If it wasn’t obvious North Dakota is a “Red” state the 2016 Primary should be a firm reminder. Voter turnout was about 120,000 and in each statewide race Republican candidates received overwhelming majority support; about 85% average. This isn’t so much of a surprise as it is an embarrassment. Even if the people of North Dakota have similar values their political choices should include more diversity than this. To clarify, when I say ‘diversity’ I mean diversity of intellectual thought; not race or sex, although that wouldn’t hurt either.
It seems this Primary season has been focused on one race in particular; the race for Governor. Surprisingly, Doug Burgum, the wealthy businessman and entrepreneur, has defeated establishment Republican, Wayne Stenehjem by a large margin (20 points). Although Doug Burgum has been said to have spent heftily on his campaign the voters of North Dakota have chosen him as their “Conservative” candidate for Governor. With this one race it may seem the people of North Dakota are starting to question the status quo of the Red state but there is a long way to go. Doug Burgum has taken down one Good ol’ Boy but there are plenty left. The “real” election cycle starts now.
After seeing the overwhelming support for the Republican Party candidates in the Primary it’s frustrating for anyone who’s paying close attention to current events and issues faced by North Dakota and the United States. Perhaps the dominance of Republican voters was specifically due to the Burgum/Stenehjem race since voters could not vote outside party lines (which makes absolutely no sense). If a North Dakota voter wanted to cast their vote for Doug Burgum for Governor and, say, Libertarian Candidate for House, Jack Seaman, or Democrat candidate for State Treasurer, Tim Mathern, they were legally refrained from doing so. How are the voters of North Dakota supposed to elect “leaders” who they support when they literally aren’t allowed to vote their conscious? The question answers itself.
Also, it’s clear that many voters of North Dakota are not even researching individual candidates and are instead voting for political parties alone. To gain support of the public, Republican candidates mention their adherence to the Constitution; their support for free-markets; their support for the troops; their North Dakota values; their Christian faith, and other empty statements. These are all respectable claims but one needs more than just say these things; they need to act accordingly and North Dakota Republicans have consistently failed to do so. Establishment Republicans have continuously supported legislation that isn’t authorized by the Constitution, damages free market processes, and sends Military men and women into unnecessary conflicts around the world; all cases which are directly opposed to so-called “Conservative values”.
On the other side of the aisle, many North Dakota Democrat party candidates haven’t said much of anything. The typical talking points for Democratic candidates have been income inequality, climate change, terrible Republican leadership, and racism inspired by the Trump Presidential campaign. Like Republicans, Democrats, while having sincere intentions, bring up these “issues” without having a solid understanding of what causes them or how they can be “solved”. Also like Republicans, Democrats put full faith in government action to solve the problems of the world and are completely unwilling to acknowledge that it is government action itself that is almost always the direct cause of the problems faced by individual citizens. More government is never the answer.
Neither major party seems interested in discussing real imminent problems faced by North Dakota and the rest of the United States. Issues that should be addressed include, but are not limited to:
- Unsustainable national debt (which will surpass 20 Trillion by the end of Obama’s term
- Total public debt approximately 250 Trillion including unfunded liabilities (Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, government pensions, etc.)
- Imminent/ Occurring Economic Depression
- Destabilizing economic order
- Increased vulnerability of International Monetary and Financial Systems
- Threatening financial stability for Millions
- Expansive U.S. Military operations around the world
- Killing innocent civilians
- Creating global anti-Americanism
- Bankrupting U.S. taxpayers
- Destabilization of Middle East, North Africa, and E.U.
- Global NSA spying (including U.S. Domestic program)
- Destroying human right to privacy
- Growing tension between World Superpowers (U.S., E.U., Israel, Saudi Arabia vs. Russia, China, Iran)
- Threatening international commerce and peace
- Risking WWIII
- Growing Social and Political tension around the world
- Threatening peaceful human interaction and exchange
- Risk of breakdown in civil order
With these major issues facing all U.S. citizens today it is absolutely critical that all political candidates (and every rational adult) have honest and open discussion about the role of government in a civilized society. Luckily there are such individuals in a small but growing third political party in North Dakota, The Libertarian party, which is committed to asking fundamental questions and addressing serious issues. The Libertarian party of North Dakota has a full slate of state-wide candidates who have each been speaking out against the failed 2-party political system and the need for common sense solutions to government-created problems. Libertarians are strictly principled in the ideas of individual liberty, property rights, and voluntary action and exchange. They apply these beliefs to both the domestic and economic affairs of society which is why they are considered the “Party of Principle”.
With the public’s obvious growing frustration with politics in America (and elsewhere) it should be clear that major changes need to take place in how society is to achieve peaceful and lasting order. The current political and socio-economic landscape is proof that both Democrats and Republicans (especially in ND) have failed in providing the environment necessary for such an order. The only way to a peaceful and prosperous society is by a strict adherence to the natural law theory which states that each and every individual has equal human rights including, but not limited to, the right to life, liberty, and property. These rights can only be protected if they are understood, respected, and enforced. Both Democrats and Republicans have failed to do so. It’s time for real change. It’s time to send a message to establishment politicians. It’s time to vote for the “Party of Principle”. It’s time to vote Libertarian.