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Port: U.S. Senate candidate levels accusations of hate speech

Here's a pro-tip for Democratic-NPL Senate candidate Katrina Christiansen: You're not a victim because someone disagrees with you.

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Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katrina Christiansen speaks during the Democratic-NPL Party's state convention in Minot, North Dakota, on March 26, 2022.
Kyle Martin / The Forum
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MINOT, N.D. — I am guilty of hate speech.

So says Katrina Christiansen, the Democratic-NPL's endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate this cycle. Christiansen, who is taking on popular Republican incumbent Sen. John Hoeven, seems to think that running for the Senate is a job that primarily consists of subjecting Twitter users to daily jeremiads delivered 280 characters at a time. Over the weekend I became the object of her ire.

My sin, in her eyes, was a column published last week in which I made some factual criticisms of the Democratic-NPL's moribund fundraising.

But for the largesse of certain out-of-state billionaires, the Democrats might have to operate their party out of someone's garage.

What's more, the party which champions itself as representing the poor and the working class, has received most of its financing this cycle from big-dollar donors.

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The NDGOP has raised more than 2.5 times what the Democratic-NPL has in small-dollar donations.

Pointing this out, claims Christiansen, is hate speech that puts Democrats in danger.

"Your columns breed hate & mistrust — I get that is the point — but for those of us that live as Democrats in the state, we don't deserve to be the targets of fashionable hate," she wrote in a Sunday morning tweet, carrying on as if it's my fault that her political party has become the dependents of the progressive billionaire class.

Christiansen went on to suggest that I'm actually endangering Democrats with my criticism of the Democratic-NPL's finances.

"There are places in the state where being a Democrat has become dangerous because of narratives like this. People fear for their livelihoods being lost and personal safety," she wrote with an apparent expectation that we accept this nonsense as the truth.

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Here's the most obnoxious thing about this sorry spectacle: Some people in the world, because of things like their skin color or their religion or their sexual orientation, have to deal with actual hate speech that actually puts them in danger.

They're subjected to slurs and harassment. Discrimination and violence. Yet Christiansen, having read a column that casts her political party in a less than favorable light, equates her plight with theirs.

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A pompous progressive woman casting herself as a victim of hate speech in a furious Twitter thread because someone pointed out that her political party is more dependent on donations from billionaire tycoons than working-class North Dakotans is something more than just ready fodder for copious eye-rolling.

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Mund, who got into this race late, who has zero track record outside of campaign-trail statements to illustrate how she might vote in Congress, is trying to be all things to all people, and in politics, that's an excellent way to make most people not like you.
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It's offensive to the victims of actual hate. And yet, sadly fitting with modern politics, right and left, which is so steeped in identity and grievance that it is surprising we ever get around to talking about actual policy.

The irony is that Christiansen's insipid whining is a close cousin to the caterwauling of Trumpkins who complain endlessly about how the "liberal media" won't take their wild conspiracy theories about stolen elections seriously.

You're not a victim because someone disagrees with you.

We live in fraught political times, to be sure. The national temperature is running high. So, yes, it can be a little bit scary to be public with your politics right now.

I was threatened by an overwrought man at the NDGOP's state convention earlier this year . Just a few weeks ago, I received an emailed threat against myself and my family that was so credible we had to take security precautions at our home.

I don't need a lecture on this sort of thing.

Still, if we can't make criticisms of a political party's finances, then what can we criticize?

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On a related note, if Christiansen gets this exercised about a column like mine, how in the world is she going to survive the rancor and scrutiny that comes with a seat in the United States Senate?

Maybe she ought to save everyone some time and money and fold up her Senate campaign now. She's clearly not cut out for the job she's seeking.

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 rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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