Republican State Senator Nicole Poolman and Democratic-NPL State Senator Erin Oban’s announcements they will not seek reelection due to the “toxic” state of politics is likely the first of more to come in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Already, chatter is swirling around political circles in ND about who else is choosing not to seek another term. They’re fed up and tired. Unfortunately, that is how those unserious about governing and good policies win.

We’ve witnessed people at all levels throwing up their hands, saying enough, and walking away from public service. Those departures appear to be accelerating. From Congress to school boards, decent people are asking why they would put themselves and their families through the daily harassment.

It is tough to fault them, but out of public selfishness, we all lose. People dedicated to advancing the public good are being replaced by others who simply want political wins in the purest form of partisanship. That basic “us versus them” instinct is amplified daily on social media, some of which were recently exposed for targeting users with posts that will incite anger.

Exhausted because facts no longer matter. Shared reality but with policy disagreements debated through civil discourse seems like a thing of the distant past. An important question that needs an answer, how do you stop the pending mass exodus of decent people from public service?