Nelson-Pallmeyer gives idealists a voice

By Tim Becker & Elyse Gordon

Never before have we felt empowered by a political candidate like we have been by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. On Feb. 28, Jack came to Macalester to hold a pre-convention question and answer session. Most of the audience was older community members, and we were disappointed that students so poorly attended this event, because to us Jack seems like the perfect representative for Macalester. Fortunately, there were many more students representing Jack as delegates on Saturday’s Senate District Convention. He has made a lifelong commitment to social justice and working in conflict resolution as a professor of Justice and Peace Studies at St. Thomas. Above all, his holistic yet concrete vision for reclaiming politics in our country set him apart from the other candidates.

Jack is the only candidate running for Senate who has opposed the war in Iraq in writing and in speech from the beginning. He is the only candidate who has openly called for cutting military spending to better meet domestic needs, and the only one who has made global climate change and a new “green economy” at the top of his priorities.

In addition, Jack approaches politics from a grassroots perspective. No politician since Paul Wellstone has invigorated and inspired so many Minnesotans. His campaign unites people working towards different goals, by showing how these goals are interrelated. Jack is striving to bring about a common good for Minnesota, the country and the world.

When asked which committees he would want to serve on when elected, Jack replied that any committee offers an opportunity to enact just and beneficial policies. Any committee offers a chance to push policies towards substantive, real outcomes, rather than incremental change that sustains inequitable and destructive systems.

As the convention approaches, and potential delegates are choosing the candidates, many have asked Jack, “Sure, but can you beat Norm Coleman?” None of the candidates for the DFL nomination have held elected office, so you cannot fault Jack for that. However, Jack has set himself apart the debates, winning all fifteen and showing that he is certainly intelligent and articulate enough to beat Coleman. You may not have heard much about Jack, because the media has ignored him. The Star Tribune has refused to publish any information about the success of his campaign. However, his performance in the debates and word of mouth have made his campaign the fastest growing of the three candidates.

Jack deserves all of our attention-particularly at this college-because of his political style and philosophy. He makes the most cynical, apathetic student feel like there are real solutions to the problems of the world, and he gives the idealist a voice in mainstream politics and a vision of a movement-based politics.

We urge you, as the Macalester community, to endorse, contribute, or volunteer for Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. His political platform and his life experiences truly embody the ideals that we have learned to embrace at Macalester College.

For more information about Jack’s life and the issues he cares about visit