An Honest, Heartfelt Plea to Gov. Tim Walz

The Honorable Tim Walz
Governor of Minnesota
130 State Capitol
75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN  55155

Dear Gov. Walz:

I am writing today to make a serious request. 

Can you please, Sir, grant me the title of “Honorary Minnesotan”?

I’m asking as your long-suffering, pitiable progressive neighbor. 

An explanation is in order.

I am a North Dakotan, born and raised. Lived here all my 52 years. That’s a tough row to hoe for any progressive, but especially one who can see a much more inviting, enlightened place just by stepping out his front door and looking east. 

As you know, North Dakota is as deep red as a state can get. The pervasive ways of thinking are cringeworthy almost all the time when you believe in equity, environmental justice and welcoming for everyone regardless of economic situation, race, sexual orientation or gender identity. But every two years, when the state legislature meets, the cringe factor rockets up to 11. The forehead palm plant becomes progressives’ go-to reaction for several months.

What convenes in the state capitol in Bismarck amounts to a disturbing three-ring circus where the only feats of humanity come in the form of people twisting logic so hard it rips and unravels like an old rag soaked in bleach overnight. 

It would take days, weeks even, to provide all the examples of ridiculous legislation members have introduced over the years. 

Graphic of where IV Words Blog is located on the border of ND/Minnesota

This is, after all, a body that once debated at length which soil type should be designated the state soil. Then, a couple of years ago, Republicans tried to make it legal to drive over peaceful protestors who happen to be on roadways. This year, they want to bar transgender kids from athletics, get rid of seatbelt requirements for people 18 and over, toss anyone who helps a woman get an abortion into prison and allow schools to post the 10 Commandments again.

As my grandparents used to say – Yours, as well, Sir? – Oy vey!

The perennial favorites are there, too, like making it easier to buy, carry and conceal guns. Always with the guns. 

Actually, it’s “God, guns and gays,” as a friend of mine often refers to the state GOP’s priorities. Lots of the first two and none of the latter, or just about anything that isn’t white and straight but still backwards.

For example:

Yesterday your counterpart, Gov. Doug Burgum, went on CNN to discuss his decision to end the mask mandate that has reduced coronavirus infection rates so effectively that the state moved from #1 in the nation for infections per capita to somewhere near the bottom of the list of states. Host Brianna Keilar repeatedly asked him what science he relied on in deciding to end the mandate; Burgum “dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged,” but didn’t produce a reasonable response.

Basically what the governor said was now that we know what to do to slow the spread, we’re not going to do it anymore. What more can you expect from the party of covidiotacracy, whose representatives have introduced a bill that would make it illegal for any city or county to implement a mask mandate to protect its citizens?

Point is, things are not going to get any better over here any time soon, and my current circumstances make moving impossible. Meanwhile, I look longingly east toward my Minnesota neighbors who, admittedly, are not the most progressive in the world, but you folks are lightyears ahead of the vast majority of North Dakotans.

(Fake) Certificate of Honorary Minnesotazenship
This is all I need.

That’s why I’m begging you to fulfill my long-held dream of Minnesotazenship, even if it’s only symbolic. I long to be one of you, if in name only.

Categorize me as a political asylum seeker if necessary, for in truth, Sir, that’s what I am.

Geographically speaking, honorary Minnesotazenship wouldn’t be all that much of a stretch, anyway. My community – Fargo-Moorhead – already has a Minnesota town in its name, after all. And speaking of state soil, I’ve practically got one foot on Minnesota’s already. My house is less than a mile from the Red River that forms our border. Heck, I can practically spit on Minnesota from here.

Not that I would ever besmirch your (our?) beautiful Minnesota in such a manner. Nooooo Sir.

Plus, you’ve got the Minnesota Lynx, the Guthrie Theater and Charlie’s Café in Freeport.  

I don’t want any state benefits, breaks on my parks passes or anything like that, either. It’s just that, when anyone asks where I’m from, I want to be able to say, “I’m an honorary Minnesotan,” and leave it at that.

Photo of Charlie's Cafe in Freeport, Minnesota
Freeport, Minnesota – “The City With A Smile”

I understand if you’re reticent about setting a precedent. Granting me honorary Minnesotazenship could open the floodgates to hundreds more North Dakota progressives. Make that dozens… Or a few. Yeah, a few… let’s go with that.

Regardless, I’ll keep it between us. 

Just for my own edification, though, is there any chance your staff could print up an “Honorary Minnesotan” certificate to hang out in the garage? 

Yah, sure! (Just kidding!)

Thank you in advance, Governor. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Your (hopefully) Honorary Servant,

Martin C. Fredricks IV 

PS – In case you were wondering, “Williams” is the N.D. state soil. Minnesotans’ (our?) “Loam” is clearly superior.

MCFIV copyright graphic 2021 - black

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Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), proud introvert, veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, and big-time reader. As they say, if you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff. A ginger, too - ergo the "Red" - although some of it's going white. Cinnamon-Sugar, I call it. Tattooed to boot; seven so far. At age 54, I'm stilling crankin' AC/DC & Metallica, but now and again I spin some Eric Church and Black Uhuru, too. I love hanging out with my (much) better half, spending time with our kids, writing, hiking, riding my mountain bike and reading.

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