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Letter: Polarization in the U.S. is disappointing

North Dakotans have always disagreed with one another, including times when the decibel level has been high on occasion. Still, we ought to realize that North Dakota's political temperature has progressively gotten hotter and hotter.

Letter to the editor FSA
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In “The Nine Nations of North America,” Joel Garreau has some interesting things to say about Alaska. He wrote, “The only really predictable thing about Alaskans is that they will disagree about anything – politics, religion, economics, history, sex … They can't even agree on what constitutes 'good' weather.” (Page 107)

According to celebrated Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond, “We're so polarized up here that one end of the spectrum has got half the people saying that we should secede from the Union, and anything less than that is an unacceptable capitulation sell-out to the federal government. The other end of the spectrum is insisting that Anchorage be returned to wilderness, or it's unacceptable environmental degradation. Really, there's no middle ground. It really is astounding why anybody is ever elected, to say nothing of being reelected, under these circumstances. Everybody ends up shouting in high decibels. Frankly, I wouldn't vote for anybody, including Hammond, if I believed half of what I heard and read. It's just terrible. I wonder how anybody survives it.” (Page 107)

Over the last two decades, I have noticed a progressive Alaskafication of North Dakota politics. North Dakotans have always disagreed with one another, including times when the decibel level has been high on occasion. Still, we ought to realize that North Dakota's political temperature has progressively gotten hotter and hotter, with our political environment becoming more and more like Wasilla, Sarah Palin's hometown.

This polarization is not a welcome development.

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