Sunday, May 8, 2016

SD Congressional Delegation, Fall In! Repeat After Me! "One, Two, Three, Four--Who Will We Be Voting For? Five, Six, Seven, Eight--Trump Is Our Candidate!"

       Guess I'll never stop being a Sergeant in the United States Marines.  Memories of those days are fading, but they do occasionally surface in real life when I see lock-step displays of
Conservatives Can't Stand This Guy
Why Does SD's GOP Leadership Like Him?
(photo from
obedience without question.  That system worked with some excellent effect when I was in a skirmish in Vietnam, but it does make me a little uneasy when I see it on display by our elected officials. Last week's reflexive support of Donald Trump by our 3 Republicans in Congress makes it plain as day that Noem, Rounds and Thune are more committed to political partisanship than to the principles of conservative government that propelled their campaigns. I guess it's too much to ask of these partisan ciphers to take a principled and reflective stand, a la GOP House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, before clambering aboard the Trump bandwagon with the rest of the presumptive Republican nominee's unquestioning devotees.

     It would have been far less unseemly if an eventual endorsement had followed a period of examination and evaluation of Trump's philosophies and agendas. Certainly an explanation to us South Dakota Republicans about their respective reasons for endorsing Trump would have at least clarified the discrepancy between their political and ideological imperatives.  I would certainly like to know how they can get behind the nominee who wants to wipe out the positive effects that American trade agreements have had on South Dakota's leading industry, agriculture, for the past several decades.  South Dakota's exports grew 139 percent between 2003 and 2013, thanks largely to free trade agreements (FTAs), per the Business Roundtable, which also notes that the rate of export growth is about twice the rate of the state's GDP growth.  Did our unquestioningly obedient Congressional delegation consider the impact of Trump's well-known hostility toward trade agreements on their home state's economy?  I don't see any evidence.  I'd like them to explain how they can so casually ignore this ultra-important element of the coming campaign by supporting a candidate who is poison to South Dakota's economic interests.
     Meantime, even though I'm not the strong social conservative that many of my SD Republican peers are, I have to note that our U.S. reps also seem plenty oblivious to Trump's lack of  credentials as a conservative on issues too numerous to list here, including many of the social ones.  The virtual flagship of
Supporting Trump As Ordered, Sir!
American conservatism, Breitbart, trashes him, commenting that "of course he's not a conservative. He was for Nancy Pelosi before he was against Nancy Pelosi."
Similar sentiments ("Trump doesn't represent the Conservative base") have been expressed by National Review Online, the conservative journal founded by the legendary William Buckley.  It seems pretty clear to me that many of his followers, including our Congressional delegation, are more smitten by Trump's populist bombast than any coherent stream of positions that actually do reflect conservative thought.
     Just today, Trump on Meet The Press said his tax plan is actually a proposal, subject to political modification. Considering how consistent that utterance is with his chameleon-like history, I challenge our conservative Congressional delegation to explain to us why they embrace him with such ardor.


  1. John, you are 'right on'! Remember in Vietnam the "Stars & Stripes" daily castigations of the ONE senator's opposition to our presence in Vietnam?? Our own George McGovern.....

    1. Yup, McGovern set a standard for courage and independence that should be an inspiration to our elected officials. Thanks for the reminder, Jake.

  2. Thune, Rounds, and Noem are not principled individuals whose personal core values square with conservative values. Rather, those three are nothing more than ciphers, placeholders. All three are good little tokens to be moved and used in any capacity the Party wishes. They are not expected to have thoughts or opinions of their own and are thus, perfect in their respective roles.

  3. But John, the sad part is that it is not just the politicians, it is the voters as well. I can't believe how many people on both sides of the aisle on political issues, vote for the party over what's best for the country.