I lived in California when the culture war consumed the state, shaping it into the liberal place it is today. I’m sure some of you reading this may wonder what the connection is between California’s downfall and Garrison’s current SACA movie censorship issue. Let me explain. As I’ve written about before, I grew up in California. Specifically, in the farmlands between Sacramento and San Francisco. Over the years I watched California go from a place that was mostly peaceful and ,dare I say, full of reasonable people, to a place where one sided liberal views have taken it over and militantly imposed their set of values on the other side. I moved to North Dakota over 10 years ago. I was blown away with how North Dakota reminded me so much of how California was in the 70’s and 80’s. I was thrilled that my kids could grow up in Garrison, North Dakota, a place that was strikingly similar to the small town I grew up in. If you want to read more about it, and what caused the small town to eventually die, I’ve written about it in, The Death of Rural America: A Cautionary Tale, the most read article I’ve written to date. And its sequel, Death of Rural America: The Sequel

 As time went on, I started noticing things in Garrison that I recognized from my past, things I’ve seen before, a certain feeling, sometimes intangible, but undeniably there. I admit, having watched liberal causes and culture destroy my beautiful childhood home, it was (is)alarming to see these things here in Garrison. Watching one vocal minority who are active in community boards and organizations, change the way of life in a community, its soul, one tiny vote at a time, is a dangerous course and I’ve seen its final destination. Sadly, many of the more reasonable people didn’t want to get involved and by the time they recognized their entire way of life in California: the way they raised their children, how the schools taught their kids, how they prayed in church, how they spoke in their own homes was threatened, it was too late for them. I’ve written about the dangers of ignoring things like these in the article, Why Get Involved: Could Apathy Cost You Your Home?

 But what does it look like to let your home fall to liberal ideology? Simply watch the national news at night and see the murders in Chicago, the riots in Portland, or any number of stories about violence and perversion happening in liberal big cities. That’s what it looks like. I’ve written about this too in an article titled, Rittenhouse Case and “Red vs Blue” Mindset.

 Liberal communities tend to be much more susceptible to riots, looting, and violence when the liberals in it don’t get their way. Look at what happened in places like Portland, Seattle, and even closer, Minneapolis, in recent times and ask yourself if you want that for your hometown. You can say it won’t happen here. But, do you really think it’s a far stretch to see riots, often portrayed as protests, in places like Fargo or even Bismarck in our state? I see those places looking and feeling eerily similar to California before it went completely off the rails. 

I’ve heard comments that Mike Youngs, the person who selected 2000 Mules to be played, was pushing his own politics on people by playing it. This is ludacris. Mike has also in the past selected movies that absolutely had controversial content that I don’t believe he agreed with. But, he allowed his fellow citizens to make the choice. He didn’t say, “I know what’s good for you and I’ll protect you from this material.” It’s a tough job to select movies in a small town. For a person to do it successfully, they need to be in tune with the community they serve. I’m of the belief that Mike, having been raised in this area, having married and remained in this area, and having raised two amazing daughters in this area is as in tune as anyone can be with Garrison. Which furthers my opinion that the censoring of 2000 Mules by SACA was caused by a minority. A minority who thinks you couldn’t have decided for yourself about whether to see a movie or not. They knew better what was good for you. 

 As I write this, the clock is ticking until the Lake Sakakawea area Council for the Arts holds its monthly board meeting. We have about 40 hours left to get the community’s voice heard and prevent Garrison from sliding closer to a full on culture war. If you’re keeping score at home, they canceled the June meeting rather abruptly. The issue at hand is the censoring of the movie 2000 Mules at the Kota Theater that is run by SACA. Sadly, the SACA Board has not given a reason as to why they decided to pull the movie from Kota’s screen.  I am asking everyone to attend this upcoming meeting of the SACA Board on July 19th at 7:30pm in Garrison and have your voice heard. And, in an effort to avoid a January 6th esque scenario, can I make it perfectly clear to leave the pitchforks and torches at home. Yes, we can express ourselves with a high degree of emotions, but violence and personal attacks are out of the question.