Port: We need consistent standards for political activities

We are quick to defend something our side of the political divide does, even if it's something we'd criticize the other side for doing.

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Rob Port

MINOT, N.D. -- The CHAZ situation in Seattle is an interesting one, and not just because it features leftists vigorously exercising their Second Amendment rights .

Maybe they're coming around to the idea that keeping and bearing arms is a foundational element of American citizenship?

I hope so, but let's not go down that particular rabbit hole right now.

The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone is a roughly six-block area in Seattle that has been taken over by left-wing activists. The organizers of this new wokeistan believe they've seceded from the United States.

They have a sign at their border reading "You are now leaving the USA," and, oh yeah, they have a border and even a border wall, of sorts.


The Trump administration tries to address a chaotic situation at our national border with a wall, and they're evil incarnate, but a bunch of patchouli-scented communards in Seattle does it, and I guess that's, uh, different?

We have many problems gnawing at the soul of American discourse these days, but one of the larger ones is the double standards we apply to politics.

We are quick to defend something our side of the political divide does, even if it's something we'd criticize the other side for doing.

As a conservative, I've spent a lot of time talking and writing over the years about the Tenth Amendment and federalism. I believe the federal government ought to be smaller, and more policy decisions ought to be made at the state level.

People like me are frequently branded as neo-confederates or secessionists.

Yet, the CHAZ activists have declared their kiddie fort in downtown Seattle a whole new country -- they have, in the literal sense of the word, seceded -- and that's suddenly OK?

Think, too, about the left's defense of sanctuary cities. Liberals are perturbed by conservatives dissenting from federal supremacy, and yet condone it when it's in support of a policy outcome they like.

The right does this, too. Many conservative commentators are up-in-arms about CHAZ, yet were happy to support the Bundy family in their armed standoff with the federal government over grazing rights.


This isn't about whether you agree with the political arguments of the Bundy family and their supporters, or the CHAZ activists and their autonomous zone (which seems suspiciously dependent on nearby food trucks).

This is about consistency in how we treat political dissent. We need to stop treating political arguments as if they're invalid merely because they're coming from people we may not like, or expressed in a way we disapprove of.

So much of our national debate is often about how we debate, as opposed to what's being debated. Colin Kapernick and the knee-or-don't-kneel debate is a great example of this.

Is the kneeling the important thing?

Or should we be talking about law enforcement reform instead?

I'd rather talk about the things that matter as opposed to the things that don't.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

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 Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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