With the recent primaries here in North Dakota, some of the social and local media coverage centered on a portrait of Gov. Doug Burgum as trying to “buy” elections.
If you look at the talk about elections, politicians and their supporters often claim that their opponents were better funded. Yet the landscape shows a number of politicians losing elections even though they outspent their opponent by large margins.
Thank goodness we have competitive elections with new quality candidates willing to enter into public service. Thank goodness we have quality incumbents who are dedicated public servants that make our elections competitive.
However, the reality is we do have, in effect, term limits as determined by our citizens in the voting booth. So, at the end of the day, what matters more than money is the message.
It is important that we do not miss another part of the picture which addresses the issue around what elections are really all about, which is choosing between unique and differing visions for the future.
The good news is that we live in democracy at all levels of government. In 1944 the theologian and thinker Reinhold Niebuhr wrote “Some define democracy as a form of government, it might be more reasonable to think about democracy as a process, a constant opportunity by which citizens bring changes in their social and political life. In the beginning it was our capacity for fairness and justice that made democracy possible.
”These recent primary elections confirmed what voters first tried to make clear four years ago. North Dakotans are eager for forward-thinking leaders in state government who are willing to bring change and an achievable vision of the future by embracing inclusion and working together with citizens and leaders in both the public and private sector.
Successful leaders put together teams that share a vision. Burgum has a tremendous track record of putting together successful teams. Working together works.
We can say this is mine and be good or we can say this is ours and be better. Burgum is a we, us, and our leader.
Morton is a former employee of Microsoft in Fargo.