Sean McPherson Mistakes Patriotic Slogan Salad for Founding-Fatherly Leadership

The GOP spin blog makes up stuff to declare that State Representative Paula Hawks is not ready to take on Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Ha! Sean McPherson, Republican candidate for District 32 House, isn’t ready to take on Freshman Comp.

Let’s review McPherson’s exercise in faux-conservative sloganeering:

As I read through the book, Essential Liberty, I marvel at the leadership of our Founding Fathers [Sean McPherson, “Wanted: Principled Leadership Fueled by Vision,” campaign website, 2015.11.17].

First, grammar. The commas around the title suggest that there is only one book in McPherson’s world. The commas are incorrect. Essential Liberty here is an appositive phrase. In this sentence, the author has to include the appositive phrase so we know which book he’s talking about. Thus, there should be no commas.

I’m not sure which Essential Liberty McPherson is reading, but if it’s Rob Olive’s Essential Liberty, McPherson is taking his cues on the Founding Fathers from a modern prepper-fantasy novel about the ATF  coming after our guns. Maybe McPherson is just reading this online screed from some dudes fantasizing that they are refighting the Revolution. Good grief—can no conservatives live in the 21st century?

Interestingly enough from both sides of the table they worked together. No, they didn’t always agree, they certainly had their differences of opinion and even strategy. But alas, they worked together [McPherson, 2015.11.17].

The second sentence is a run-on. The third begins with two conjunctions, which is a subtle foul. One conjunction is sufficient to connect any two sentences. Alas isn’t even appropriate here, since it suggests disappointment that the Founders worked together.

McPherson dances through some oratorical karaoke toward nonsense:

Freedom has matriculated and evolved into entitlement. This is dangerous as it leads us back in the direction of a monarchy [McPherson, 2015.11.17].

Matriculate means enroll, as in, “Bobby just graduated from high school; he’s matriculating to SDSU this fall.” I can’t translate freedom has enrolled in any meaningful way. Freedom’s evolution into a sense of entitlement sounds familiar for those of us who spend time deconstructing Republican propaganda, but off hand, I can’t think of a historical example of a monarchy rising from the ashes of an entitlement-minded democracy. If McPherson can think of such examples, he doesn’t pause to offer them in his essay. He’s in too much of a hurry to lip-synch to the Founders:

Hamilton once wrote, “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one!” Franklin echoed that with, “They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” And Samuel Adams challenged with this, “Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, ‘what should be the reward of such sacrifices?’…if ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen” [McPherson, 2015.11.17].

Sean McPherson, Rapid City
What’s that, Sean? I can’t hear you through that flag.” Photo: McPherson’s Facebook page, downloaded 2015.11.17.

If McPherson means to connect these high words from our past to specific problems of the present, he forgets to do so. Permit me to help on that front:

But I’m working harder than McPherson. He just keeps humming along:

Amazing is the progress and leadership when not mired in the mud and muck of political correctness [McPherson, 2015.11.17].

We got some alliteration going, and that’s always exciting. But McPherson posits two amazing things, so his verb should be plural, are. McPherson does not make clear who or what is mired in the mud and muck. And political correctness comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere just as quickly—no definition or example, no development of the idea, just a Pavlovian bell to make his followers slobber.

We need leaders with vision! We need leaders willing to put their fame and fortune on the line for the advancement of that vision. We need… “We the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union…” Kind of leadership! [McPherson, 2015.11.17].

What? We need famous rich people to run for office? So McPherson is a Trump guy!

McPherson can’t lead us to a clear point, let alone lead us to a vision of practical leadership. He’s just stringing together platitudes to say, “Vote for me! I sound like Thomas Jefferson!”

English teachers expect more than that. Voters should, too. Faced with a teacher shortage, rampant corruption, and a stagnant economy (hmm… could those three problems be related?), South Dakota needs more than slogan salad. South Dakota needs legislators who can enunciate a clear, practical vision for solving real problems.


24 Responses to Sean McPherson Mistakes Patriotic Slogan Salad for Founding-Fatherly Leadership

  1. larry kurtz

    DWC is relevant like South Dakota teachers have a prayer.

  2. Prayer is for the weak-minded. I believe most South Dakota teachers are strong-minded individuals who want to work hard and believe good teachers want to work harder for more money.

  3. larry kurtz

    Red flag warning for western South Dakota tomorrow: may Gaia have mercy on your stupid assets.

  4. Bob Newland

    I am moving to whatever town this guy hails from so I can vote for him. He’ll be at least as good as Lance Russell.

  5. Nick Nemec

    Candidate McPherson’s fake intellectual dissertations on the founding fathers might go down well with the TEA Party types, but average Joes like me want to know what he’s going to do about actual problems here in the real world of present day South Dakota.

  6. Clearly this fellow is weak-minded and matriculating at Regional Behavioral Health Center.

  7. larry kurtz

    he’ll fit into the south dakota legislature like a boar breeds a sow.

  8. He’s trying hard to get Stan to adopt him. Instead of pretending to be smart this guy should just stick to guns, gawd and the R behind his name and raise his money the old fashioned way.

  9. “If we only had a seasonally appropriate story about Middle Eastern people seeking refuge turned away by the heartless.” – Oliver Wills tweeted

  10. gulp! english teacher? pastor mcpherson, black hawk wants dist. 33? legislative seat is a short cut to power and connections in a small state. R. means a pretty good chance at getting in.

  11. Roger Cornelius

    McPherson is likely to be a shoe-in with the SDGOP, the uneducated republicans will slobber all over themselves voting for this guy.
    They’ll all pretend what the hell he says.

  12. President Obama nailed the cowards today, finally calling them exactly what they are. Christie is just like May here in South Dakota and the rest of the politicians who think they know constitutional law.

    “At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three year old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me,” Obama said, referring to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s assertion that not even refugee children should be allowed into the United States.

  13. It becomes tiresome hearing those on the right constantly trying to align themselves with the American Revolution and the country’s founders. They need to pick up a thesaurus and go to the word “tory”. It is a synonym for conservative and the Tories of the 1770s were British loyalists who opposed separation from Great Britain. Just like conservatives today, they feared any sort of change and wanted desperately to maintain the status quo. This country was founded by forward-moving progressives and freethinkers.

  14. Susan Wismer

    Cory, your dissection of Mr. McPherson is a literarily beautiful (no, not literally) work of art and an intellectual work-out worthy of the wonk award of the week.

  15. Bob, don’t move to Rapid just to vote for a fellow like this. We need you to stay in district 30 and put forth your positions. You can have such a bigger impact in Hot Springs and even Hermosa, no matter how many fellows there you pissed off.

    In fact, Bob, like I said at breakfast just the other day, you need to run for the legislatures. I will even help you get bumper stickers slathered on bumpers in Rapid City. I’m thinking just a plain, all-caps “NEWLAND”. Probably white letters. Maybe a purple background. Maybe a Liberation Mono font.

    Bill can probably help us hang a little hat on the corner of the “N” and put together the yard signs.

  16. Bob Newland

    Sean McPherson is preferable to Grudznick.

  17. Nick, I’d say McPherson is just a little more grounded than Sibby, sticking with the familiar Founding-Father karaoke and not getting too lost on fringe slogans. (That said, Sibby looked sharp at the public forum on the upcoming pool vote in Mitchell last night!)

  18. Rohr, Stan wouldn’t fall for that slogan baloney, would he?

    (District 32, Leslie! Don’t confuse me!)

    (Jerry: afraid of orphans? Oof—remind me to use that on another post… and let’s remind the Democrat running against Thune to use that on the campaign trail!)

  19. JonD, excellent observation on historical consistency. The Founding Fathers were radical liberals, seeking radical change.

  20. cah-sorry, thought i read somewhere now he was considering a run in 33. i think i was light headed after the grammar police crack down. fearsome!

  21. Leslie, really? I haven’t heard that. Where does McPherson live, anyway? What’s he going to do, move? Rent? Doesn’t he know what Lee Schoenbeck thinks of district-hopping?

  22. Cory your and susans contribution to the recent dem panel were 1st rate. Thank you

  23. Thank you, Leslie! Susan and I could make good debate partners… or better yet, debate opponents on the Presidential race! :-)