Caryn Sullivan: Friday Food for Thought

Do you remember how Joe Biden hung out in his basement during the 2020 election? It was such a successful strategy Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is following suit.

Friday Food for Thought
Caryn Sullivan

With traditional values under siege, it often feels like we’re living in an inside out, upside down world, where right is wrong, and left is right, and those who speak up are shut down.

Friday Food for Thought will offer readers news to chew on over the weekend. Share it with your friends. Share it with your family. Get informed about the issues. Vote in November. 

Basement campaign deja vu

Do you remember how Joe Biden hung out in his basement during the 2020 election? It was such a successful strategy Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is following suit. Flush with cash from wealthy donors in and out of Minnesota, Walz is calculating he has more to lose than to gain by debating challenger Dr. Scott Jensen again. Though they debated at FarmFest, he won’t commit to debating Jensen in traditional venues such as the upcoming State Fair.  Jensen reports that Walz might participate in a debate, though not with an audience of voters. Hmm. Why don’t you want to face your constituents, governor?

COVID retrospective

After more than two years of creating and revising life-altering policies that turned America inside out, impacting relationships at work, home, school, church, and in the community, the CDC has determined it needs a reboot. Apparently, Director Rochelle Walensky recognized the obvious — the agency’s plodding response has not only been ineffective, but it’s also destroyed the CDC’s credibility.

Meanwhile, in the real world, though the CDC has dropped most of its recommendations regarding distancing, masking, testing, and vaccines, schools around the country are still requiring some of the measures. This is particularly problematic in cities like Washington, D.C., where a large percentage of children of color are unvaccinated.

Though it appears Minnesota schools will open without draconian measures, it’s worth remembering how Minnesota leaders responded to an admittedly novel virus — in case we find ourselves in another crisis.

Family members died without saying goodbye to loved ones. Businesses went under. Health care workers and national guardsmen who adopted a “my body my choice” approach to vaccines lost jobs which were important not only to them and their families, but also to society as a whole.

Gov. Walz spent $6 million of taxpayer dollars to purchase a morgue to house the tens of thousands of COVID corpses he predicted, though numbers fell far short of the panic-inducing prediction.

Did you know there was a snitch line? Yes, here in the land of Minnesota nice, we were encouraged to report people we believed were violating social distancing guidelines. And people did. It feels a bit like raiding a former president’s home … Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore….

Though this would be a perfect time for Dr. Anthony Fauci to ride into the sunset, he’s enjoying the spotlight a bit too much. In a recent interview, Fauci discussed a COVID-generated phenomenon that bears his name. The video is worth its weight in gold, so take a moment to check it out.

The always humble, highly paid, unelected bureaucrat explained to his audience that “The Fauci effect” (an uptick in medical school applications) is a response to living in a time when “untruths and lies have become normalized.” People are craving consistency, integrity, truth, and people caring for people … and that’s what he believes he delivered. Geez, I thought the Fauci effect was that people have lost confidence in our public health and elected officials.

Back to school could mean back to work 

As I noted in a column earlier this week, school districts are scrambling to hire special education and classroom teachers, not to mention bus drivers and aides. If you’d like to pick up some extra cash (and get a birds-eye view of what’s transpiring in our schools) some districts have bumped up the pay for substitute teachers. But make sure to wear your flak jacket, for kids are not behaving well.

Backing the Blue 

University of Minnesota parents, frustrated by the lack of response to crime on and around campus, formed Campus Safety Coalition. In addition to bringing forth an agenda with action steps, the group has leased two billboards to express much-deserved gratitude and support to a dwindling, but essential, group of professionals who continue to be under siege.

Have a chill weekend. Just 80 days until the midterm election.


Caryn Sullivan

A retired attorney and author of the award-winning memoir, "Bitter or Better: Grappling With Life on the Op-Ed Page," Caryn Sullivan has inspired readers with her thoughtful commentary for the past two decades. To learn more about Caryn’s work or to connect, visit