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Omdahl: Declining a Party Invitation

By Staff | Feb 19, 2016

Kelly Armstrong, Chairman

North Dakota Republican Party

Dear Kelly:

Thank you for your kind invitation to pay $36.50 to become a member of the Republican Party. By this time you have noticed that I haven’t forwarded my payment by the deadline of February 18.

You implied that money would be critical in 2016 for building the Party to wage a successful campaign. That is not a good pitch. To get money from people, you have to offer believable proposals. This one approaches incredibility.

According to the political prognosticators, North Dakota Republicans should be giving their money to charities of choice this year. Of course, if Donald Trump should get nominated, you may have to worry a little but his chances are so poor that Las Vegas won’t even calculate the odds.

So the first reason I shouldn’t send you $36.50 is that you don’t need it.

The second reason is that I am already a member of a political group – the Nonpartisan League – and have been since 1954. One political organization at a time is sufficient.

The present inconsistencies in the political system advise me to wait until we get more clarity. Republicans want to regulate social issues but not the economy. Democrats want to regulate the economy but not social issues. What kind of ideology can be shaped on that kind of inconsistency?

I liked your invitation better than the solicitation I got from Ted Cruz a few days later. You must have told him that I was a soft touch. He wrote like an old Party friend.

He started out by badmouthing Mitt Romney and John McCain for being moderates. If he wants to be known as the Christian candidate, he shouldn’t badmouth others. Either that or he shouldn’t tell people that he is a Christian. It’s embarrassing.

In secular policymaking, rigid thinkers like Cruz clog up the system. They refuse to compromise when compromise is what politics is all about.

If you can’t compromise a little, stay out of politics. When you think of it, even voting is a compromise because you can’t agree with everything your candidate supports. It’s called holding your nose but it’s really compromising.

That’s what makes evangelical Christians so poor at political policymaking. For many of them, compromise is a mortal sin. So they stand their ground, waiting for choices between good and bad when the only choices will be between evil and less evil.

Abortion is a good example. Even though public opinion polls showed support for restricting abortions except for the life of the mother, incest and rape, the rigid thinkers wouldn’t compromise. It was all or nothing. Secular society wouldn’t go that far so nothing was passed, meaning that hundreds of abortions have continued to be legal.

Mr. Cruz promised to abolish the Internal Revenue Service. Without someone to collect taxes, our Congressional delegation would have to reduce all of the spending they have been supporting, e.g. crop insurance, 6-day mail delivery, airport subsidies, school lunches and 500 other spending programs.

It seems to me that the present political rage indicates that our mental health problems are more universal than first thought. Road rage is being replaced by ballot rage. Road rage kills only a few at a time but ballot rage in 2016 could kill a whole country.

I leave you with an opportunity to prophesy. If nominated, will Bernie Sanders repeat the George McGovern debacle of 1972? Or would Donald Trump bring back the Barry Goldwater disaster of 1964? If both of them are nominated, should the Nonpartisan League put up a candidate?

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