Common sense in South Dakota

By Christopher Harper

If you want some common sense in this uncommon time, you should look toward South Dakota and its governor, Kristi Noem.

I have a strong fondness for South Dakota since I went to high school there and wrote a book about my teenage cronies.

But Noem makes sense when it comes to politics and policies.

At 49, she’s a rising star in the GOP and may have enough heft to seek the presidency in 2024. She served from 2007 to 2001 in the South Dakota legislature and then eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives until she became the state’s first female government in 2019.

During the pandemic, she took a rational approach to COVID-19. She did not implement face mask mandates and left communities the flexibility to do so. She expressed her doubts about mask-wearing for children because of studies on the decreased risk from exposure to the virus. As a result, she encouraged schools to stay open.

When vaccines became available, South Dakota’s distribution system was so flawless that The Wall Street Journal dubbed Noem “The Vaccine Queen.”

Noem is a pro-life, fiscal conservative who has railed against federal spending, such as the recent stimulus package.

She said she believes the package “bails out those states that shut down their economies” and “rewards them for making people stay in their homes and for taking away a business’ right to be open and take care of their customers and their employees.

“So it’s incredibly detrimental to our state because we made the right decisions. We trusted people,” she said. “We have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and are tied for it with Nebraska, and we’re getting through this together.”

Noem complained that the package rewards Democrat strongholds like California, Illinois, and New York and punishes Republican states like South Dakota.

When MSNBC’s Joy Reid recently did a hit job, attacking Noem and the public event she attended last year at Mount Rushmore with President Trump, the South Dakota governor didn’t take back down.

“Some of today’s radical Left just hates America–and rather than being shunned, the most toxic voices are rewarded with TV shows and newspaper columns. Criticism of my policies isn’t enough. They must also attack America’s history and most basic institutions,” she told supporters. “I will fight back by doubling down on conservative principles. I’m only a target because we’ve been effective, and this is no time to let up.”

Kristi Noem talks common sense. It’s what makes her a serious possibility for 2024.

5 thoughts on “Common sense in South Dakota

  1. I have a fondness for South Dakotans, Chris, which is why I can’t stand her misrule and corruption. Yes, she’s the darling of the C-PAC right, but do they know she heads a state that would fail in a matter of months if she didn’t have nearly one half of the state budget paid for by the federal government? Fiscal conservative? She stuck taxpayers with the costs of her TV studio so she could commune with the righty talking heads, her Evita-like security detail and her new state jet, while ignoring the needs of the workers making pork chops at Smithfield’s, the old John Morrell plant. Of course, many of the workers are Asian immigrants. Why would a Repblican care about them? She flounced around the Trump White House with her escort Corey Lewandowski to elevate her profile with the money crowd, when she should have been focusing on lessening the impact of the coronavirus in her own state. Someone who is genuinely conservative and pro-life would be more interested in actually saving lives.

  2. Chris, my politics go from progressive to conservative depending on the issue. If you understood South Dakota you would understand people’s political stands aren’t the cartoon cutouts the professional right likes to pretend they are.

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