties and run as an Independent.  You’ll have more control over your platform and your actions when you’re not beholden to delegates and social issues.
  • Make a commitment to help stock food banks.  Rather than buying centerpieces for events, use decorative baskets on each table filled with non-perishable food to be donated after the event.  Insert hats, mittens, and scarves in cold-weather states to be donated, too.

Decorated Tables IP

Romney and Obama each spent nearly a billion dollars in 2012—think of what could’ve been accomplished by putting 30-40 million into each state.  Trump could multiply this fivefold.  And a lack of political attack ads; priceless.

Reach Out and Touch ’em All!

Roxanne Wilmes and Norm Coleman Duluth, MN

Roxanne Wilmes and U.S. Senator Norm Coleman in Duluth, MN

Do you give much thought to politics after the election hoopla has passed?  If you’re like most people the answer is probably no.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  But sometimes there are causes or events that you want to bring forward and get them attention.  At Wilmes Hospitality we are pretty involved in Minnesota politics.  We have sat in on sessions, testified, and even managed a campaign.  Next month we will attend Hospitality Days at the Capitol in St. Paul, something we truly look forward to doing each year. 

There are a number of issues that are meaningful to our company and our Fresh Air Lodging® program.  But we also want to make our opinions known on issues that pertain to lodging and business in general.  The one-on-one time we get to spend with our state’s leaders is great, and they are an especially captive audience that day. 

If you have issues that you’d like to discuss with your local, state, or even national elected officials, here are my top five methods: 

1.       Email.  It doesn’t take much to figure out your legislator’s email address.  Even if he/she only glances at it, chances are it will be read more closely by a staffer and handled appropriately.

2.      Phone.  Office numbers are usually listed online as well.  Sometimes you can even get these in a special section of your phone book; if you still have one of those lying around!

3.      In person.  In Minnesota we have certain days for residents of a city to visit, for example Duluth Days at the Capitol.  If your state doesn’t do that, make an appointment and go on your own.

4.      Letter to the Editor.  This may seem like a rather indirect way to get your point across to a legislator, but believe me, they are made aware of letters in which they are mentioned.

5.      Comment on their website.  A quick Google search will most likely return a website just for your particular person of interest.  Sign in and comment.  Just be prepared for others to respond.

Where to start?  Find your cause, and your officials, and take the first step.  Try  You’ll most likely find everything you need at this site.  You don’t have to be a political junkie like me, but it’s easy to get hooked!  Good luck!