MINOT, N.D. — “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” is an old saw often used in political discourse, usually falsely attributed to British philosopher Edmund Burke.
Burke didn’t actually say it , but whatever the provenance, there’s truth in the sentiment.
When I was the first to report the homophobic slurs and white supremacists tropes in a Telegram messaging group organized by the North Dakota Young Republicans, by people who were unapologetic it , the worst part of the story, outside of the bigotry itself, was all the people in the group who were silent about it.
Two sitting Republican lawmakers, a half-dozen or so Republican legislative candidates, at least two NDGOP district chairs, and many prominent political activists were in that group posting news updates and organizing campaign activities among the bigoted posts, and they did nothing about it.
They didn’t speak up. They didn’t challenge the slurs. They didn’t object to the bigotry.