As a conservative, my preference is for small and relatively unobtrusive government. In fact, many of the problems I have with our friends on the left is that so many liberal ideas are born of hubris. An inability to grasp the limits of government's ability to achieve desired outcomes. Take climate change, for instance. I have no doubt that temperatures are rising — global temperatures have risen and fallen throughout history — and that there is an anthropogenic aspect to it.
Zaphod Beeblebrox is a character from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy stories by Douglas Adams (which you should read if you haven't). He was, for at least a brief time in the stories, the Galactic President. He's also a hedonist. He's a careless and irresponsible leader. He consistently displays an insensitivity to those around him. He is beholden of a solipsistic level of narcissism. In other words, he's pretty much Donald Trump. Don't believe me? Consider this description of Beeblebrox from the book:
Earlier this week Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited Williston, North Dakota. He specifically took a close look at the oil industry there, coordinating with the North Dakota Petroleum Council to visit an oil rig. He also discussed life in the oil patch with a group of residents there, then wrote about it.
I had Congressman Kevin Cramer on my radio show today for our weekly open phones segment, and the talk focused on the net neutrality issue. Today was an internet “day of action” – backed largely by left-wing groups, many with ties to progressive money man George Soros – protesting proposed changes to the rules by the FCC. Cramer told me he’s for the changes. He said the “principles of a free internet are something we all support,” but said the rules allow “the FCC and the government to have monopoly style regulatory power over the internet.”
U.S. Sen, Heidi Heitkamp rode to victory in North Dakota — albeit a narrow one — in 2012 in part by cashing in on Republican overconfidence. Nobody really thought Rick Berg, fresh off a freshman stint in the U.S. House, could lose that election. And then he did, in a stunner, and Heitkamp has been our senator for the last five years. Here at the dawn of the 2018 election cycle, with Heitkamp already campaigning, Republicans should be gladdened by signs of overconfidence from the left. To be sure, Democrats do have reason for confidence.
Back in April of 2016 North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp had a 50 percent approval rating, and a 35 percent disapproval rating, making her the 61st most popular member of the United States Senate according to polling by Morning Consult.
Governor Doug Burgum is hinting at it. He told the Grand Forks Herald back in May that, when it comes to the state’s public institutions, some North Dakotans “cling” too tightly to the “idea of location,” though he didn’t specifically say that any of the state’s universities should be closed.
When I wrote my column last week chastising bomb-throwing ideologues like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for suggesting that Republicans were out to murder people with health care policy, I didn't think it would be all that controversial. "People will die," Warren said during a recent floor speech. That seemed a self-evidently absurd statement to me. I thought even hard core progressives would admit that the statement went too far. Boy, was I wrong.
UND President Mark Kennedy has a column in the Grand Forks Herald today which illustrates why he is the sort of leader the North Dakota University System has been in desperate need of. Kennedy writes about the ways in which universities like UND need to adapt to serve students of the future. The entire piece is worth a read, but this excerpt caught my attention:
Last week on June 27 the State Board of Higher Education voted 5-3 to allow North Dakota State College of Science President John Richman to pursue financial support for a further expansion of his campus into Fargo.