How a Crown Royal Bag Became a Rorschach Test in North Dakota Politics


MINOT, N.D. — Rep. Wayne Trottier, a Republican from Cavalier, is a long-time state lawmaker.

He’s a grandfather and a veteran and perhaps the quintessential small-town North Dakotan.

Probably not someone you’d bet on finding internet stardom, but then he put used a velvety purple Crown Royal bag as a face mask on the floor of the House and the image, particularly the one published on the front page of the Bismarck Tribune, became a bit of a sensation.

How folks reacted to this image is something or a Rorschach test for North Dakota politics.

Many of the reactions I saw, particularly among right-leaning North Dakotans, amounted to a chuckle at a moment of levity coming when we haven’t had a lot to laugh about.

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