If you follow North Dakota politics, then you’ve likely heard about a civil war of sorts playing out in the North Dakota Republican Party. More specifically, that battles are taking place in district reorganization meetings across the state. And that’s true. (Note: By party rules, all of these must be completed by May 15th.)
If you’re one of those not involved in party politics, then you might wonder what all the fuss is about. It’s pretty simple actually. Establishment Republicans currently have the majority on the State Committee of the NDGOP, but the more conservative arm of the party has consistently made gains by electing conservative chairs in certain districts. So, naturally, the establishment feels threatened.
It’s no surprise then that there’s reports of things getting pretty ugly in some areas across the state. Whether it’s ignoring or changing bylaws, not noticing meetings according to the law, making last minute changes to venue, or even shutting out people from observing the proceedings of reorganization; we’re hearing about — and seeing — things that, if true, are an embarrassment to rational people.
What’s truly odd about all this though is the establishment narrative that’s been crafted to explain the reasoning for it all. For example, a certain political blogger and radio talk show host have used their platforms to accuse specific political figures in the state of being the brains behind current efforts to make the party more conservative. Namely— Rep. Rick Becker (R – District 7), former candidate for U.S. House and DPI Superintendent Charles Tuttle, and District 38 Chair Jared Hendrix. (Note: You’ll notice I didn’t name or link to the aforementioned blogger and radio host. That’s intentional. To be quite frank, they don’t deserve the clicks.)
The narrative is so deeply entrenched in the minds of some that you’d think Becker, Tuttle, and Hendrix regularly — and secretly — assemble to plan their next moves. I mean, that Becker guy is the founder of that highly secretive Bastiat Caucus ya know. (Queue the scary music.) It only makes sense that these guys are right there with — oh, heck, I don’t know — maybe the Illuminati or Skull-n-Bones or something. Whatever it is, it’s gotta be pretty bad. After all, an over-hyped blogger and radio personality indicate as much, right?
There’s just one problem with the establishment narrative— it simply isn’t true. Which is exactly why I’m mocking it.
As someone who has a multitude of connections within the conservative uprising we’re seeing, I can tell you the following:
- Rick Becker has literally nothing to do with the district reorganization battles. Zippo. Zilch. Nada. While it’s true that he wants a more principled conservative party — something many have known for nearly a decade — Becker has been hands off. Period.
- On the whole, the extent of Charles Tuttle’s involvement extends little beyond his livestreaming the meetings on Facebook. Like Becker, Tuttle would like a party to match its platform. But the idea he’s coordinating district “takeovers” is ludicrous.
- As a known political organizer, it’s no secret that Jared Hendrix has had somewhat of a hand in the conservative movement. In fact, he’s spoken about it a number of times recently. Including this appearance on Rick Becker’s TV show (13 minute mark). But to suggest he’s somehow the evil mastermind is a bit of an overstatement.
Call the establishment narrative what you will— being misinformed, exaggerating, or downright lying. It makes no difference to me what you settle on. But the reality of it all is this— the efforts to make the Republican Party more conservative is a grassroots movement. A number of North Dakotans are dissatisfied and upset. And they’re demonstrating that by showing up at these meetings.
You see, with all due respect to the three gentlemen I mentioned, there’s not a one of them that could accomplish what we’re seeing across the state. These efforts are being planned and carried out at the local level. And in some cases, they’re highly effective.
This takes a movement. In this case, a grassroots movement. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing. Claims to the contrary are disingenuous, irrational, and perhaps even dishonest. In fact, they might even be a tad insulting. But that’s okay. The more you ignore them, the stronger they’ll get.
How does that old saying go?
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.”
Yeah, that’s the one.
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- Platform & Rules – North Dakota Republican Party (ndgop.org)
- State Committee – North Dakota Republican Party (ndgop.org)
- BEK TV – Live, Local News and Sports, Broadcast Statewide