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The Consummate Politician (S1, B1)

Summary Notes

Season 1, Bonus Episode 1

Date of Release: July 3, 2022


Welcome to Simply Vanished, an investigative podcast about missing persons. The show is produced by Trembling Leaf Media in Minneapolis and hosted by civil rights lawyer Josh Newville. Alternating between serial and episodic format, Simply Vanished digs deep to tell the stories of unsolved disappearances. In this first season of the show, Josh dives into a story that hits especially close to home for him—that of Joshua Guimond, a college student at Saint John’s University in Minnesota who disappeared in the middle of the night on Saturday, November 9, 2002.


This bonus episode is a reading of a political autobiography written by Guimond in late 2001. As we undertake our investigation into his disappearance, this provides us with invaluable insight into Guimond's life history, world views, and hopes and dreams. 


Please rate the show and subscribe on Apple podcasts, and download the Simply Vanished app! You can find more information and resources on our website.


If you have any information about Joshua Guimond, please contact us or the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department. You can submit tips anonymously on our website or via our tip line at 415-969-LOST (5678).


Josh Newville:              Welcome to the very first bonus episode of Simply Vanished, a serial investigative podcast focused on missing persons in the U.S. and Canada. I’m your host, Josh Newville. I'm recording--on this Independence Day--from my in-laws' property in Northern Minnesota. You might hear some birds and chickens behind me. 


Each season of our show is dedicated to a single, unresolved case. And our first season covers the November 2002 disappearance of Joshua Cheney Guimond, a 20-year-old college student who mysteriously vanished in the middle of the night from a private men’s college in rural Minnesota. 


Josh was a political science major, and on November 15, 2001, as part of a class assignment, he sat down at his computer and began writing a political autobiography. The metadata from the Microsoft Word file shows that Josh went on to spend more than six hours drafting the document. Over time, he saved 11 different revisions. 


The result is 5800 words of stunning insight into Josh’s life history, world views, and his long-term hopes and dreams.


Because it provides invaluable context as we move forward with our investigation into Josh’s disappearance, today’s bonus episode is a reading of the autobiography. 


But first, I need to express my sincerest gratitude for the tips that we’re continuing to receive at our voicemail box and through our website at I am extremely happy to report that the tips are helping. We are beginning to learn valuable information that we would never know without your help. 


Please, keep talking about Josh and encouraging folks to come forward. If we continue working together, there is a very good chance that this case might be solved before Josh will have been missing for longer than he was alive at the time of his disappearance. 


Here’s my friend William, with the thoughtful and reflective words of Josh Guimond.

Josh Guimond (read aloud by William):              Who am I?  Why am I here?  What is politics?  How does it all fit together?  I will attempt to answer these questions while writing on my favorite subject: me.  Seriously though, all of these questions are very tough to answer, but I will do my best to shed some light on them.  My name is Joshua Cheney Guimond and this is my political life.

I come from a small, lower middle class family from Redwood Falls, Minnesota, in the southwestern part of the state.  I was born the only child in 1982 to my parents, Brian and Lisa.  We lived in a small house in town for the first three years of my life before we moved closer to the Twin Cities.  While we lived in Redwood Falls, my father worked as a landscape laborer, and my mother worked as a parts assembler at a medical parts factory.  In 1986, my father got a job with Dundee Nursery in Plymouth, Minnesota, so we had to mover closer to the Cities.  At first, we moved in with my Aunt and Uncle Paul and Lin in Brooklyn Park for about six months while my parents looked for a house.  In that time my mother worked as a research and development technician with a company that produced medical parts (catheters and such) in Plymouth as well.  When I turned four years old, we bought a house in Maple Lake, Minnesota, which is where I have lived ever since.  In 1992, my parents were separated and subsequently divorced.  They each retained joint physical custody of me until I graduated high school and turned eighteen, which meant they both had to live in Maple Lake until then.  


A person meeting me for the first time might be struck with how much of a political person I am.  They would probably be surprised then to find out that my parents are rather indifferent when it comes to politics.  My father, in particular, is an interesting character when it comes to politics.  Nothing any politician does is ever good enough, according to my father.  He surely does not identify with either of the two big political parties.  His political views are rather limited in the respect that he doesn’t really take a stand on the big issues out there, but the views he does have generally tend to be conservative.  Dad is pro gun owner’s rights and he’s not a big fan of big government.  


He has these views because he was born and raised in a rural part of southwest Minnesota, which is mainly agricultural.  All his life he was an avid hunter, trapper and outdoorsman, who very much believes in individual freedoms.  A person would think that he would tend to vote conservative, but not in Dad’s case.  He’s not afraid at all to be radical.  For instance, during the 1992 presidential election, Dad was one of Ross Perot’s biggest supporters.  He hated Bush for the taxes; Clinton for obvious reasons, but he really bought into Perot’s ideas.  Dad was really disappointed when it became apparent that Perot had no chance in winning, so I asked him, “Then why are you going to bother to vote?”  I was eleven years old at the time, and I only somewhat understood how politics and voting worked.  I really didn’t understand why he would bother wasting his time voting for a loser.  The answer that he gave me really stuck with me and taught me an important lesson.  He replied, “Well if I don’t vote, then I can’t complain about what the other guy does when he gets in office.”  Dad taught me an important lesson: you have to participate in politics because it affects your life either way.  However, if you do not take the time to participate, then you have no right to complain when things do not go your way.  In my mind, that is the best reason to overcome the free rider problem when it comes to voting.  From that moment on, I vowed to always vote and I always have.  


My mother is also an interesting character, politically.  She does not really identify with any parties, even though her stepmother was a Republican and a State Representative.  She has always had the philosophy that people should not vote strictly on party lines; rather that a person should evaluate each candidate for their personal views, agendas, and so forth.  Mom and Dad both felt this way, although they never talked about for whom they were going to vote or why they were going to vote for them.  Because of my parents’ views on voting, I have never identified myself with any party, although I tend to have more conservative views.  I have never voted for a candidate without knowing what they stand for and certainly have never voted along party lines.  I do, however, have a very rich political history that was not directly shaped by my parents. It all began when I was about five years old.  


My first memory of any political action on my part came during the 1988 presidential election.  I was five years old at the time and in kindergarten.  We had a mock election in my kindergarten class to see who we’d vote for president. The choices were simple: George Bush or Michael Dukakis.  Of course, at that time, I had absolutely no idea who either of those two men were, and I couldn’t even read their names.  However I did see the red, white, and blue animals that were right next to each picture of the candidates.  I saw the donkey and voted for it; I was the only person in my entire class that ended up voting for Dukakis.  I felt a little embarrassed, but I stuck to my position (well, as much of a position I could have at the time).  


The next memory I have of politics and I was when I was in first grade and I wrote a letter to President Bush.  My parents were a bit surprised, yet supportive, that I wanted to write the president a letter out of the blue.  I do not remember exactly what compelled me to do so, but I really thought it was important that he knew he had my support.   I wrote him about how I thought he was doing a great job and about how I would like to visit him someday in the Whitehouse.  Imagine my excitement when I actually got a response back from the Whitehouse.  I had my mom read it to me about a hundred times.  I felt so important that the President would actually take the time to write me back.  Even when I realized it was not the President who wrote me back, I still thought it was really cool.  


Also, throughout elementary school, I had several heroes who I really admired that were political figures.  Thomas Jefferson was one of my biggest heroes because he wrote the Declaration of Independence.  I always admired him for the way in which he spoke so eloquently.  William Howard Taft was another big hero of mine because he served as President and also as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  I admired him for his love of justice and his staunch jurisprudence, a quality that I strive to posses.  Closer to home, though, another of my heroes and also a major influence of my life was my Grandma Vickerman.


One of the biggest political influences in my life was my Grandma Vickerman.  She wasn’t actually my grandma; she was my Godmother.  However the point remains the same.  Grandma Vickerman was an incredible person:  a wise woman, a kind grandma, and a consummate politician.  She served in the Minnesota State House of Representatives from 1992 until her untimely death in 1997.  Grandma Vickerman represented District 22a, Redwood County, where I am from originally.  She was a staunch Republican and had an elephant figurine collection that numbered in the hundreds.  I learned many valuable lessons about politics and about life from Grandma Vickerman.  She had to overcome many obstacles in order to become elected.  Back in the 70’s and 80’s, Grandma owned a Hallmark Gift Shop in downtown Redwood Falls.  She was an active member of the Commerce Board and other civic organizations.  Several times throughout those years she ran for mayor of Redwood; however, the electorate made it clear they did not want a woman as their mayor.  I was very young when Grandma Vickerman lost her mayoral election, and I could not understand why the people would not elect her.  Not until later did I understand that it was because she was a woman, and that infuriated me.  Not only because she was my grandma, but also because I did not see how a person’s gender should factor into how well that person can fulfill the office for which they are running.  I imagine that idea actually stems back to my parents’ view on not voting along party lines and looking at each individual candidate and their agenda, rather than at such superficial things as their gender.   


Grandma Vickerman did not let that get her down though; instead, she raised her sights from mayor to Representative.  She had always been a Republican and had supported the party locally for many years.  She knew that anyone running for State office in her district under the Republican banner was guaranteed a victory.  However, her family wasn’t the picture perfect conservative family: two of her sons were homosexuals and her daughter was addicted to cocaine.  In my view, I did not believe that Grandma’s family should enter into peoples’ minds when they vote, but I still knew it might.  I gained a real respect for Grandma Vickerman for still running for office despite her problematic children.  She had a real intense desire to get elected, go to Saint Paul, and start shaping policies that would really help people out.  She wasn’t afraid of what people might say about her during the campaign because she knew she was the right person for the job.  I learned from her that if a person has a really intense drive to accomplish something, despite all odds, they have a duty and a responsibility to themselves to go for it. 


Grandma Vickerman worked past these liabilities because she believed that she could really serve her constituents better than anyone else.  She was right, and the electorate agreed and so she was on her way to St. Paul.  While a Representative, Grandma was on the Health and Human Services Committee as well as others.  However, her main goal was to help people make better lives for themselves.  But she did not try to do so by directly helping them in the sense of holding their hands, she wanted to more enable people to help themselves.  The best way she thought people could help themselves was through education.  Grandma Vickerman was one of the largest supporters, that the House had at that time, of making quality education available to everyone.  Her avidness for education really shaped my views and not only inspired me to get as much out of it as I could, but also to help try to make it available to everyone else too.   I enjoyed visiting her at her office in the Capitol and watching her debate on the House floor and in committee.  Grandma Vickerman taught me an awful lot about politics and government, but more than anything else, she inspired me to make it my goal to someday run for office and continue her ideals of helping people.  


Unfortunately, in 1996 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and died in 1997 after a nine-month battle.  Grandma died while in office, and her funeral was attended by many of her colleagues.  It was very tough on my mother and myself, especially.  I remember after the funeral when I was back at home I looked at a book of the Nation’s Capitol Grandma had given me on one of her trips to Washington D.C., and started to flip through it.  I realized that I had never actually opened it yet, and a letter fell out from one of the pages.  It was written on Grandma’s stationary from the Capitol, and it talked about how glad she was that I had spent some time with her at the Capitol and how proud she was that I was taking a keen interest in politics.  She signed it “Love Grandma V.”  At that moment, I knew that one of my goals was to go back to that House as a Representative and serve my constituents just like Grandma did.  I still have that book and that letter, along with some of Grandma’s most prized elephant figurines that I keep on my desk as a reminder.


Grandma Vickerman was not my only connection to the House of Representatives.  In February of 1999, I earned a spot as one of the Minnesota State House of Representatives Junior Pages.  I got to spend an entire week staying in St. Paul and working on the House floor as a page.  It was an enlightening experience.  I gained a real insight as to the inner-workings of State politics and how business is really conducted on the House floor.  The trip was bittersweet, however, because I was working in the same chamber and with the same people that my Grandma had been with less than two years earlier.  I really wish I could have served along with her; it would have been an honor.  Fate didn’t have that in store for me.  


Some of my duties as a page were working the House floor during sessions, working committees when there was no session, and re-numbering Senate bills that were moving over to the House.  Throughout the trip, I met with important people such as the Governor, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the Secretary of State, and several of the Justices of the Supreme Court.  My favorite part of that experience, besides meeting all of the “big wigs”, was when we would have Mock Committee meetings and when we would be on the House Floor paging.  In the mock committee we had, I was elected the Chair, and we debated school vouchers.  I felt so at home sitting at the head of the committee table with the gavel in my hand debating with my fellow pages.  It felt better than the feeling a baseball player gets when they feel the ball go off their bat as they hit a double.  Beyond that, when the House was in session and I was sitting at the page bench, just watching the real legislators debate and make legislation made me know that I someday would be in their seats.  After my paging experience, my goal to someday be a Representative myself was cemented.


The other major political influence in my life is my grandpa Short.  He’s not actually that short, that’s just his last name.  I’ve learned many, many things directly from him and by paying close attention to his career.  My grandpa is the County Commissioner from District 5 in Redwood County.  He’s also a delegate for NACo (the National Association of Counties) and the current Vice President of AMC (the Association of Minnesota Counties).  Aside from that, my grandma Short and he owned a small grocery store in the town of Belview, MN.  When I was younger, Grandpa tried diligently to somehow either include me in as many of the political actions as he could or at least explain to me what and why he was doing them.  I can remember sitting in on County Board meetings when I was twelve years old and learning how money is appropriated and how parliamentary procedure worked.  


I also learned a lot about campaigning.  I used to work at my grandparent’s grocery store every summer for at least two or more weeks.  While I was working, I would listen Grandpa talk to his constituents about what was going on and what they would like to see happen.  I got to attend political rallies and functions where I saw how political people interact and give each other their support. During the actual campaigns I would get to hand out buttons and put up yard signs for supporters.  Grandpa’s slogan was “I won’t sell you Short”, it was an effective slogan so I took some of the credit for it.  From observing grandpa Short, I learned a few things about getting into office.  First, I learned that a person must be able to talk to and relate to their constituents.  Otherwise, why would that person want to represent those constituents if they had nothing in common?  Also, a person always has to have a jovial demeanor when dealing with constituents.  I can remember several occasions when an angry constituent would come into the store and start yelling at Grandpa, and he would calm them using kindness and wit and eventually smooth things over.  One might call it a “gift for gab,” but I learned that it is essential in a politician.


In 1996, I went to the Capitol with Grandpa Short and testified in front of the House Agriculture Committee to a bill that was written by Grandpa and introduced into the House by Representative Roger Cooper from Bird Island.  The bill was asking for a $100,000 grant from the State to fund the installation of a pilot methane digester at a cattle ranch in Isanti County.  It worked by collecting the waste from the livestock which is normally kept in a lagoon.  The bill was funding a test mechanism that covered the lagoons and extracted the methane from the waste.  It then used the methane as fuel to generate electricity that could be used on the farm.  The reason grandpa Short was so interested in this pilot program was because Redwood County had a high population of cattle, swine, and poultry farms.  Grandpa was hoping to use the pilot project in Isanti County as an example for the farmers in Redwood County to follow.   One of the people testifying with us that day was a former county commissioner from Gettysburg, PA named Richard Weybright.  He used the same type of methane digesters on his cattle farm in Pennsylvania and was good friends with my Grandpa through NACo.  They got together and dreamed up the idea of moving those digesters to Minnesota, but state funds were necessary in order to initiate the project.  


Our big day had come to testify before the committee and I was excited.  I sat there at the witness table while the men gave their speeches and fielded questions from the Representatives when, suddenly, the chair of the committee asked me what I thought.  I looked around at the committee for a brief moment, watched everyone’s faces, all with their eyes on me, and finally replied, “I think it’s a good deal!”  The whole committee burst out into laughter and I noticed I was the center of attention.  I was really honored that House Agriculture Committee gave a thirteen year old kid a chance to give his opinion on a piece of legislation.  The bill passed the committee with no dissenters and I’m proud to say that it passed the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Carlson.  


Working with all those elected officials and being a part of making legislation that would affect many people was the most gratifying thing I had done in my life up until that point.  I knew that I was now directly involved in making legislation that would affect the state in a positive way.  I also knew that it was possible for anyone be involved, that a person does not have to come from a certain background or have a certain amount of money in order to be a part of the government.  After all, they let a thirteen-year-old kid from Redwood Falls testify before a real committee.  That just reaffirmed my desire to have a future in politics.


I also learned the negative side of politics from my Grandpa Short.  In 1997, the Redwood County Board gave consent for the State to build a hog feedlot in Redwood County.  The vote was four in favor, zero against, and one abstaining.  Grandpa was the vote that abstained because the County attorney informed him that there was a potential conflict of interest because of a planning and zoning committee Grandpa was a member of with the city of Belview.  Needless to say, the vote passed and a feedlot was constructed in Grandpa’s district about three-quarters of a mile from my grandparent’s house.  Here is where the ugly side comes in.  The people of Belview were outraged that Grandpa had abstained from voting because they did not want a feedlot constructed anywhere near their town.  The town folks in Belview, for the most part, were retired farmers and in their later years.  The most involved in politics they normally got was writing letters to their congressman urging support for Medicare and Social Security.  However, in this instance, they took particular interest in what Grandpa had done, and they were not happy at all.  Grandpa tried to explain the situation he faced and how he could not have voted, and if he had how it would have passed anyway.  Nonetheless, the people of Belview wouldn’t listen and wanted revenge.  They stopped shopping at my grandparent’s grocery store and started a campaign to vote Grandpa out of office.  To my surprise, they were almost successful.  While Grandpa ended up winning the election, he lost in his own township.  Even though he won the election, the town still got its revenge.  Because nobody would shop in their grocery store due to the feedlot issues, my grandparents were forced to sell it.  Grandpa did everything he could to placate the angry constituents, but nothing he said would get through to them.  


From this incident I learned that people, for the most part and at least in this instance, are generally ignorant of what policies policymakers make.  However, as soon as something happens that they do not like, they want accountability, whether it is properly placed or not.  Fortunately though, relations between my grandparents and their constituents have begun to settle down and people are starting to forget why they were so mad at Grandpa.  He was recently reelected with no opposition.  I learned that in politics, no matter at what level, no matter how good your intentions may be, the wrath of the electorate can befall a person at any time.  The electorate is fickle and that is something that just has to be dealt with.


Throughout high school I was deeply involved in school and city politics.  I was elected as the Vice President of our Student Council at my high school for four years.  The reason I always ran for Vice-President was because according to our Constitution, the Vice-President was the student representative on the School Board, a position I thought more important than all the rest.  One of the reasons I valued being on the School Board was the experience.  I learned a lot about budgeting and how elected officials interact on a level smaller than state government.  Also, at the time I served on the School Board, my school was going through a budget crisis.  We were at our worst point when I was a junior and immediate and large budget cuts were needed to help remedy the situation.  I remember spending countless hours debating and listening to debate on what cuts to make and how much to cut.  At first I didn’t know how decisions were going to be made about what to cut, but I expected a rational conversation on each proposal and then a vote.  My perception was far from the reality that took place.  There was not much rational debate, but rather in-fighting.  It was a valuable experience because I learned a lot about factions and coalition building.  The board consisted of nine members, not all which had children attending school.  I learned the ways in which they made deals and debated each other; the same went for Student Council.  Every time we hosted a school dance, everyone wanted to do it a different way.  People built coalitions by making compromises and banding votes together.  


I never really did like the way in which both of these bodies, the School Board and Student Council, used coalition building to pass legislation because it always seemed to me that nothing they ever did was really in the public interest; more in the interest of whatever faction obtained enough votes to pass what they wanted.  For instance, in Student Council, whenever we voted on whether or not to have a teacher appreciation breakfast, if more of the older students made it, the vote would pass, if more of the younger students, it would not pass; either way, the teachers deserved it.  Until then, I had always believed that legislation was passed always in the public interest after rational debate, however I learned that it is really a very delicate balance between coalition building and compromise.  


School dances were what got me involved in city politics.  My junior year, we wanted to be able to have a grade seven through twelve dance that lasted until 11:30 p.m. on a Friday night for Valentines Day.  When we approached the school administration school about doing so, they said that we couldn’t have the dance that late because of the city curfew.  In Maple Lake, the curfew at the time mandated all kids sixteen and under had to be off the streets by 11 p.m.  Since we wanted to have the younger grades at the dance, we would only be able to have the dance until 10:30 p.m. according to the administration.  We didn’t normally have grades seven and eight at the senior high dances.  However, having two dances for one holiday is a logistical nightmare, which is what we were trying to avoid by having them together.  I knew that senior high attendance at the dance would drop significantly if we were not able to have it past 11 p.m., so I decided to look into the city’s curfew ordinance.  


I needed some help to give my investigation some direction, so I turned to the City Attorney and my Mock Trial coach, Nate Bissonette.  Nate helped me learn how to interpret our current ordinance and what to do in order to change it.  I obtained a copy of the ordinance and I also called the city offices of the neighboring town to get copies of their ordinances so I could compare them to ours.  When I received them all, I noticed that some had a clause in them directly addressing the issue of high school dances and allowing younger people to be out a little later on those occasions.  I then proceeded to call the city office and have my name put on the next meeting’s agenda, so I could present a proposal to the council.  In the mean time, I drafted a new curfew ordinance based on the others that I had seen with an exception for high school dances.  


The night of the city council meeting had finally arrived and I was ready to present my new proposal.  After the meeting had been called to order and the minutes had been approved, the council proceeded to hear from some people on planning and zoning before it was my turn.  I anxiously waited and rehearsed my presentation in my head.  Finally, it was my turn to speak, and the Mayor announced my name and said that I had something to say about the curfew.  I took my place at the podium, and explained who I was and why I was there.  I gave about a fifteen-minute presentation explaining my problem and the research I had done and how I planned to resolve it.  I employed all of the things I had learned from grandpa Short about how to talk to people in my presentation.  


When I was through with my presentation, I opened up for any questions from the council, and the Mayor was the first to speak up.  He told me that when he had seen my name in the agenda, he thought that I would just be some kid complaining about the curfew and how impressed he was with my presentation.  The rest of the council joined in his praise and I was quite flattered.  After answering some questions, my ordinance was officially accepted by the council for consideration and subsequently adopted by the council.  I had actually changed an ordinance in my hometown!  From the mayor’s comments and from the lessons from my grandparents, I learned that in order to be successful in politics, a person must first really believe in what they are doing, and second, they must know how to present their ideas in a way that will convince others to support their position.  Because of my efforts, we were able to have the Valentines Day dance as planned, and future Student Councils would no longer have to worry about encountering the same problem.  Also, because of my ordinance change my neighbors and my friend’s parents were suddenly congratulating me.  Suddenly, people were taking an interest in what I was planning on doing in my future and encouraging me to follow the path that leads to a political future.


Another passion of mine throughout high school was Mock Trial.  I had always been interested in law and Mock Trial was the perfect program to help develop that interest.  I started the program when I was a sophomore.  To be honest, at first, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was hoping that it would be like my favorite movie, A Few Good Men.  Then I met our attorney coach, Nate Bissonette, who graduated from Saint John’s University in the early 1980’s.  He taught me a lot about the law, about how it is interpreted, used, and most importantly, how to make an argument.  Mock Trial was the perfect forum for me to learn the art of argument and debate, and I excelled.  After leaving high school and going to college, I continued being active in Mock Trial and still feel that it is an invaluable part of my education.  I feel just as much at home as much in a courtroom as I do in a committee room.  I believe that law and politics are closely related, and I want to be involved in both fields when I graduate, because they affect how people live their everyday lives and I really believe that I can effectively make laws (and argue them) in order to make peoples’ everyday lives better.  I also learned a lot about the justice system in America and all of the good bad things that are associated with it.  


My political views have changed since I have come to college.  That is not to say that all my views are consistent, because the truth of the matter is, I have not yet figured them all out.  I have been influenced, however, by my new friends and colleagues here at Saint John’s.  My background suggests that I come from a relatively conservative family, and when I came to Saint John’s, I found other people that shared in those same conservative views.  For instance, the CSB/SJU Mock Trial team, of which I am a Co-Captain, is a very conservative group of people.  But as I meet more people and take more classes, I find myself questioning some of my conservative views and seeing the liberal side of many issues in a new light.  After all, this is a liberal arts institution.


A case in point would be my views on capitalism.  Before I came to Saint John’s, I was a staunch, conservative capitalist.  I firmly believed in the goals and ideals of capitalism and dismissed any arguments against it as being nothing but communist propaganda.  However, now that I have been exposed more to other ways of viewing capitalism, reading more about other ways of governing, and looking at wider variety of issues never posed to me before, I am beginning to realize that there are many faults in it.  I can attribute these changing views to being exposed to more perspectives.  There are many views that I had before going to Saint John’s that I still have, and in some cases strengthened, for instance, my commitment to education.  Simply by attending Saint John’s, I am fulfilling a promise to myself that I made because of my grandma Vickerman.


I have always known that politics will be in my future and that is one of the reasons I went to Saint John’s University.  My plan is to graduate from here and attend law school.  While in law school I plan on taking a four year course that includes a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy.  By that time I think that I’ll be more than prepared to enter a life of law and politics.  I want to practice law, but I’m not positively sure in what capacity quite yet.  I want to practice law because I want the opportunity to pursue justice.  I deeply believe in the sanctity of the justice system that is in place in the United States today, although, there are countless problem that are associated with it.  I’m confident that I could help to correct it.  I also want to be elected into office right here in Minnesota.  I definitely want to be a part of the legislature and then just go wherever that takes me.  If I am elected to the legislature, I could accomplish many good things for the citizens of the State of Minnesota.  At the top of my list of priorities is definitely education, making it better and more accessible to more and more people.  I believe that I may someday be in a position to help many people through politics by using what I’ve learned from my parents, my schooling, my grandparents, my personal experiences, my experiences at Saint John’s, and my own reasoning and principles.


Who am I?  Why am I here?  What is politics?  How does it all fit together?  I believe, based on what I’ve learned throughout my life and my experiences, that politics is people working and interacting together for some common good or purpose.  I am a political person because I have worked with others and plan to continue to work with others in order to help people better their lives.  I am here at Saint John’s in order to arm myself with the necessary tools I’ll need to accomplish my goals.  How it all fits together, I believe, will not be revealed until after I have graduated and start to accomplish the goals I have set forth for myself.  However, I will make the assurance that I will do my absolute best with the knowledge and skills I have and will learn in order to accomplish these goals.


Daniel Gunnarsson:            (singing "The Rivers Told Me Lies")

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