Port: Government should solve problems, not create them


MINOT, N.D. — An unfortunate side effect of culture war politics is that we spend much time fighting over problems that don’t exist.

Allow me to illustrate this point with a couple of recent examples.

In Bismarck, state Rep. Brandon Prichard, a Trumpy Republican just a couple of years removed from high school, decided that a pressing problem in North Dakota was a scourge of drag shows. This juvenescent politician, a self-styled conservative, decided that people weren’t capable of making their own choices when it came to drag shows and introduced House Bill 1333 which, in its original form, would have effectively outlawed them.

Not because they pose any threat to the public but because Prichard and his ilk don’t like them. Nothing says “limited-government conservative” like imposing your entertainment preferences on others.

But it turns out we have this little thing called the First Amendment, which allows for free expression and peaceful assembly without interference from the government. A law nearly identical to what Prichard introduced has been struck down in Tennessee . Now the state Senate, seeing the writing on the law, has watered down Prichard’s proposal.

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