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Please Talk About Politics This Thanksgiving

Please Talk About Politics This Thanksgiving

MINOT, N.D. — Articles giving you tips on how to handle political discussions with your family have become a holiday season cliche in the news media. The proverbial “crazy uncle” has become a stock character in these annual tip-sheets, and the advice on offer can usually be summed up with “don’t bother.” Except, we do

Commissioners John Strand, left, and Tony Gehrig listen to Desi Fleming of Fargo Cass Public Health talk about wearing masks to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the City Commission meeting Monday, July 27, in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Months Into the Pandemic, Do Our Mayors and Governors Still Need Emergency Powers?

MINOT, N.D. — Earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic descended on us, various executive branch leaders like mayors and governors began to invoke executive powers so that they could make policy to deal with what was, at the time, an emergent situation. The thing about emergency powers is that they’re supposed to be for

Opponents of a mask mandate demonstrate in front of City and County Office Building in Bismarck. The Bismarck City Commission voted to implement a local mask mandate, joining many of North Dakota's larger cities. Kyle Martin / The Forum

There’s Personal Responsibility, and Then There’s Obstinance

MINOT, N.D. — What first attracted me, as a young man, to a generally conservative ideology was the notion of personal responsibility. The idea that overweening, busybody government wasn’t necessary because we are pretty damn good at taking care of ourselves and our communities when left to our own devices. I still believe this to

A digital billboard on Interstate 94 encourages North Dakotans to wear a mask to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. David Samson / The Forum

How Can Journalists and Academics Serve the Public if the Public Doesn’t Trust Them?

MINOT, N.D. — Academia. Entertainment, including the various sports leagues. The news media. These are America’s dominant cultural institutions. They’re also not terribly welcoming places when it comes to right-of-center thinking. More than unwelcoming, they’re often actively hostile. Earlier this year a high-profile football coach almost lost his job because he wore a conservative T-shirt. The newsroom

Gale MCCray, 74, of Fort Worth, Texas, holds his sign protesting President Trump on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at the intersection of Main Avenue and 2nd Street, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Academic Study With North Dakota Connection Concludes That Republicans Promote Violence and Reject Democratic Norms

MINOT, N.D. — I wish it were less true, but the reality of politics is that most people are fine with authoritarianism as long as it’s the right kind of authoritarianism. I was thinking about that truth while reading this Washington Post article about a study from an international team of academics (including North Dakota State University

Maureen Olsen checks her ballot before voting in south Moorhead Tuesday, Nov. 3. W. Scott Olsen / Special to The Forum

Turns Out Republicans Have Little to Fear From Early Voting

MINOT, N.D. — It’s a truism in politics that high voter turnout is bad for Republicans and good for Democrats. Because so many believe that truism is, well, true, Democrats expend endless resources hurling (often exaggerated or flat-out inaccurate) accusations of voter suppression at Republicans. Many Republicans also believe it, feeling obligated to make voting

North Dakota State University student Adam Novack along University Drive early Election Day morning, cheering as a passing car honks in support of President Donald Trump. "I'm getting more honks than anything. It will be a Trump landslide," Novack predicted. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

Tu Quoque, the Appeals to Hypocrisy

MINOT, N.D. — American politics have become a race to the bottom. It doesn’t matter who you blame for it — Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi, Rush Limbaugh or Rachel Maddow — it’s not going to end well for us unless we pump the breaks. Last week, as it became clear that Joe Biden had

A screenshot of a 2014 episode of Chris Berg's "Point of View" television program.

Ex-Heitkamp Staffer Appears to Take Credit for Twitter Suspension of Conservative Fargo Commentator

MINOT, N.D. — Conservative television commentator Chris Berg was suspended from Twitter over the weekend. I wrote about it on Sunday. As I write this, at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9, Berg’s account remains suspended. I spoke with Berg, and he says he’s still received no specifics from Twitter as to why he was suspended,

Heidi Heitkamp, a former U.S. senator for North Dakota, speaks Thursday, Oct. 29, at Koester Farms in Glyndon, Minn. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Heitkamp Should Be in Biden’s Cabinet, but Identity Politics May Keep Her Out

MINOT, N.D. — Heidi Heitkamp’s post-Senate career has been incongruous with the realities of her political accomplishments. For the last two years, she’s been heralded, by national Democrats and the national news media, as an expert on rural Americans and their political issues. A sort of rube whisperer for the progressives, if you will. This

Stop Making Excuses for the Failures of the Democratic-NPL

MINOT, N.D. — Tuesday brought news of yet another ballot drubbing for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. Democrats lost every single statewide race in a landslide Nov. 3 and saw their legislative minorities shrink down to levels not even NDGOP campaign operatives thought were possible. Democrats have seven seats in the Senate. That’s barely enough to field

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