In the weeks leading up to the North Dakota Republican Party’s (NDGOP) recent state convention, U.S. Senate candidate Rick Becker drew a clear distinction between himself and incumbent Senator John Hoeven. A summary of this can still be found on Becker’s website.
As you can see, when it comes to issues on the whole, Senator Hoeven just doesn’t score well with a variety of conservative organizations. In other words, he’s not really conservative— regardless of his claims to the contrary.
Knowing that Becker had nailed him on specifics, Hoeven was pretty much helpless when it came to addressing his votes that proved Becker was telling the truth. As a result, he did about the only thing he could do given the circumstances— he doubled down on what he called “the issues that matter to North Dakota”. This is best illustrated by the handout below, which he distributed to delegates at the convention.
While there’s a discussion to be had about some of the very issues listed above, for the purpose of this article, let’s take them at face value. What this handout represents is something a number of politicians in North Dakota use to continue being elected. And for too long, we’ve fallen for it— election after election.
John Hoeven and other establishment figures in our state know very well that if they stray too far on these issues it would not be long and they’d probably have to put “former” in front of whatever office they hold. While I think this speaks well in terms of the core values of our people, we must expect more.
You see, if these issues are the extent of what’s important to voters, then there’s a host of other issues that can become very problematic. For example, you’ll notice spending is nowhere to be found on the list. Why? Well, in the aforementioned case of Hoeven, he’s a big spender. Whether it is the Democrats’ $1 Trillion infrastructure package — that he joined Senator Kevin Cramer and 17 other Republicans in voting for — or a number of other spending bills, the temptation was just too much. Politicians like these are no friend to the taxpayer.
Our Republican supermajority state legislature isn’t really great either. Oh sure, they’ll balance the budget — something they’re required to do — and then brag about it. But it doesn’t actually make them conservative— in spite of what they tell you.
Ignoring these kinds of realities has left us — and the generations to follow — with massive national debt. More than $30.3 Trillion at the time of this writing. At the state level, we could eliminate income tax and property tax— and still be spending more than we did over a decade ago. We can do so much better.
There’s certainly other issues worthy of mentioning as well; privacy rights, property rights, free markets, energy, a broken public education system, etc.
Unfortunately, certain political pundits in North Dakota — and the big government political establishment they defend — now recognize the danger of voters waking up to these realities. They see it as a threat to their power— which it is. But rather than engage on the issues, they’ve taken to name-calling instead. After all, epithets like “right-wingers”, “extremists”, “cranks”, and “culture warriors” are easier to sling around than having any kind of meaningful conversation.
There are too many people, in too many places, that have ignored too many issues for way too long. If we are to turn this state — and the country at large — around, we must do better. Big government got us into the mess we’re in. It’s not going to get us out. We must demand better of those elected to represent us. And when they don’t do better, we must replace them with those who will.
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- Those Who Didn’t Want NDGOP Convention Shouldn’t Have Planned It – The Minuteman Blog
- Candidate Comparison – Senator John Hoeven vs Dr. Rick Becker | Rick Becker for US Senate (rickbecker2022.com)
- Which Republican Senators Voted For The Infrastructure Bill? : NPR
- Sen. John Hoeven | ACU Ratings (conservative.org)
- 2020-ratings-copy-3-.pdf (ntu.org)
- NDGOP’s Bragging About a Balanced Budget is Embarrassing – The Minuteman Blog
- Balancing North Dakota’s Budget Doesn’t Make You “Conservative” – The Minuteman Blog
- U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time (usdebtclock.org)
- Tax & Spend- The Floor Speech Every North Dakotan Should Hear – The Minuteman Blog