May 16, 2012 · By Bob Ellis · 1 Comments
The Rapid City Journal reports on an appearance by the South Dakota Dist. 35 House Republican candidates at the Wingnuts luncheon yesterday. My schedule hasn’t permitted me to make many Wingnuts luncheons in the last couple of years but they’re a fine bunch of people. Bill Napoli encourages lively discussion, but doesn’t allow things to get out of hand.
Present at yesterday’s luncheon were incumbent Don Kopp, Chip Campbell, and Jack Siebold–all running for Dist. 35 House on the GOP ticket; there are two seats, so one will not make it through the primary.
The Journal’s article pointed out some things concerning Mr. Siebold’s positions on the issues that I explored yesterday.
Siebold was put on the defensive over his position on gun rights and a battle he has had with a controversial advocacy group, the South Dakota Gun Owners.
Defending his position that guns shouldn’t be allowed in churches, schools, city parks, restaurants and libraries, Siebold said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment but that “we have to have restrictions, just because there are irresponsible people who will take advantage of it.”
Even though the South Dakota Gun Owners criticized his position on gun rights and Siebold fired back at the group in a letter to the editor in the Rapid City Journal, Siebold insisted he wouldn’t be prejudiced against bills the South Dakota Gun Owners support.
As I pointed out yesterday with several embedded links, criminals with violent intent simply don’t respect “gun free zones” in churches, schools, city parks, restaurants and libraries. The only thing “gun free zones” ensure are a clear field of fire for people who want to slaughter innocent people–because law-abiding citizens won’t be armed while violent lawbreakers (who don’t give a rip about society’s laws) will be armed.
Regarding his claims that he wouldn’t be prejudiced against bills SDGO supports, he may sincerely mean that, but we have seen “Republican” legislators in the session ended just a couple of months ago admit publicly in committee and at a crackerbarrel meeting that they opposed an otherwise perfectly fine gun bill simply because they wanted to “punish” SDGO for exposing liberal votes.
Siebold called abortion “a terrible thing” that “you want to ban” but also said he respects the will of South Dakota voters who twice have rejected abortion bans. He said the only exception where “I have to side with the woman” as opposed to the life of the child was cases of rape and incest.
I wonder if Mr. Siebold was okay with the Dred Scott decision, too? After all, the delegated body of record under our laws had decided that a human being really could be designated “property” based on their skin color. According to this line of thinking, all the abolitionists should have gone home and we should have just become comfortable with the idea of keeping some Americans as slaves. Thankfully, those who understood the egregious immorality of this idea refused to back down or give up.
Also, as Siebold’s Republican competitors pointed out yesterday, while a rapist who has committed such acts deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, a child conceived in rape or incest has done absolutely nothing wrong. The child should not be killed for the sins of the father. There is not a single thing about the child conceived in rape or incest which makes that child less human or less deserving of protection.
Siebold said that personally, he doesn’t care if same-sex people get married but said he supports “the system of a mother and father” for “pure and simple biological” reasons and to respect the voters.
“South Dakota voters also put it in the constitution, so it’s a done deal,” Siebold said.
We HOPE it’s a done deal, but with the war against marriage at the federal level, and federal meddling at every turn, who knows what tomorrow holds. We need South Dakota leaders who clearly know right from wrong, and if they call themselves a Republican, are grounded in Republican values.
If Mr. Siebold “doesn’t care if same-sex people get married,” then Mr. Siebold fails to appreciate some very fundamental and important truths about marriage and how critical it is to society. It is not a plaything, nor is it a tool to make people who have made immoral choices feel better about those immoral choices. It is something that can only be created by a man and a woman in a committed relationship, and is far too important to allow it to be counterfeited.
It’s admirable that Mr. Siebold wants to joint the “animated contest of freedom” as a representative of the people, but a an elected representative has a greater responsibility even than the average citizen. An elected representative doesn’t have the luxury (not if they take their role seriously) of entertaining second-rate actions and opinions, or of being apathetic toward things that are corrosive to the good of society and the liberty of the people.
Further, if someone is going to run for office under the banner of a political party, they should be able to wholeheartedly endorse the majority if not all of the values and priorities of that party. If you can’t do that–especially the most important ones–then you should step aside and allow someone who believes in those values to run. When people see the “Republican” brand, they expect certain things: someone who believes in freedom, traditional values, the free market, limited government, justice protecting innocent human life, law and order, and the protection of all that has made us the greatest people-group on earth. If you can’t firmly uphold the “brand,” then you shouldn’t mislead people about the brand or your ability to live up to the brand.
We already have too many “Republicans” in Pierre who either don’t know what Republican values are, don’t care about Republican values, or hold positions antithetical to Republican values. We don’t need anymore (we need a lot less).
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"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all." - Ronald Reagan, Nov. 10, 1964