I desperately want Donald Trump to be a good President.
If he could unravel the harmful policies of the Obama administration, and take a wrecking ball to entrenched bureaucratic and political power in Washington D.C., he could go down as one of our nation's greatest leaders.
Or he could become a laughing stock. An embarrassing political footnote. Something akin to Minnesota electing Jesse Ventura to be governor.
Sometimes the moment can make the man. I've been waiting for Democrats to rise to the occasion of the Trump presidency by becoming the loyal opposition.
Trump would be a better sort of president, I believe, if faced with principled, reasoned, rational dissent.
Unfortunately what we've gotten from the left has been petulance and a violent sort of extremism.
Trump's election was met with days of violent rioting.
Trump's inauguration prompted more violence and vandalism.
At the University of California Berkeley, home of another generation's Free Speech Movement, a College Republicans event featuring infamous pro-Trump provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled as left wing activists rioted. They threw bricks, set fires, vandalized campus buildings, and trashed local businesses. Ultimately a half dozen people were injured.
Some of you reading this might argue that Democrats who oppose Trump don't necessarily condone these violent acts, but they kind of do. Far from condemning the violence, they're encouraging it.
"This is just beginning," left wing celebrity and prominent Democrat donor Judd Apatow tweeted about the Berkeley riot.
Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate, urged Americans to "fight in the streets" during an appearance on MSNBC this last week.
Former President Barack Obama himself encouraged activists disrupting American air travel over Trump's immigration orders, saying he was "heartened" by their activities which, in some instances, devolved into violence.
Former President George W. Bush has been largely silent on political issues in his years since leaving the White House. Obama couldn't extend that same courtesy to Trump for longer than 8 days.
In North Dakota, Chase Iron Eyes, nominated by North Dakota Democrats to run for the U.S. House last year, was arrested in what have often been violent and unlawful protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Nor is this merely a national phenomena. Left wing commentators in North Dakota glibly refer to Trump administration officials as "white supremacists." Newspaper editorials blame "xenophobia" for perfectly valid concerns over refugee resettlement.
Back in 2009, before it was co-opted by various political factions, I was a member of the Tea Party movement. I helped organize rallies around the state attended by thousands of concerned citizens. I remember at the time being told by editorial boards and left wing commentators that we were extremists engaged in dangerous, ominous rhetoric. When we expressed support for states' rights and the 10th amendment, it was suggested that we were probably secessionists to boot.
When former Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords was shot by a deranged man in Tucson, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chairwoman of the DNC, blamed the Tea Party movement.
The Tea Party movement which, unlike the anti-Trump left, was responsible for exactly zero riots. Zero public beatings. The number of highways or airports blocked by rioting tea partiers? Also zero.
The Tea Party was never about secession, but today California liberals have started a real drive to remove that state from the union.
I guess violent rhetoric and secessionist movements are OK as long as they're perpetrated by people of the right political persuasion.
And even as Hillary Clinton voters riot in the streets, Democrats refuse to attend committee hearings on Trump's appointments. Democrats aim to obstruct Trump's Supreme Court nominee, though many of them voted for that same nominee when he was appointed to lower courts.
What this petulance and extremism from Democrats has left those of us inclined to be skeptical of Trump with nowhere to go. Their behavior almost seems to justify Trump's.
What a shame.
Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, a North Dakota political blog, is a Forum Communications commentator.