God's Politics

God's Politics


Senator Tim Mathern: Red State Passes Peace Resolution

posted by gp_intern

I’ve been told that some Americans can’t find North Dakota on the map. We can be considered backward (like some of the folks in the movie Fargo), which is untrue. Our state legislature recently passed North Dakota’s own Peace Resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 4022), a progressive piece of legislation that has thrived in this red state. The resolution calls for the pursuit of peace in Iraq and Afghanistan. It voices support for our troops, urging their return – with or without a successful conclusion of their efforts.

The secrets to our success:

1) Public opinion in North Dakota disapproves of the escalation of war in Iraq.
2) The resolution had bipartisan sponsorship.
3) North Dakota’s peace community rallied around the resolution with all of their force and grace.
4) The military community was welcomed as an ally in the mutual goal of supporting our troops.

Some of my colleagues argued that the language could have been stronger. Yes, the resolution could have set a timeline for withdrawal or addressed specific foreign policy. I am pleased with the outcome of this process, however. We made it as challenging as we could for risk-averse legislators to vote their conscience and their hope – peace in the Middle East.

In my 20 years as a senator, I have never heard the word peace with such frequency in the legislative halls. This is better than a good start. In the Peace Garden state, this may be the least that we will do.

Tim Mathern is a North Dakota state senator and attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government when Jim Wallis taught a class there in 2000.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 23, 2007 at 6:27 pm


Thank you for that encouraging and hopeful news. We can only hope and pray that the madness of this war will end. Peace.



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Mike Hayes

posted April 23, 2007 at 8:58 pm


http://www.ndpeace.org/action/scr4022/text/final.html contains the wording of the resolution, which was approved by the two chambers. In part, it “…urges Congress and the President to continue to pursue peace in Iraq and Afghanistan…”. Well done!



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Wolverine

posted April 24, 2007 at 3:15 pm


I read the resolution, and what it looks like is a compromise that says little other than that we hope to see peace in Afghanistan and Iraq. When and how this is to be achieved is a whole other question. I would have said that this is equivalent to a resolution in favor of puppies, but that’s not necessarily right. It may also represent a commitment to acknowledge shared ideals and to debate means in a civilized fashion. The original resolution explicitly called for a withdrawal of troops. That was removed in the final version. What you have is a call for the President and congress to continue to pursue peace. How can one “continue” to pursue peace when (according to most progressive sources) one never sought peace in the first place? But at least North Dakota is in favor of peace. Woo-hoo. Pardon me, but this does not look to me like a great progressive victory. It looks more like a graceful conservative majority allowing progressives to save face. Wolverine



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Donny

posted April 24, 2007 at 3:57 pm


As long as this generation of Americans are cowards willing to run away from violence instead of eliminating it, the Middle East will always be a murderous part of earth. Also, if Islam is not going to be confronted as a violent and totalitarian belief system of subjugation and murder of non-Mulsims, North Dakota and the rest of the (un) United States, will be voting in Sharia Law at the point of an AK-47 some time soon in the future. What is it about “who and what” is responsible for the violence and war in the Middle East escapes this new generation of Americans? Self-loathing is stupidity more than anything else.



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splinterlog

posted April 24, 2007 at 9:09 pm


Donny can I try too! :) ahem ahem…. This nation of pagan gaia worshipers care more about the inanimate earth than they do about the life-giving military. This materialistic postmodern generation better understands that they will reap what they sow. (shoot, I’m not half as good asyou are but with practice I think I’ll get there)



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Carl Copas

posted April 24, 2007 at 10:21 pm


Wolverine: “Pardon me, but this does not look to me like a great progressive victory. It looks more like a graceful conservative majority allowing progressives to save face.” Agreed Wolverine. It’s awfully weak, esp. when compared to the original resolution introduced.



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splinterlog

posted April 24, 2007 at 10:38 pm


It looks more like a graceful conservative majority allowing progressives to save face. On the contrary – it looks to me like the first flints chipped away from conservative bigotry over the war. Too little too late to be sure, but at least it’s something. I still hope that some day these war criminals will be brought to justice!



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Carl Copas

posted April 25, 2007 at 12:15 am


Splinterlog, I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.



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c kitty

posted April 25, 2007 at 4:53 am


Wolverine, please tell us when the conservatives became concerned about saving progressive’s face? If you are right, it would certainly signal a sharp turn in conservative action. More likely, it’s about conservatives trying to rid themselves of the war-monger reputation.



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Paul

posted April 25, 2007 at 5:13 am

splinterlog

posted April 25, 2007 at 5:10 pm


Paul – I think Hitch is grasping at straws now. Poor fellow – he really goofed on this one!



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Wolverine

posted April 25, 2007 at 5:23 pm


splinterlog, To the contrary: I think what Hitch is saying is very plausible. Dictatorships have been known to collapse from within. Sometimes an ideology is so daft that all the secret police in the world cannot force the public to pretend they believe in it. Was Baathism at that point? I have my doubts about that, but its a fair question to ask. Wolverine



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Carl Copas

posted April 25, 2007 at 7:06 pm


Hitch lurches to and fro so much anymore (likely due in part to the quart or so of liquor he puts away daily), that it’s hard to take him seriously. He still can be darned funny, tho.



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Eric

posted April 25, 2007 at 9:59 pm


I really don’t see this as any big deal. Who doesn’t want peace in Iraq and Afghanistan (other than the terrorists, insurgents, and others committing the bombings)? Did anyone vote against this? This isn’t some bold strike for peace in a “red” state (ND elects two Dem Senators and a Dem. to the House, so it’s not quite as red as some think), it’s a wishy washy resolution that no one could possibly oppose. No offense to Sen. Mathern, who I am sure is a good man. Did the Senator actually take the class taught by Wallis at KSG? Just wondering why this was mentioned…



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Paul

posted April 26, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Senator Tim Mathern

posted April 27, 2007 at 8:59 pm


Good to see the comments. Before the resolution was introduced we were dealing with a conspriacy of silence. Questioning the war was considered unpatriotic or unsupportive of the soldiers, so many just remainded silent. The resolution made it OK to raise questions. I wish we could have done more, each of us will need to figure out ways to do that.



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