Iron Range becomes ‘living political meme’ in 2020 race

Heidi Holtan, Chuck Marohn and Aaron Brown create “Dig Deep.” 

As I’ve written already, the Iron Range finds itself at the center of the 2020 campaign these days. This happened mostly because of the attention being paid to us by President Trump. But does Trump really have all the answers for the Range or is this just part of a symbolic gambit in his “turn the clock back” ethos?

That was part of the discussion in our recent episodes of “Dig Deep” on Northern Community Radio. Chuck Marohn and I talked about the Iron Range as a “living political meme” in one episode. Then we talked about human behavior in response to political reporting and polling. These were interesting chats. Check them out.

The president returned to the White House this week after his COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization last week. I’m glad he’s alive. And yet, I see no change in his reckless attitude about the pandemic or his tendency toward misinformation and politicization of the topic.

I read with interest this David Siders report from Politico, “Trump’s last rally: a catalog of worst pandemic practices.” The last rally Trump held before his diagnosis occurred right here in northern Minnesota. Pictures of Trump speaking at the Duluth airport clearly show a man much more tired than he was in Bemidji the previous week. Droplets fly from his mouth as he addressed the packed crowd of unmasked supporters. I get that not everyone shares my opinion of Trump. But we’ll always be connected to this strange moment in history.

Also, check out my latest commentary for the Minnesota Reformer. It’s called “Talkin’ Iron Range turnin’ red blues.” I write a love letter to this place and briefly explore the region’s current moment of political fame.

Less than four weeks remain before the election. Who knows what comes next. Me, I hope for less bloviation and more book writing.


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