Hard to understand how even Donald Trump (Mr. Depraved Indifference four years running) could have done something this cynical, while the alarming death toll from an incurable disease continues to rise, but, following his lead, Republicans, as a party, have successfully turned taking sensible safety precautions during a plague into a hotly divisive political issue. When cities like Atlanta tried to impose mask mandates, Republican governors like Georgia’s Brian Kemp took their mayors to court (Kemp’s lawsuit quietly self-dismissed after the desired public relations effect).
Now that the pandemic is completely out of control in our country, setting new infection records daily and killing more than a thousand Americans every day (here is yesterday’s graph, from a generally reliable source):
Republican governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota has boldly broken ranks with the president and his death cult party. He has ordered face mask wearing in North Dakota, and social distancing, through December 13.
By contrast, the unrepentant super spreader president, we read, is considering launching a series of large public rallies to mobilize his base to help him fight the stolen election. You can bet they won’t be wearing no stinkin’ masks in North Dakota, if the wildly popular Mr. Trump shows up to rally the troops there.
Which led me to wonder about the influence of a state like North Dakota, which Trump won in 2020 with 65% of the vote. They have three votes in the Electoral College and they get two senators, like every other state. I have compiled a few fun facts about the great state of North Dakota, the results of a diligent five seconds of internet research:
North Dakota is the 19th largest US state by size. It sends three electors to the Electoral college, based on its two senators and one representative in the House. source
It may not be as populous as some states, but it still gets two senators toward the Republican senate majority that allows the senate, among other historic accomplishments, to work closely with the president’s defense team to quickly dismiss and debunk the impeachment “hoax” against him. (South Dakota also gets two senators, having been lawfully created by a Republican Congress and attaining statehood the same day as its northern neighbor). How many people live in the great state of North Dakota, Guillermo?
It’s important to keep in mind that North Dakota is currently enjoying one of the highest growth rates in the United States, second only to the District of Columbia. Estimates show that North Dakota’s population will finally break 800,000 by 2020, hitting the 1 million mark by 2040.
According to the 2010 Census, the racial and ethnic composition of North Dakota was as follows: White American: 90.0% (88.7% non-Hispanic white)
North Dakota is also, apparently, a very wealthy state (or, more accurately, some individual families in North Dakota are very, very wealthy):
The oil-rich Bakken shale formation has made North Dakota the second-largest crude-producing state behind only Texas. The U.S. hit a milestone this year, producing more crude oil than any other country, and North Dakota is a big reason for that. source
President Trump, breaking his public silence for the first time since his electoral loss was projected a few days after the election, announced again yesterday that there would be no lockdown under his administration. Presumably also no other steps will be taken by the federal government to control the raging pandemic that is setting new infection and death records daily, even though the president emphasized that Mike Pence and Jared did a tremendous job defeating COVID right before Election Day (Dr. Fauci and his ilk will be dealt with in good time).
Trump’s attitude toward protecting the public from infection, death and economic desperation, though the same as it ever was, strikes me a lot like the Fuhrer’s when he finally went into his bunker after ordering twelve year-old boys to defend Berlin with their lives: the country was weak, the citizens betrayed me and they all deserve to be destroyed.
It remains to be seen how much attention and appetite Mr. Trump will have to publicly attack, humiliate and punish the apostate governor of North Dakota for his personal betrayal of Mr. Trump’s love of America. I would imagine Governor Burgum will survive whatever strong, stinging tweets the president throws at him. May Mr. Burgum’s remarkable political courage be an inspiration to the rest of Mr. Trump’s cringing underlings in Congress and in state government around the country. I get that Republicans in office are terrified of our terror-threatener-in-chief, a truly petty, cruel and vindictive man, I get that Trump received more than 73,000,000 votes, but… come on.
Meantime, in fake news: