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Trump’s plump little buddy would be proud.

It looks like Minnesota’s GOP has lifted a page from Kim Jong Un’s Juche election playbook: “When there is only one candidate to vote for, that candidate is quite likely to win.”

Last week it was reported that Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan submitted her party’s list of candidates for Minnesota’s Republican presidential primary. It was a list impressive in its concision. One name: Donald Trump.

Jerome Christenson

Winona Daily News Deputy Editor Jerome Christenson

Now there are three other Republicans of substantive reputation also seeking the White House in 2020: former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh; but Minnesota Republican voters won’t have the opportunity to put a check next to one of those names. Chairwoman Jenny and the Party Presidium decided those names won’t be on the ballot.

And just to be sure no one gets confused on Election Day, there won’t be a line with a checkbox there for any misguided enemies of the people to write in a challenger to the party’s pre-anointed Dear Leader.

Yep, it appears The Donald learned a few things from his pal from Pyongyang and is wasting no time passing them along to his Minnesota apprentice.

And she’s clearly gotten the message. “My job as chairwoman is to make sure we deliver our 10 electoral votes to the president,” she said in an official statement.

Considering she’s formally begun that effort by ensuring that all Republican primary votes will end up in the Trump column by eliminating any ballot alternative is an ominous first step toward that end.

It’s also not how free and open elections are supposed to work.

How many times have you heard it — hurled as a challenge in a barroom argument or a family feud across the dinner table? “If you don’t like how things are run, run for office!”

In America it’s a real shutter-upper because in the United States if any one of us doesn’t like how any one of our elected officials is doing the job we elected them to do, we can step up, speak up, and on Election Day the voters can decide.

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Unless, of course, you’re a Republican voter in Minnesota.

In that case, Jennifer Carnahan and the Republican Politburo has already decided for you.

And if Donald, Jennifer, and the rest of the Republican Commissariat is quite pleased to disenfranchise Republican primary voters, what might they have in mind for the rest of us come the general election in November.

If you can’t keep a candidate away from the ballot, can you keep the ballot away from the voters?

Remember what she said:

“My job as chairwoman is to make sure we deliver our 10 electoral votes to the president.”

And our job as citizens it to make sure that right of each and every one of us to run for office; to challenge incumbents; and cast a ballot for whichever office seeker we deem most suited for the job is protected and preserved.

Otherwise, why bother?

Without a challenger and a choice, it’s not an election; it’s a coup or coronation.

It doesn’t mean much just to set up a ballot box and print up some papers, Don’t forget that Stalin was elected time after time. So was Saddam, a succession of Korean Kims and a certain Mr. Putin (who has no interest whatsoever in our electoral goings-on). It’s also wise to remember when they said they would bury their opponents on Election Day, they weren’t speaking figuratively.

Anything to make sure they delivered the votes.

Anything.

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(1) comment

RENMINBI

Why, Jerome. Are we cross? A tactic straight from your parties playbook apparently is too much to bear? With that said, perhaps impeachment proceedings are necessary for Ms. Carnahan.

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