Criminal charges have been filed against three Michigan State and local officials after an investigation disclosed there were dangerous lead levels in Flint’s drinking water, which fueled public outrage. It also resulted in a visit by the president of the United States, who promised federal assistance, in no small part due to the inaction and cover-up by local politicians.
The sad thing is that the lead in the water affects all age groups, but particularly the young. Their whole lives are now uncertain due to the lead. This is no joke; it is to be taken seriously … but one has to wonder if some of that water found its way into the supply provided to Doug Burgum, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Sen. John Hoeven, N.D. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and, of course, the out-in-right-field Rep. Kevin Cramer.
Early on, I thought Burgum would be a new fresh face for North Dakota, free from the usual baggage that can hound a candidate. Then his adviser(s) came out swinging with nasty commercials against Stenehjem, who swung right back with nasties of his own.
Until the entire Republican field plus Burgum announced their support for Donald Trump, I thought we’d have an interesting and uplifting race for both the North Dakota governorship and for the presidency.
But no. What the Republican leaders have done is to absolutely establish that theirs is a closed system. Instead of independent thinking, they fall all over themselves like the legend of lemmings on route to the sea, supporting “their party candidate.”
It makes no difference that Trump is the most divisive candidate ever to run for the presidency … that he degrades women … degrades Mexicans and wants to build a wall to keep them out … degrades and proposes banning Muslims … has had multiple marriages and reportedly even more affairs … and is a loud-mouthed, pontificating liar.
PolitiFact, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning website, has investigated and declared Trump’s following statements false:
1. That he does better with women voters than Clinton. In fact, he has the lowest approval by women of any candidate since statistics have been maintained.
2. That the father of former candidate Ted Cruz was with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the murder of JFK, implying he was involved. Trump insisted there was a media cover-up. The statement is completely false with no supporting evidence.
3. That Isis is making millions of dollars selling Libyan oil … absolutely false.
4. His claim he was totally against the war in Iraq and claimed it would destabilize the Middle East was a total fabrication on his part.
5. Claimed that when President Obama made his Cuban visit he was not met by any leaders and this was without precedent for Air Force One. He forgot about President Nixon’s visit to China, where he was met by lower-level officials, only to meet the leaders later on the same day.
6. That he polled better than Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter in his quest for the presidency. Another false statement.
Enough of the true or false statements of the Donald. How about just refreshing your memories of his outrageous, sexist and childish comments such as:
1. Bragging about the relationship of the size of his hands to the size of his penis.
2. Claiming that blood was coming out of Fox Newswoman Megan Kelly’s eyes as well as “other parts,” a not-so-veiled reference to her vagina.
3. He would bring back waterboarding as a form of torture.
4. He would not hesitate to nuke European countries.
5. He’d pull out of NATO and let the other members either pay for our support and or develop their own nuclear weapons.
6. He would not hesitate to kill the families of terrorists, men, women and children.
7. He wouldn’t hesitate to fire-bomb (cluster bomb) whole cities.
Of course, he’s told Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the most powerful single Republican in Congress, that he’d better get on board with his programs. Couple that statement with Trump’s pompous bragging that he’s absolutely the best at every single thing he’s involved in, and you have a man so full of himself that he’s too dangerous to have in the White House … even as a janitor. (I don’t mean to demean the honorable work of janitors).
This is the type of book your North Dakota leaders, except for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, either have endorsed or are supporting.
By now, you are thinking, “Tom, this is old news. What the hell is your point?”
My point is this: Take a close look at Marvin Nelson, Democratic candidate for North Dakota’s governor.
To say that the Democratic Party has not been much of a factor recently in the politics of North Dakota would be an understatement.
There are some very good Democrats, true. But their numbers are so minimal as to render them ineffective.
My good friend, Jack Zaleski, expressed exactly this in his column last Sunday. What I have learned from him and on candidate Nelson’s website is that this man is qualified, very experienced and has all of the qualifications one would expect …
… except for two things: One, he’s a Democrat, and two, he would never support a person like Donald Trump under any circumstances. In an intelligent world, No. 2 alone more than offsets No.1.
I’ve listened to some of Nelson’s recent radio interviews. This is a man who comes across as not only articulate, but as a charming, knowledgeable candidate. He sounds very much like a man you could sit down and talk to ― someone who’d actually listen to you and weigh your concerns.
The more I hear about Nelson, the more I like him. He is a true son of North Dakota. He’d certainly never take office lugging behind him the ugly baggage that a Donald Trump would bring. That baggage does not reflect well upon either of the other gubernatorial candidates. Amen.