The Politicians Blame Each Other, but Anti-Masking Sentiment Starts With Individuals


MINOT, N.D. — Campaign politics is the art of taking complex problems and boiling them down to simplistic talking points so that they can be blamed on your opponent.

Witness Shelley Lenz, the Democratic-NPL gubernatorial candidate, making her opponent, incumbent Republican Doug Burgum, the villain in North Dakota’s October surge in the spread of COVID-19.

“His crybaby approach isn’t working,” she told the Bismarck Tribune. “I think his tears are real but that’s not what we need in a leader. He’s putting the blame on businesses and individuals. ”

The message to the electorate? The coronavirus cure is voting Democrat.

The “crybaby” stuff is an unfortunate foray into Trumpian politics for the typically more good-natured Lenz, even if she did temper the taunt by saying she believes Burgum’s displays of emotion are genuine.

For this column, what’s more important is Lenz’s insistence that Burgum, and not individual North Dakotans, are to blame for the spread of coronavirus.

That may be good politics; it’s not reality.

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