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Charles Linderman, Published October 18 2012

Letter: Heitkamp, Gulleson will remove ND from the grip of extremists

During this election season, many have expressed a desire for more honesty, moderation and civility. The fact checkers are working overtime and must sometimes wonder why they bother.

I am not claiming my side is always right and the other is always the villain. But an analysis of the current situation does indeed put a lot of the blame on one party.

We were warned this was coming soon after the 2010 election when the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

If that is so, then obviously the Republicans want no progress that creates jobs, reduces the deficit, expands affordable health care or improves foreign relations. That would make their “most important thing” harder to achieve. Compromise became a dirty word. The gridlock in Washington became a Republican creation due to partisan politics.

When one studies the history of previous Republican presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, you realize that they would all be ostracized by the current Republicans in Congress. Former senators like Everett Dirksen, R-Ill., Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., and our own North Dakota examples like former Sen. Milton Young worked with others to solve problems.

While many pundits talk about the “far left” and the “far right,” what we actually have now is a “center left,” which is the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton, and the “extreme right” Tea Party, which has taken over the Republican Party.

Congressman Rick Berg has followed the extreme Republican Party line, including voting for the Ryan budget, which cuts the life out of most programs, including Medicare and the farm program. He also signed a pledge to Grover Norquist. Now he wants to be in the Senate so he can work for McConnell.

The solution is to vote the extremists out of power. Put the Congress back in control of center-left Democrats and center-right Republicans who understand that working together and compromising is how democracy works.

Fortunately, we in North Dakota can do our part. We have very capable and talented candidates in Heidi Heitkamp for our U.S. senator and Pam Gulleson for our U.S. congresswoman. Electing these two women will put North Dakota on the map.


Lindermann farms near Carrington, N.D.