Port: The tough reality for Doug Burgum is that it’s Donald Trump’s race to lose


MINOT, N.D. — “How do you win a party primary when the litmus test of what it means to be a member of that party in good standing is displaying blind allegiance to one of your opponents?” asks columnist Nick Catoggio.

It’s the confounding dilemma facing Gov. Doug Burgum and every other candidate seeking the GOP’s presidential nomination for 2024, and it’s not a top-down problem. This is a bottom-up problem. Vast factions of the Republican base have a durable sort of loyalty to Donald Trump, either out of cult-like devotion to him or an obstinate refusal to acknowledge that the disgraced former president is what his critics say he is.

Democracy is premised on the idea that voters, in the aggregate, will make sound decisions. But what if the electorate, or at least a large enough swath to swing an election, behaves irrationally? As in, they’re lining up to elect a man who has demonstrated contempt for democratic processes?

Who has cultivated ties with political extremists?

Who was twice impeached during his first term and is currently under two criminal indictments, one of which is a federal charge for stockpiling national secrets in the bathroom at his golf club, an action that could have put our clandestine services, our military, and our intelligence-sharing relationship with our allies at risk?

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