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Port: Let's be thankful that the Trump moment seems to be passing

If we're lucky, Trump's sway over the GOP will fade away, allowing the party to return to its status as the far more dignified opponent of Democratic rule in the future.

Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with members of Congress at the White House this week. Bloomberg photo by Yuri Gripas
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MINOT, N.D. — Thanksgiving isn't the most fashionable of holidays today, rooted as it is in our nation's founding mythologies. And, in fairness, the story we were told growing up about pilgrims and Native Americans working together to produce a feast celebrating a sense of comity and fraternity, to the extent it's even true, is a bit of myopia told from the colonists' point of view.

But let's put aside the grievance politics, for a bit, and just acknowledge that it's nice to have a day for friends and family to come together and be thankful for one another.

And a lot of other things too.

There's plenty to be thankful for this year.

For instance, democracy is still working. Two years after a violent mob of Trump supporters, hopped up by the disgraced former president's obstinate refusal to accept the 2020 election results, stormed our nation's capitol, sending our elected leaders scurrying for safety, we just held another election in which the election deniers largely lost .

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Not all of them, mind you, and that's going to be a challenge going forward, but enough of them lost to give us a sense that Americans have had enough of Trump-era chaos, and are ready for a return to some semblance of normal.

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These results were a blow to a rising tide of political extremism in our country, too. Here in North Dakota, former state Rep. Rick Becker used his campaign for the U.S. Senate to pander to the fanatical edges of our state's electorate. These phony-baloney "patriots" thirst for strong talk about mass incarcerations and even executions for the supposed "deep state" in Washington, D.C., and Becker, ever the opportunist, was happy to deliver.

But on Election Day, Becker hadn't won a single county in the state. Not even Burleigh, his home county, where he's served in the Legislature for a decade. In fact, Becker even lost to Democratic-NPL candidate Katrina Christiansen in most counties, proving that while Becker and his followers may be obnoxiously loud, while they may be aggressively prolific on platforms like Facebook, they aren't anything approaching a majority in our state.

Thank goodness for that.

Back to the national political scene, Trump seems to be losing his grip on the Republican Party. Nothing is certain, but after a disastrous midterm in which most of Trump's top bootlickers were given the boot by voters, denying Republicans the "red wave" of electoral victories they were expecting, the former president seems to be floundering.

If we're lucky, Trump's sway over the GOP will fade away, allowing the party to return to its status as the far more dignified opponent of Democratic rule in the future.

I've been a conservative all my adult life, and it's been painful to see what Trump and his followers have done to the movement in recent years. But as I get ready to gather with my family for fellowship and food, I feel optimistic about the future of the political movement I care deeply about.

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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