MINOT, N.D. — I do not like what Trumpism has done to the conservative movement.
This is supposed to be about governing, my friends, not trolling the political opposition, and certainly not trying to win elections with mendacity.
North Dakotans just voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump. In fact, he got a larger percentage of the vote in our state than he did in 2016. And though I didn't vote for Trump myself, I can understand why many of my friends and neighbors and loved ones did.
The sort of leadership Democrats have on offer would be terrible for our state in ways too numerous to enumerate here. A Joe Biden/Kamala Harris administration represents a Democratic Party that cares very little for the people in our part of the world. Their time in office would diminish our prosperity and our freedom.
But what President Trump is doing, attempting to undermine our electoral process with lies and utterly unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, is beyond unacceptable.
It is the stuff of tin-pot dictators, not a man who holds the most powerful political office in the world.
We will look back on this era of American history with shame.
It's not helping that many in our national news media have lost their minds, trying to bury Trump's embarrassing machinations instead of doing their jobs to shine a bright light on them. Cutting away from Trump's belligerently self-serving meanderings is only helping him.
You're making him a martyr in the eyes of his supporters. Stop it. You're supposed to show us what happens, not hide it from us.
But to Trump's supporters, including North Dakota's most prominent Republicans — Gov. Doug Burgum, Congressman Kelly Armstrong, and Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven — please, my friends, help lead us through this.
Speak out against what Trump is doing.
It's one thing to question actual malfeasance in the electoral system — we know it happens — but it's another for our nation's leader to address the public and make unsupported claims of a conspiracy simply because he's losing.
What Trump is doing is indefensible, and some Republicans, including those who have been quite supportive of the president in the past, are finding the courage to say it.
“I talk tonight now not as a former governor but as a former U.S. attorney — there’s just no basis to make that argument tonight,” former Gov. Chris Christie said on ABC News. “There just isn’t.”
On CNN, former Sen. Rick Santorum called Trump's words “dangerous” and “shocking."
The president's favorite news outlet, Fox News, can't find any evidence to support fraud claims.
“Downcast Trump Makes Baseless Election Fraud Claims in White House Address," reads a headline from the New York Post, perhaps the most pro-Trump print publication in the nation.
This isn't about making Joe Biden president.
This is about protecting a political process that has served us well for nearly two-and-a-half centuries.
If there is anything that matters more than winning an election, it's that.
The voters still want Republican leadership. We saw that in the House races, where Republicans have apparently enlarged their share of seats, and in the Senate races, which will apparently end with the GOP still in charge of that chamber.
That didn't happen because of Donald Trump; it happened despite him.
Republicans, please don't go down with Trump's ship.
Stand up for what's right, and that is not what Trump is doing now.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at email@example.com.