The latest volley in Gov. Kristi Noem’s barrage of self-serving partisan propaganda is her diatribe, “Conservative Principles and Government Restraint.” (Press & Dakotan, Aug. 31) In her fight for national publicity on the tiny turf shared by right-wing rivals in Florida and Texas, Noem rails against both Democrat and “traditional” Republican governors who, she charges, are not “pro-liberty.” The evidence: Unlike her, some governors of both parties take leadership in the fight against COVID.
But not Kristi Noem. So what if the Sturgis rally set off another wave of sickness and death across the Black Hills and the nation? Every business owner and every individual has the God-given — or Noem-given — right to deny science and to ditch the vaccine and the mask, not to mention the Biblical mandate to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If somebody’s grandmother or son has to die, that’s too bad. Don’t expect condolences from the governor, who seemingly hasn’t noticed that our hospitals are filling, including with kids for whom the vaccine is not a choice.
“You can’t be a constitutional conservative only when it suits you,” the governor proclaims. You’re right about that, Kristi. You did all you could to stop the seventy percent of South Dakotans who voted for medical marijuana from getting it. You want to dictate what history teachers can’t teach, and to stand between women and their doctors in their personal lives. You claim to oppose government exercising “brute force to declare a business essential,” but that is exactly what you did to the Smithfield workers when they were dropping like flies.
In Noem’s perverse world view, “it is human nature to want to wield power.” No governor, we don’t all think that way. The desire to “wield power” is the province of demagogues and dictators — not Democrats or “conservative” Republicans or the South Dakotans I know.