Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Behold, the Dreamer Cometh

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Behold, the Dreamer Cometh

Article excerpt

Paul Wellstone showed us that politics "by the people, for the people" is actually possible.

A FEW WEEKS after the October 2002 plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife, Sheila, their daughter, Marcia, and five others, a Lutheran confirmation class visiting D.C. from Minnesota decided to stop by Wellstones office to pay their respects. As the group went through security at the Senate office building, one of the students-who had worked on the senator's re-election campaign and was still wearing a Wellstone button-set offthe metal detector. The officer took her to the side to wand her. As he was checking her, the guard said, "Not one other senator in this place knows my name; Paul Wellstone knew my kid's name." He and the student hugged each other, and both started weeping.

Paul Wellstone touched people's lives in profound ways, mostly because he genuinely sought to live a life of integrity, in both public and personal matters. He once advised, "Never separate the life you live from the words you speak," and those who knew him best said he honestly tried to follow that advice. (A Midwest political observer said the Right never knew what to do with Wellstone, because he lived "conservative values" at home while working for progres-sive change in the public sphere. …

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