Port: Bismarck rally aims to stop Bill Gates and the United Nations from supposedly enslaving humanity

"Do we want conservatism to be seen as a pragmatic set of principles for balancing our collective need for a government with the rights of individuals? Or the gospel of some fire-and-brimstone bible-thumper who has never met a conspiracy theory he didn't cotton to?"
North Dakota's state capitol building
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MINOT, N.D. — Sebastian Ertelt is a former Republican lawmaker — a one-time member of the Bastiat Caucus of loopy, Trump-aligned legislators founded by failed U.S. Senate candidate Rick Becker — who, after getting the boot from Republican primary voters back in June, has turned his attention toward activism.

According to a news release that landed in my inbox this morning, Ertelt is organizing a rally in Bismarck today coinciding with the organizational session lawmakers are holding there in advance of their regular session which begins in January.

The topic of the rally? Stopping Microsoft founder Bill Gates from enslaving humanity, I guess?

That's what Ertelt says, anyway. Here's a quote from him copied directly from the release he sent out: “The Great Reset is an upending of the Christian world — a New World Order. Organized by the likes of the United Nations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Economic Forum among others, whose vision is that ‘You’ll own nothing [including your mind and body] and you’ll be happy’. In other words they seek to enslave humanity and eliminate a good share of it.“

The "Great Reset" Ertelt is referring to really is an initiative from the World Economic Forum that does advocate for some consolidation of authority to make responses to threats like the COVID-19 pandemic more efficient. While that sort of thinking might be worthy of criticism insofar as it waters down the sovereignty of our nation and states, throwing around terms like "new world order" and "enslavement" is all a bit much.


Or, perhaps, more than that. Recent headlines have been full of nonsense from angry bigots like Trump dinner guests Kanye West and Nick Fuentes who talk a lot about global conspiracies which sound more than a bit like what Ertelt is talking about.

Ertelt doesn't call it an international Jewish conspiracy, but is his paranoia about Christians supposedly threatened by some nefarious global cabal any better for that absence?

"A bill before the Legislature in Bismarck ... would remove from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department their authority to regulate deer baiting. ... This is foolishness."
"You could hear an audible groan in the chamber," one lawmaker told me shortly afterward. "Absolutely embarrassing."
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Speaking at the rally, per Ertelt's release, will be Alex Newman from the Foundation for American Christian Education .

“During my service in the legislature, I’ve pursued such issues as pushing back against federal overreach, expanding medical freedom, and election integrity. At the special session in November 2021, I helped lead the effort to end vaccine mandates," Ertelt writes in his release. "All of these areas are related to the Great Reset. You can add to that social credit systems, ESG, land grabs, destruction of the dollar, nationalized police, wide open borders, cancel culture, transhumanism and world government. Though I am no longer in the legislature, protecting the people from the Great Reset is no less important. ‘North Dakota Nice’ won’t save us from these nefarious plans. It is time for bold decisive action and we call on our state legislators to make this their top priority in the next biennium.”

What's confounding is that some of these issues Ertelt lists are very real problems that perhaps our lawmakers should be thinking about. The problem is that Ertelt is lumping them in with a lot of nonsense about Bill Gates and slavery.

Which is a threat conservatism, specifically, is facing. Increasingly, we conservatives are represented not by thought leaders in the mold of people like Milt Friedman or Russell Kirk, but braying hucksters like Sebastian Ertelt and Donald Trump.

Do we want conservatism to be seen as a pragmatic set of principles for balancing our collective need for a government with the rights of individuals? Or the gospel of some fire-and-brimstone bible-thumper who has never met a conspiracy theory he didn't cotton to?

Because, increasingly, it's the latter.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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