G.W. Carlson on Paul Wellstone

Paul Wellstone
Paul Wellstone (1944-2002) – U.S. Senate

As many of you know, today marks the 10th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-MN), his wife and daughter, three campaign workers, and two pilots. In celebration of Wellstone’s life and legacy, our own professor emeritus G.W. Carlson posted an essay recalling the “moral liberalism” of Wellstone and its implications for today.

A sample:

One of the major reasons people of faith could find Wellstone attractive was his commitment to a “moral liberalism”….

The starting premise is that “moral liberalism” can be located in the prophetic teachings of the Old Testament, the life and ministry of Christ, and the “radical discipleship” characteristics of the Early Church.

GW then quotes from a 1998 interview Wellstone gave to the Jewish magazine Tikkun:

Well, when I speak about the need to provide every child with a decent education including the pre-school preparation for kindergarten that some children get and others do not or to provide every citizen with decent quality health care, I don’t think I’m talking only about economics, this is a politics of values. Sure, this is about economic opportunity, but it’s also a call for our community to be our best selves by identifying with our highest values. I’ve spoken to union workers about what I call “the new isolationism” in America, an isolationism not in foreign affairs but in human affairs. It used to be that we would understand of those most downtrodden that “there but for the grace of God go I.” But today we are told we must face all our problems by ourselves. Basically, the refrain of this society has become: “You are on your own.”

Read the full essay here.

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