Amy Klobuchar’s Early Socialist Mentors

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a stop at the Corner Sundry, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Indianola, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Source: Epoch Times, By Trevor Loudon, February 13, 2020

In a recent interview with CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota explained why she’s concerned that Sen. Bernie Sanders may be the Democratic opponent to President Donald Trump: “I am troubled by having a socialist lead our ticket.”

Klobuchar has positioned herself as the “moderate” in the Democratic presidential field. It’s looking increasingly like she will take Joe Biden’s place in the party’s moderate lane. Yet, she herself has a lifelong pattern of radical socialist affiliations. However, unlike Sanders, Klobuchar seems unwilling to tell the voting public about her far-left connections.

Klobuchar grew up with left-leaning parents, but her real political education began in college in the early 1980s.

In her 2015 book, “The Senator Next Door,” Klobuchar writes of her political awaking while studying at Yale:

“My interest in politics and policy really blossomed in college. I was particularly inspired by Yale political science professor Robert Dahl. … Professor Dahl was sometimes described as the dean of American political scientists and his theories about how American politics worked opened a whole new world of ideas for me.”

Dahl was a Marxist and a longtime member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). He was known for essays such as “On The Theory of Democratic Socialism” (1940); “Workers’ Control of Industry and the British Labor Party” (1947); and “Marxism and Free Parties” (1948), a “nuanced critique of Marxist thinking about political parties written on the occasion of the centennial of The Communist Manifesto,” according to a tribute to Dahl by the DSA.

Another Klobuchar favorite at Yale was the equally leftist professor Theodore (Ted) Marmor, a national authority on Medicare.

As she wrote in “A Senator Next Door”:

“The last Yale professor who played a major role in my life was Ted Marmor. I took Ted’s class the “The Politics of Medicare” as a junior. … The following year, Ted took my friend Matt Hamel … and me under his wing. On Sunday evenings, Ted conducted weekly tutorial sessions with just the two of us.”

Marmor was the head of Yale’s Center for Health Services, a member of President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on the National Agenda for the 1980s, and a senior social policy adviser to Walter Mondale in the presidential campaign of 1984.

In February 2001, Marmor appeared on a panel at the Next Agenda conference in Washington.

His co-panelists included The American Prospect co-founder and DSA-aligned socialist Robert Kuttner, DSA-affiliated U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, and Cathy Hurwit from the DSA-led Midwest Academy—an Alinsky-inspired “community organizer” training school based in Chicago.

Circa April 1991, the New York City DSA’s School for Democratic Socialism “explored the health care crisis and socialist alternatives” with Socolar and Linnea Capps of the NYC DSA Health Task Force.

In April 2009, Marmor appeared on a panel, “Defeating the Persistent Assaults on Social Insurance,” with Socolar at the DSA-organized Left Forum conference in New York.

After leaving college and establishing her legal career in Minneapolis, Klobuchar turned her attention to local politics.

She became close to local political identity Donald (Don) M. Fraser—who served as both a Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party member of Congress and as mayor of Minneapolis.

Around 1990, Klobuchar became president of the DFL Education Foundation—a “think tank” that ran independently of the Minnesota DFL—the state affiliate of the Democratic Party.

Fraser was undoubtedly a socialist.

In 1973, Lawrence Birns, from the New School for Social Research and a DSA supporter, DSA founder Michael Harrington, and Rep. Fraser of the House Foreign Relations Committee circulated a petition attacking the anti-communist military government of Chile.

In June 1977, Fraser attended the Second Bureau Meeting of the Socialist International in Rome.

On Oct. 9, 2004, Fraser addressed the DSA Mid-West regional conference in Minneapolis. The event was initiated by the DSA International Commission and the DSA FUND and was co-sponsored by Fraser and Klobuchar’s DFL Education Foundation.

Professor Don Ostrom, president of the DFL Education Foundation, welcomed the panel and the audience on behalf of “Minnesota’s progressive community.”

According to the DSA’s Democratic Left publication:

“Fraser went on to argue that the United States needed to emulate European social programs, especially national health care. He called for a new social compact with expanded job and educational opportunities. He also cited the need for the Democrats to create strong institutions to educate the electorate.”

Klobuchar has described Fraser as her “political mentor.”

When Klobuchar decided to run for Hennepin County (Minnesota) Attorney in 1993, Fraser was there for her.

When Fraser died in June 2019, Klobuchar wrote on Twitter to mark the occasion:

“In my first run for office, Don was a campaign co-chair and took to the podium to introduce me. He was a great public servant but also a mentor to the next generation. He got that his public service didn’t end with him.”

Klobuchar also issued a public statement honoring the life of her friend and mentor:

“The State of Minnesota has lost a true champion for good. Don and Arvonne Fraser were neighbors and friends. Don Fraser was always ahead of his time. As a congressman he fought for the environment and human rights and exposed human rights abuses around the world. … My first job in Democratic politics was as the volunteer executive director of the DFL Education Foundation, a group Don Fraser founded. His mission? Ideas matter in politics. He lived that.”

And clearly those ideas were socialist.

All of Klobuchar’s early political mentors were leftists and socialists. And that pattern would continue.