We Need to Care, North Dakota

I don’t know about you, North Dakota, but I’m tired. I’m tired of all this “he said, she said” election nonsense. I’m tired of being outraged. I’m tired of feeling like I’m drowning in a sea of partisan bulls—. I’m tired of being tired. For the love of God, I am just so f—ing tired.

I may be an East Coast transplant, but I have spent the last four years of my life learning to love and appreciate the great state of North Dakota. I’m even currently planning to extend my stay for the foreseeable future.

Despite my admiration for the Peace Garden State, I can’t say that North Dakota is without its warts. But, honestly, who isn’t? If you can forgive some of mine, I’ll forgive some of yours, North Dakota. But there are just some warts that are bigger than others.

But at what point am I supposed to stop caring? At what point should I no longer be concerned about the well being of my fellow Americans, my fellow North Dakotans?

At what point does encouraging people to vote become hollow when we know that it is systemically more difficult for certain demographics to do so?

In North Dakota, Native Americans are having to jump through hoops just so they can do their basic civic duty, and it’s somehow their fault because “not a single Native American testified against (the) bill” at the time it was proposed.

At what point does voting down ballot along party lines shoot us in the foot when we know the politician we’re voting for won’t stand up for us because it would be “like cheating on your wife”?

In North Dakota, soybean farmers are watching their year’s worth of hard work be nullified because of an ego-fueled trade war, and our probable next senator is more concerned with catering to our reality TV star president in Washington than fighting for his constituents.

At what point does professing “loving thy neighbor” seem like a hypocritical slap to the face when fear and insecurity allow us to erase people in one fell swoop?

In North Dakota (and the rest of the country), members of the transgender community are waiting to see if their entire existence will change because of how the government will ultimately decide to “define” them.

At what point does pretending to care about the people gunned down in politically fueled violence become so obviously fake that we no longer even ask for a response?

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 11 people were murdered in a synagogue after the suspect decided to do something about the “caravan of migrants” that “a lot of people say” is being funded by someone, maybe even George Soros, a billionaire Jewish Democrat, and we’re not worried about the rhetoric of our elected officials.

Do we even care, North Dakota? Because it sometimes feels like we don’t, and it’s not specific to just us — it’s a national problem as well.

These are questions we shouldn’t have to ask, but more importantly, these are questions Americans and the people of North Dakota shouldn’t have to face.

If none of this affects you, then consider yourself lucky. You should still care about your neighbors though because, to some, this is just their everyday reality, and it’s a damn travesty.

Lately, it seems that we are trapped in a downward spiral of apathy, leaving me to ask myself, “Why does it feel like caring only makes it hurt more?” This often leads to some days where I just want to give up. But if I give up, we give up, who will be left to fight for those that need our help the most?

They need us to care, North Dakota. Please care. So what are we going to do about it?

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