Posted May 9, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.”
– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish dramatist
“How’s your mom doing?”
According to current Minnesota Senator Al Franken, this was a typical question he would hear when meeting the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone. Perhaps that one piece of information, shared by Al Franken after Paul Wellstone died in a 2002 plane crash in northern Minnesota, conveys more about who the late senator was than any other.
Why write about a man who died a dozen years ago? Because the kind of man who lived his life in such a way that he asked questions like “How’s your mom doing?” is worth remembering. Not only because Paul Wellstone was a compassionate, caring person – but because James Fetzer makes a convincing argument that he was the victim of political assassination – is there a real need to make as many people as possible aware of the realities that face persons who stand up against immorality, criminality, and destructive political operatives.
Paul Wellstone was born in Washington, D. C. on July 21, 1944, received both a bachelor’s and Ph.D in Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, then became a professor at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. A FBI file began on him after getting arrested in 1970 during protests against the Vietnam War. He remained politically active while at Carleton College when, in the late 1970s, the college Board of Trustees fired him for his activism and lack of professional, published papers.
Because Paul Wellstone was very popular with students, his students staged a sit-in resulting in the Board of Trustees’ rehiring him and granting him tenure. His students’ appreciation of his teaching style adds another reason for remembering Paul Wellstone – readers may want to imagine how many former teachers they would have participated in a sit-in to protect in a similar situation – because in all probability he told his students the rare truth.
How many can remember those, if any, teachers who affected them in profound ways by daring to explain reality on Earth? Without any research into what his former students’ experiences were while sitting in his lectures, one would be reasonably certain that Paul Wellstone provided astonishing and perceived-by-students as other-worldly information that rarely gets discussed in university lecture halls. Quite simply, he was that one-in-a-million college professor who told his students the truth.
Was Paul Wellstone’s complete dedication to truth the reason he was assassinated?
He ran against incumbent Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz in 1990 as a decided underdog, yet won the race by a small margin. Boschwitz was the only incumbent U.S. senator not to become re-elected. He was one of eight senators to vote against the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, now widely recognized as the catalyst that unleashed unregulated destruction of the economy and the crash of 2007-8. It has been argued – and James Fetzer among other researchers into the death of Paul Wellstone have made conclusive arguments – that his vote against congressional authorization for the War in Iraq on October 11, 2002, after which he told his wife Sheila “I just cost myself the election”, resulted in his assassination.
His feeling that opposition to a war on Iraq would cost him the election against Republican Norm Coleman was understandable based on Americans’ falling for the lies coming out of the mouths of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell etc. on Saddam Hussein’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and involvement with events on September 11, 2001 and the World Trade Center. Although understandably Paul Wellstone felt he was going to lose to Coleman, in the weeks between his vote against on October 11, 2002 and his murder on October 25, 2002, he was actually gaining according to polls.
The U.S. Senate, in regard to Bush administration plans to invade Iraq, was in a position to prevent Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell etc. from starting the war campaign. Norm Coleman’s victory would help Bush and Cheney get enough votes in the senate to begin military escalation or “shock and awe.” After Paul Wellstone’s death Norm Coleman won over Minnesota’s former Vice-President under Jimmy Carter – Walter Mondale, and the Iraq War, arguably the worst foreign policy decision in U.S. history, unleashed death and destruction rivaling the equally disastrous Vietnam War.
Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila, his daughter Marcie, the plane’s two pilots, Wellstone’s driver, and two campaign staffers lost their lives – their bodies burnt to ashes.
Political assassination is typically perceived by Americans as something that only happens outside the borders of the United States, but on October 25, 2002 Paul Wellstone joined Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy and others murdered by forces inside America. For students of philosophy, religion, or spirituality, political assassination is next to impossible to explain and come to grips with.
Wellstone, King, the Kennedys, Lincoln plus other Americans – along with those well-known, lesser-known, and unknown men and women who became victims of assassination in regions around the world – all knew what severe risks were present if they continued to act in accord with their convictions. What was it that led to their decisions to act even though aware that extreme potential harm could come their way by doing so? Would it be safe to say that all those who sacrificed their very lives had one common denominator? And how can it be described?
Each man or woman has a variety of qualities, perceptions, and unique life experiences gained through the human walk from birth to death – for some a shorter, for some longer in the quantity of years – which become the basis for thoughts, words, and actions. Depending on those unique life experiences, some think about, speak about, and act on issues which affect a small number of Earth’s people. Some become involved in activities which result in negative or positive consequences for larger groups.
The men and women who have become victims of assassination are those who have nearest approached ideas, words, and deeds which are of a universal nature – they are men and women who wanted to literally help create a new and better world for present and future generations. Martin Luther King spoke about these things: “If man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” Dr. King died because he discovered unconditional love and said, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality.”
Unarmed truth and unconditional love. Who believes, along with Martin Luther King, that these will have the final say in reality on this Earth? They are men and women who – consciously but without complete knowing of the ultimate mystery of creation, perhaps only to be experienced after taking one’s final breath – have become willing to walk toward a new and better world, free from war, greed, and lust for power, approaching step by step, closer and closer, on the good path leading to a reality where truth and love is the basis for all human actions.
So, what benefit can be realized in May 2014 when remembering Paul Wellstone and those who have made the supreme sacrifice in the cause of building a new world? The better-known, lesser-known, and unknown? The answer to that question is a greater and more thorough understanding that time between birth and death is most well spent giving to others, then receiving from others – love.
One can recognize those who have chosen love over hate, coöperation over conflict, kindness over malevolence, gentle words over argument, help over harm, generosity over selfishness, and peace over war. One recognizes the spiritual power behind their spoken words.
Words like “How’s your mom doing?”
(Thanks to Apofissdocu44 at YouTube)