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Politics:  “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx

Watching the youth bull-dogging event at the State Fair on Saturday, I couldn’t help but admire the moxie these young people exhibited, even in failure.

The challenge for many riders was that the arena seemed too short, or the stock too fast.

A number of the young cowboys simply ran out of space before they were able to take down the steers, which were fast and wiry.

As enjoyable as all of this was – and three grandkids at my side seemed transfixed by it – I was nearly knocked off my seat when the announcer commented that tickets were on sale for an upcoming event with President Trump on Friday. For a mere $500 you could attend, and for $5,000 per couple, a photo with the Donald would be yours.

Seconds after the announcement, a man sitting behind us said: “If I had $500 for that, I’d burn it.”

So has politics injected itself into every aspect our lives? Aren’t we safe from political baiting, even at a youth rodeo event?

It’s the times in which we live. Politics and 24-hour news cycles dominate.

The steer wrestling eventually gave way to the livestock barns and food court. And then, the Midway, with its wide array of thrills. En route, however, we stopped in at the Republican and Democrat tents. One visit was particularly interesting and that was with Tim Bjorkman, who is running for Congress.

After introducing him to my daughter, who is from California and therefore not a prospective voter, I said I had but one question for him: When are you going to write another book, maybe a sequel to “Verne Sankey, America’s First Public Enemy,” which I thoroughly enjoyed and positively reviewed.

“Is that the best you’ve got?” Bjorkman responded.

“Well,” I said lamely, “I’m retired, out of practice.”

He grinned and looked at my daughter and told her when he was running for judge back in 2006, her dad had interviewed him and asked his political affiliation even though it was a non-partisan race

I don’t know how Bjorkman will do come November. But I do know he is a strong candidate. His challenge is that the Republicans also have put forward a formidable foe in Dusty Johnson.  All things being equal, which they are not with the GOP’s significant registration advantage, Bjorkman would have a fighting chance. He still might.

In any case, the Johnson/Bjorkman contest, like Noem/Sutton, will be one of the best we’ve seen in recent years.

Sept. 5, 2018