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Listen to the Senate Candidate Forum: Honest Democrats vs. Dishonest Republicans

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Senator Al Novstrup repeatedly talks about how one should listen more than one talks.

Enjoy that for a moment….

Al’s point, of course, as any good campaign manager will say should be the point of anything a candidate says on the stump, is to say that “listening” somehow distinguishes him from his opponent. When Al Novstrup says good legislators “spend more time listening than you spend talking” (see 5:01 in this video from yesterday’s candidate forum), he means that his opponent—that’s me, Cory Allen Heidelberger!—spends more time talking than he does listening.

Proof of listening: page 2 of my podium notes from the Senate candidates forum, Aberdeen, SD, 2018.09.15.
Proof of listening: page 2 of my podium notes from the Senate candidates forum, Aberdeen, SD, 2018.09.15.

Al’s subtextual claim, like so many other things he says, is false, as anyone watching yesterday’s Senate candidates forum here in Aberdeen can tell by my statements from the podium. Watch me in the Chamber video as I listen to the other speakers and take notes. Listen to how frequently my comments respond to things that other speakers have said at the podium. Even in my three-minute opening statement, which was an opportunity to deliver some carefully focus-grouped, studiously wordsmithed, and thoroughly rehearsed marketing gem, I ditched all three versions of my opener that I had drafted and instead dovetailed off statement that Al made about “South Dakota values” barely sixty seconds before I took the mic. “I share your values, too,” I began, “and I’ve got the evidence to prove it”:

And I kept listening and responding to what I heard throughout yesterday’s forum.

On online sales tax, I listened closely to Senator Novstrup’s support for taking $58 million more out of South Dakotans’ pockets and made clear to the audience that they just heard a Republican incumbent support collecting more tax dollars, which should negate any negative attacks the Republicans try to make against Democrats for supposedly raising taxes. I also pointed out that the “fairness issue” that Al uses to cloak his support for higher taxes doesn’t tell the whole story about a sales tax regime that still gives advantages to remote online sellers.

By the way, kudos to Senator Brock Greenfield for effective use of a visual aid and demonstrating how to hand a bottle of water to the Queen of England.

I had to go first on the next question, which was, “Do you support the Partridge Amendment?” That the moderator couldn’t even pronounce it right on the first pass suggests that neither he nor many regular voters would know what the Partridge Amendment is. As first speaker, it thus fell to me, the only non-incumbent at the podium, to explain what the arcane little law is, in sixty seconds or less. That’s probably fortunate for the audience, because, thanks to my extensive blog coverage of the Partridge Amendment and the 2016 sales tax increase for teacher pay of which it was a crucial part, as well as my long experience as a teacher, I’ve already explained the Partridge Amendment to the public more times than Al and Brock have put together:

Sure, I talk, but I use the sixty seconds allotted here to talk to the voters first, to help them get the information they need to understand the issue first, then use the last fifteen seconds to offer my position on the Partridge Amendment. I understand when it’s a legislator’s duty to listen, and I understand when it’s a legislator’s duty to talk, not to puff himself up and win votes but to educate the voters so they know what’s happening in Pierre and can make smart choices. Even when I do get to my selling point, I offer the voters a concrete policy, revising the Partridge Amendment to focus on lowering the sales tax on food, to chew on (which I then expand on here on the blog with hyperlinks, showing that I don’t just talk; I say, “Here, read, see for yourself, and make your own informed decision”).

And if you’re listening, notice that both Republicans, Senator Greenfield and Senator Novstrup, said the same thing I did: they hesitate to repeal the Partridge Amendment but are willing to consider repealing it to apply these new tax revenues to priorities other than reducing the overall state sales tax rate. Only Senator-Elect Susan Wismer expressed immediate, unhesitant support for repealing the Partridge Amendment.

I only got to half of the next question, a complicated combo on job training for disadvantaged adults and strengthening mental wellness. But I listened and acknowledged the preceding speakers; comment on the challenge posed by the question in our limited time. I listened to the other speakers and tried to bring out aspects of the problem not already mentioned. And I put the issue in practical political context by pointing out that we need to do better than our current District 3 Senator at working on a bipartisan basis to move beyond talk and to enact concrete solutions:

You’ll notice that I also listened assiduously to the timekeeper and, unlike other speakers at yesterday’s forum, actually stopped when she held up the red stop card. You give me 60 seconds to talk, and I will use the full 60, but little if any more than that.

I listened closely to the falsely premised gotcha question fired at Senator-Elect Wismer specifically. I didn’t rise to offer support or clarification or otherwise speechify; instead, I listened to what was said, took time to research the issue, then posted on it later here on the blog when I felt I could speak responsibly on the facts.

The next question about enforcing child support against biological fathers didn’t offer much room for disagreement. I listened to Novstrup’s response, didn’t hear much disagreement with my own thoughts, then offered a brief explanation of the state’s role in protecting children and the positive update of the child support schedule passed in 2017.

The next audience question asked us candidates, “How would you work to enhance working relations with the South Dakota legislators—keep in mind, compromise?” I offered concrete examples of how my experience as an educator and a journalist have helped me build working relationships with South Dakotans of vastly different professional and political backgrounds.

But then listen to Brock, who says, “Some people” (really? who?) “would like to engage in name-calling and vitriol, and others” (what? only others? not everyone? really?) just want to see us do the best job for the people who have elected us.” Listen to Al, who again vaguely warns that NSU will lose out if we don’t keep electing crony Republicans (though he has yet to give an example of any bill that helped Northern that crucially hinged on his ability to forge relationships with leaders on either side of the aisle, and who has yet to give any concrete example of his ability to build relationships across the partisan divide), who criticizes “name-calling,” and who says his mantra is, “Be nice to everyone.”

We’ll come back to that. First, one more question, the last question of this forum, on meth and opioid addiction.

First, I show I was listening by helping the moderator figure out who should speak next. Note also the relationship I build with Senator Greenfield by cooperating to help him take his rightful place as first speaker on this issue. Most importantly, notice how I dovetail perfectly with Senator Novstrup’s statements, to which I carefully listened, by transitioning from his exhortation to individual action to what we’re really supposed to be talking about, the policy solutions that the voters pay legislators to make.

And lest you think my “listening” is just code for “grab Al’s words and beat him over the head with them,” note also that at 5:40, I note that Brock offered the good practical policy solution of requiring doctors and pharmacists more closely monitor opioid prescriptions toward which our Legislature has made some positive steps.

Now for the closers. Again, as with my opener, I had some comments planned. But as I listened to Al and Brock talk about “name-calling” and “vitriol” and “being nice to everyone,” as I thought about how those words contrast with their actions, as I thought about the Republican inaction on which Senator-Elect Wismer focused her most pointed criticism (I haven’t said much about her performance yesterday, but yes, I was listening to my friend Susan, too), I realized the words of my opponents (Brock isn’t my opponent on the ballot, but he was tag-teaming with Al, so let’s rumble) framed the theme that effectively summarizes for the voters this forum, this election, and this Legislature.

You’ll note that this one-minute closer is the only speech for which I took my notes to the podium. In one regard, yes, these closing comments were planned… on the bottom half of my legal pad, in the eight minutes before I delivered them.

Senator-Elect Wismer and I didn’t coordinate our attacks on Republicans’ tendency not to back up their words, but we came to the same point. Here’s how I put it:

I just can’t stand here and be lectured on niceness and name-calling by a bunch of Republicans who don’t mean what they say.

The gentlemen next to me have said, “We don’t believe in name-calling and vitriol,” but it’s Republicans who give us a President Donald Trump. Think about that.

Al tells me, “Be nice to everyone,” but we shake our heads when I point out the fact that a lot of Republicans in this room go to the hate rallies that have been sponsored by racists in this community and say, Well, we don’t want everyone in this community, just good white people like us.

They talk about “relationships” when really what they mean is We want to belong to The Club in Pierre and have the elites do what we want and repeal what the voters have asked for. That’s not relationships. That’s cronyism. That’s corruption.

There’s a big difference here. If you want real relationships, real trust with people, you have to build that by meaning the things you say.

Republicans use a lot of words. The big difference is that I mean the words that I use.

So you’re better off voting for an honest Democrat than a dishonest Republican.

Let’s get some real trustworthy relationships in Pierre with people who mean what they say. Thank you [Cory Allen Heidelberger, closing speech, Senate candidates forum, Aberdeen, SD, 2018.09.15].

(In high school, I stunk at extemporaneous speaking. I think I’m getting better.)

Aberdeen, South Dakota, you are better off voting for honest Democrats who really do listen than dishonest Republicans who only talk about listening. Vote accordingly.

52 Comments

  1. grudznick 2018-09-16

    Mr. Novstrup seems a little confused at times, probably due to the stresses of his job and heavy weights because he carries so much of the legislatures workloads. There is a lot of name calling and hate and vitriol on your blog, Mr. H, and perhaps the public hears about that and it spills over to them thinking you just say as many words as you can in the time allotted, while Mr. Novstrup thinks a bit then uses as few words as needed. It’s only a theory.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-16

    “on the blog”—Grudz, be specific: where is the name-calling and vitriol that I commit that disqualifies me personally from elected office any more than Donald Trump? And please, unlike Al, carefully distinguish honest analysis and criticism from gratuitous and baseless “name-calling”, and carefully distinguish reasonable disgust and emotion from base rage and personal ill will.

    “thinks a bit”—there’s the main flaw in your theory, Grudz. Al is simply repeating the same tired tropes he’s fed the voters before, words whose meanings don’t align with his actions and votes… which is the main thesis of this post.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-16

    Expressing distaste for name-calling and vitriol while supporting Donald Trump is like saying you’re a vegetarian while eating a steak.

  4. Porter Lansing 2018-09-16

    The name calling and hate and vitriol on this blog comes almost exclusively from the right wing extremists that Cory so generously allows to go off topic. Including you Grudznick. The offensive things you say about women aren’t cute nor is your attempt at humor. When Cory said, “But it’s Republicans who gave us a President Donald Trump” the change in the room’s mood was palpable. It’s as if Cory told the peasants that the Emperor had on no clothes. Republicans know Trump is evil but they refuse to say anything about it for fear of retribution and ostracization by the fools they’ve elected.
    PS … Novstrup seems confused because his mind is vacant as to what even needs to be done, let alone how to do it.

  5. bearcreekbat 2018-09-16

    It seems counterproductive to refer to “Republicans” (or “Democrats” for that matter) as a homogenous group that shares attributes that many would find offensive, especially if you wish to appeal to actual Republicans who vote as every day people, but are not politicians or political leaders.

    Perhaps the term “Republican” is more effectively used with a modifier, such as “Republican candidate” or “Republican politian” or “Republican legislator.” It seems more effective and accurate to say “Republican Senators” have failed to act as a check on Trump’s abuses of power than to say “Republicans” have failed. Most Republicans have no ability to battle what the elected leaders do as most Republicans are merely voters. But when they are all categorized generically as something they find offensive, it seems to be human nature to get defensive about not only themselves, but others who share that label, including corrupt politicians in office or seeking office.

    It would seem more effective to try to unite “Republicans” to vote against people who have corrupted or will be likely to corrupt the name “Republican.” This was a tactic used with some success by members of the Tea party who coined the term RINO to describe people who labeled themselves as Republican, but allegedly did not share genuine Republican values. In today’s climate that technique could be even more effective by focusing on what many or most Republicans actually value and pointing out that particular identifiable Republicans, such as Trumpian politicans have not acted in accordance with such shared values.

    Condemning Republicans in general, however, seems likely to alienate rather than inform.

  6. mike from iowa 2018-09-16

    bcb, you are correct as usual, but, you be taking the joy of sliming around in the mud with the swamp dwellers. They know who they are.

  7. Donald Pay 2018-09-16

    Legislators should listen, but it really matters who they listen to. Al seems to think listening to the elites and lobbyists in Pierre and having “relations” with them is the whole job. While Al is busy having “relations,” the state’s citizens are getting screwed over and over again.

    Sure, lobbyists and administration bureaucrats have facts that need to be weighed into any decision on legislation, but, really, it’s the people of the district and the people in the state who deserve 90 percent of a legislator’s attention. A good legislator, not one like Al, has to be able to take information and question it, and quite quickly. And on just basics, he or she has to be able to keep track of time and where the discussion is going. Cory demonstrates the best of these qualities right here in this debate. Just based on what he demonstrates here and what the others fail to demonstrate, he has the legislative skills in this group, and the rest are just pretenders. Simply taking talking points from the flunkies in the Republican campaign office or the Governor’s office or a lobbyist is the sort of laziness that make the Legislature an enabler of corruption, if not the cause.

    With Cory in the Legislature, the people win.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-16

    BCB, I refer directly to specific Republicans using specific words at this very forum, as well as specific votes and actions. Voters in District 3 have a clear choice between an honest Democrat, who meant every word he said yesterday, and a dishonest Republican whose words do not align with his votes and public actions.

    I stood by that assessment yesterday, when Al Novstrup said he preferred not to believe he had heard those words (we must stand against all attempts by our neighbors to believe what they prefer to believe rather than plain fact). I stand by that assessment now. Anyone who is alienated by unpleasant facts should ask themselves and their party leaders some hard questions.

  9. Adam 2018-09-16

    Wow. So, Republicans are now saying that name calling is bad? I am not able to pair that with how they supported and still support Trump, unless of course, they are boldly embracing pure hypocracy.

    Ya know, folks, it’s a lot easier to rally forces against a common enemy than it is to build an army with no enemies in sight. -> Try to relate that to electoral politics.

    When candidates for public office are too afraid to point at (and name) the bad guys as well as characterize their bad behavior, it’s nearly impossible to rally enough support to win.

    So, I very much support Cory’s very accurate characterization of South Dakota Republicans like Al Novstrup – because it’s the truth – and people need to understand it better – and not just in Brown County!

  10. Adam 2018-09-16

    Maybe Republicans lik Al Novstrup should ask their Christian supporters to stop calling Democrats ‘Baby Killers’ and ‘Murderers’ – because they don’t support name calling in politics.

  11. grudznick 2018-09-16

    Mr. H, I was apparently not clear enough in my blogging to you. It is not you, sir, Mr. H hisownself, who calls names. You have all these self-admittedly fellows and a few haggard ladies who are constantly calling names and disrespecting, the way Iowegians tend to do, people of every strip. You yourself, sir, often engage in painting all Republicans with the same broad stroke. You often blog with that intent, and I know you are smart enough to know that there are some fellows like I and my fellow Conservatives with Common Sense who do not follow the dictates of the Howites and others who are insaner than most.

    Yet you continue to marginalize us and cast us aside instead of welcoming us, or even joining us in those items where we are proven righter than right. This, sir, is why you will again lose in your elections.

    Perhaps if you ran in that district where Mr. mike, who is from Iowa, lives, you might win. You might even consider moving there, and perhaps changing the focus of the bloggings to all that is wrong with Des Moines. Or, for a change, blog about all that is right with Des Moines.

    In the meantime, Mr. Novstrup, the elder, will keep winning elections and getting free haircuts, and you will keep being mocked by the citizens of Aberdeen. Because you, sir, may be in touch with your “base” but you are not in touch with reality and it is fellows like me and my ilk who will determine your future. You encourage the rude bastards against us, and those Aberdeenites who won’t have the rude bastards running their show will vote for Al.

    I’m just sayin…

  12. Adam 2018-09-16

    Grutz attempts to sew seeds of doubt from soil which is sterile. I’ve never gotten the slightest impression that Cory might have ever marginalized or cast people aside. In fact, such a baseless characterization is tantamount to childish name calling. Why not just call him a ‘murderer’ who supports murder?

    I’m just not sure it’s possible for Cory to truly ‘reach’ people like you, but it seems there are a lot more reasonable people in Aberdeen than you might think.

  13. grudznick 2018-09-16

    Mr. Adam, you really have no idea just how tight Mr. H and I are. Mr. H does not need to ‘reach’ me, he simply needs to stop offending people who are similar to me. If he does not, he will never get elected.

    The evidence to this point supports me entirely in this area. I mean not to enrage Mr. H, as in the past has occured, but I do just want to point out the truth.

    Mr. H has no twisted fact. He just has a flawed campaign staff. grudznick just wants to help, and if out-debating Mr. H in public more often helps, the so be it.

  14. Rj 2018-09-16

    Living in Sioux Falls is the most “South Dakota” I can do. Cory, I think you’re a bright spot in this state.

  15. Adam 2018-09-16

    It’s nearly hysterically funny watching a conservative claim that anyone on the other side is ‘too offensive.’ It’s like y’all are trying to claim the mantel of civility right after most all of you just set a ticking time bomb creating the biggest devolution of American politics that this country has ever seen.

    I mean, it’s, like, super-rich to claim Cory’s too offensive to win. Conservative voters require attack politics to figure out which way is up – it’s been that way since before my time.

  16. Adam 2018-09-16

    Grutz, I feel like if anyone wants a more passionate and loyal following, the answer has always been simple. Make sure everyone knows exactly what you’re collectively fighting AGAINST (as well as ‘for,’ but ‘for’ is a little less important). Republicans like Al Novstrup are part of the problem in so many ways, and if a guy wants take Al’s side, even as a voter, then he’s part of the problem too.

    If we never talk about who the problem is, we’ll just never know… and that would be sad.

  17. Adam 2018-09-16

    Dang gone ‘tough love.’ Ya know?

  18. Donald Pay 2018-09-16

    Well, I sort of see Grudz point, and bear’s. Of course, not all Republicans are this, that or the other thing, just as all Democrats aren’t this, that or the other thing. And even if they are this or that, there’s that other thing that you agree about and can work together on. That’s the good part of having “relationships,” but what Al is talking about is not working with citizens of every opinion, but of kowtowing to the elites to try to get a few crumbs that drop down from their table.

    I worked with some of the most conservative folks in South Dakota on issues from Oahe to ETSI to nuclear waste to sewage ash to mining to solid waste to recycling, and more. You name the issue and conservatives were a vital part of every issue I was involved in. We would talk about and argue about other things, but we were able to unite on the issues that were important to us, and agree to disagree on the other issues. Those are the relationships that count, not Al’s puffery and butt licking.

    In another post I divided out specific groups of Republican legislators that I recognize by their actions in Pierre. I loved working with conservative citizens, but once you get to Pierre, there are very, very few of those legislators who stand up against the elite. Most are just ciphers: they vote how they are told in caucus, and they don’t give a rats ass what the citizens want. They are enablers of corruption, if no corrupt themselves. Just go to Pierre for one week and you can see it for yourself.

    Sometimes you need a disrupter, like Cory, to pull the pants of these clowns down to show the rot that people like Al don’t want to admit.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-16

    Hey, Grudz, where is the moral imperative for the people on your side to stop offending me, and Adam, and Muslims, and immigrants, and women, and young creative people, and city people, and everyone else whom Trump and his voters marginalize? Where’s the moral imperative for Aberdeen’s cranky conservatives to stop mocking Democrats and telling liberals to leave South Dakota if they don’t like it instead of welcoming them to engage in community conversations about how we might change South Dakota?

    I’m tired of being held to a higher standard than the real name-callers and vitriol spewers in this debate. I make a perfectly logical assessment of Al Novstrup’s deceptive use of words above, based on real things he has said and done, things are in no dispute, and all he does is whine about being accurately called dishonest.

    I’m not marginalizing you, Grudz. I’m pointing out what Al is really about. You can choose to acknowledge that reality, or you can continue to hide behind cutesy satirical observations that make excuses for bad principles and bad government.

    I enjoy our interactions and hope they will continue, but I feel no compunction about speaking as bluntly to you about facts as you feel about yanking my chain.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-16

    I will agree that we should make generalizations about every Republican. I will cease to do when the Republicans agree not to make even worse generalizations about all Democrats.

    But I do not withdraw a single word about what I said specifically about the Republicans speaking yesterday and even more specifically about Al Novstrup. Everything I said about my opponent’s positions yesterday is painfully true, and no one either in the forum or here has yet refuted those statements.

  21. jerry 2018-09-16

    The republican enablers, like NOem in particular, want to shove down our thrats “Tax Cut 2.0” to further steal from us for the rich benefactors, that ain’t you Mr. grudznick. You claim to be on Medicare, you’re gonna get a big hit with this, same on whatever Social Security you get. As a republican, you got the letter from the enabler here in South Dakota and she was bragging it up big time.

    “No one should be surprised that the House Republicans want to go back to the tax-cut well and draw up buckets more in tax cuts for their wealthy donor base. The plan they introduced Monday doubles down on everything that’s wrong with the plan they passed at the end of last year. Its benefits go largely to the wealthy, thereby exacerbating inequality. Were it to become law, it would rob the Treasury of trillions more in lost revenue. And it does nothing to help the many in the working class who have long been hurt by being on the wrong side of the inequality divide this new bill would worsen.” Washington Post 09/10/2018

    What are you going to call these republicans when they put you in the street? Better wake up and look around. It’s coming just like 2008, but there is no back up plan this time around.

  22. Donald Pay 2018-09-16

    And Grudz needs to take a little bit of that faux superiority and think about what he’s said in posts on this blog. Let’s take one example. Grudz is always badmouthing Kloucek, saying he was ineffective in Pierre, etc. Kloucek didn’t go to Pierre to represent the elites. All you gotta do to represent the elites is cash your campaign donation and vote the way they tell you. Al can do that, which is why they like him. Kloucek, though, was there to represent the unrepresented, to get their issues heard in Pierre, because dreck like Al ain’t gonna do squat for the little people. As Grudz knows full well, there are people the elites and Republican legislators disparage constantly and snicker as they testify in committee. I may not agree with the Eagle Forum on much of anything, but Grudz goes the extra mile in civility by calling them “overgodders.” Well, they have issues they want to air, and I might not agree with them, but they have that right, too. At any rate, Grudz, I like you, but you’re a pain in the ass.

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-16

    While I found Brock’s quip about my “flailing” arms an amusing and reasonably benign reiteration of the usual Pat Powers effort to ridicule my speaking style, upon review of the videos, it strikes me that yesterday’s forum may have my calmest public political performance yet. Am I getting too mellow in my old age?

  24. Adam 2018-09-16

    OMG, it just occurred to me, Trump missuses the word ‘dishonest’ so often and in so many ways and, for so many years now, and conserva-voters totally eat that crap up.

    Some may accuse Cory of stealing their precious magic word, and they may need a reminder that Trump was not able to trademark that word for their use only – and they must share it.

    Sometimes, and I know this might sound BANANAS to some people, even South Dakota Republicans are/can be dishonest and corrupted.

    Conservatives apparently LOVE the word ‘dishonest’ but maybe only when a dishonest President says it all the time about honest people.

  25. jerry 2018-09-16

    As I see it Cory, if you’re not animated in delivering your sales pitch, you ain’t selling. The voter must be sold on why they would want to vote for you. If you just stand and deliver, they think teleprompter. No way you use a teleprompter. So there ya go, you did good.

  26. Adam 2018-09-16

    Cory, you look and sound great, man!

  27. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-16

    I refuse to let Donald Trump steal my language from me. He can have “tremendous”, his favorite word to use when he doesn’t have anything sincere or substantive to say (which is always), but I’m keeping “dishonest.” And “great.” As in, “Make South Dakota great again: vote for honest Democrats, not dishonest Republicans.”

    Or should I call them RINOs?

  28. Debbo 2018-09-16

    Novstrup and Greenfield could put me to sleep, especially Nov. Wismer wandered away from the mic a couple times when she was done which was not a good look.

    Cory. I have known you online since you moved to Spearfish, whenever that was. We met at the Democratic governor candidate event in the Black Hills. (I can’t recall his name, but he was a great candidate.)

    I have never known you to be reticent. However, it takes some courage to close as you did, with the people you are referring to on either side of you. I 👏👏👏👏 you for that, even though you hurt “nice” Al’s feelings. Good job with info, facts, figures, summations, explanations, etc. With a little debate experience, you might improve. 😉

    Speaking of “name calling and hate and vitriol” on this blog, Grudz, you rarely fail to take a cheap shot at me. You’re not innocent.

  29. Porter Lansing 2018-09-17

    Greenfield has the personality of a mortician and the speaking style of a corpse. He must think his name is Greenstreet instead of Grunenfeld.

  30. bearcreekbat 2018-09-17

    Cory, I may be wrong but I never thought that your use of the term “Republican” was intended to paint all people who are registered as Republicans with the same negative brush. If I was wrong, so be it. I still agree with most of your views on what constitutes good public policy as expressed on this blog and through your comments.

    But if I was correct in thinking that your criticism was focused on particular individuals who you believed were acting contrary to the public interest, rather than all people registered Republican, then my earlier comment about the use of the term “Republican,” without somehow designating the particular individual you intended to challenge or criticize, still stands.

    That said, recent polls of Republican voters report that over 80% apparently approve of Trump and his behavior and harmful policies. That is shocking to me and if these surveys accurately represent SD Republicans then perhaps it does justify painting all people registered Republican with the same negative brush. As for the 20% or so that might oppose Trump and his behavior and harmful policy initatives, perhaps they will not be drawn into a defensive attitude by being grouped with the rest of the accurately disparaged “Republicans” and be willing to step outside party lines in the voting booth.

  31. Adam 2018-09-17

    BCB, one can’t call Republicans “Republicans” as it may be too wide of brush to paint with? Please, just… what?!

    Cory’s clearly talking about Republicans like Al Novstrup.

    Independents, plus Gary Johnson voters, plus Democrats, plus Republicans who sufficiently see the how Al Novstrup ain’t what he supposedly used to be, plus the fact that Cory is a very particularly awesome guy is what it takes.

  32. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-17

    BCB, your caution, as usual, is reasonable. You use words carefully and encourage others to do the same.

    I hope others found my direction of my comments at Al and Brock as clear as Adam finds them. I do recognize that some listeners will get it wrong, like the angry man who came up to me after the forum and said, “Are you saying that the fact that I voted for Trump makes me a racist?” As the recording above shows, I said no such thing. No fair interpretation of my words allows such a conclusion. But the man in question wasn’t interested in a discussion of the inconsistency of the words Al and Brock used with the positions and actions they take. The man just wanted an opportunity to kick up a fuss and call me “stupid.” That’s what I get from some voters (not all voters, not even all Republicans) for pointing out that words have meaning.

  33. Porter Lansing 2018-09-17

    When someone defensively asks, “Are you calling me a racist?” subconsciously they’re saying, “The things I say and do could easily be construed as racist. I just don’t want it publicized.” In SD it’s easier to hide your true beliefs and intentions (from others and from yourself) than in say MN or CO.

  34. mike from iowa 2018-09-17

    The problem with name calling wingnuts is they are offended by retaliation. It is not nice to do unto them what they do to others.

    There are getting to be more Sinate wingnuts jumping on ther “it’s not fair for China to retaliate over Drumpf’s tariffs.’

  35. Adam 2018-09-17

    Luke 6:31 is very clear. “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

    SURPRISE – It’s clear, “crooked, little, low energy, and dishonest” conservatives want to be treated the way they treat people who are different than them.

    Apparently, they want to be treated like a b!tch.

    The Bible does not help modern man reach primitive peoples.

  36. mike from iowa 2018-09-17

    Tomi Lahren calls anyone voting for Democrats stupid and ill-informed — then Fox News host completely ignores her

  37. Adam 2018-09-17

    How dare you! Tomi is the pride of Rapid City – made it to the big time from tiny town USA – to quote her name calling is be an irrational name caller!

    Hell, you can’t even call Republicans “Republicans“ anymore – because it’s too wide of a brush to paint on people – it just aint fair.

  38. Adam 2018-09-17

    … And don’t ever use the word ‘farmer’ either because then you might be over-generalizing farmers.

    In essence, “if you’re a Democrat in rural America, stop using words.” -conservatives ‘advice’ to liberals.

  39. bearcreekbat 2018-09-17

    Adam, to clarify, I did not mean to suggest that one shouldn’t call Republicans by the name “Republican.” I simply meant that if one seeks to gain the political support of any Republicans it might be helpful not to lump them all in with a negative stereotype.

    And I agree, to folks who know Cory’s writings it was clear he did not intend such stereotyping and that he was referring specifically to particular Republican candidates like Al Novstrup. Republican voters who are not that familar with Cory, however, might misinterpert his use of the term Republican as a negative stereotype that includes themselves, making them less inclined to perceive how his public piolicy goals might benefit everyone and deserve the support of Republicans.

  40. Adam 2018-09-17

    I love the fact that the word ‘Republican’ now holds a negative connotation – even to self proclaimed Republicans.

    The times they are a chaningin.

  41. Donald Pay 2018-09-17

    Those white folk who think you call them racists if they voted for Trump are just in awe of your deductive abilities.

    Of course, not all Trump supporters are racists. But if you, after all, voted for the highest office in the land, a guy with a well-documented history of racist speech and actions, why, you just might be a racist. If that history somehow escaped you, and you voted for a guy who pushed birtherism against President Obama, you just might be a racist. And if you heard the racist comments about Mexicans in the escalator speech announcing his run for President, and you still vote for Trump, you just might, I say, you just might be a racist. Now if you could overlook all that and still vote for the guy, you probably either are a racist, or racism is so much a part of you that you don’t even recognize a racist when you look in the mirror. If you point to the Omarosa and Ben Carson appointments as evidence that Trump is not a racist, that is tokenism, a kind of racism, and that, I’m sad to say, is the epitome of racism. Finally, if you keep on defending the racist in the White House, and have no remorse about voting for the man who thought Nazis and white supremacists were equivalent at Charlottesville, then I’d say you are a racist

    Either you are a racist or you give aid and comfort to one. And it amounts to the same thing.

  42. mike from iowa 2018-09-17

    Since I am guilty of name calling, let me reiterate- Republicans as we knew them for ages do not exist. They have de-evolved back towards their ancestral tree and are hereby classified, by me, as wingnuts.

    If any prove to have a conscience and a soul they get promoted to RINO status. I speak mainly of politicians but do include, trolls that defend them for whatever egregious acts they perpetrate on the least among us.

    \And Master, I am sincerely sorry I get in the mud with the trolls, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. It can be fun.

  43. Porter Lansing 2018-09-17

    Not by any measure is everyone who voted for Trump a racist. No way!! It does however seem that every racist I know voted for Trump. {Even though they all intend to do so again, there aren’t enough angry, white male Trump supporters for Trump to win re-election, without cheating again.}

  44. Porter Lansing 2018-09-17

    Do you think he really told his young daughter to be nice to ALL people at school? Did he really tell her that EVERY day? He told us twice that he said that. Why would you need to tell the child of a nice person like yourself to be nice, every day? You’d think if you were that cloyingly nice it would just naturally rub off.
    I don’t agree with bringing children into a political campaign. Why did Al Novstrup do this? Hmmm?

  45. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-17

    Debbo, we visited at Rick Weiland’s party, at his brother Kevin’s house, when he was running for US Senate. Was Joe Lowe there, too?

  46. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-17

    BCB, I take no responsibility for the low critical reading and thinking skills of people who can’t make sense of my pretty plain language.

  47. Debbo 2018-09-17

    Yes, that’s it! I think Joe was there too, in addition to a few regular commenters. Thanks for reminding me.

  48. grudznick 2018-09-17

    Thank you, Mr. Pay.

  49. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-17

    Porter, good ear for more fabrication by Republicans. The thing is, when they used so many words that I could demonstrate to be patently inconsistent with their past actions and votes in just a few minutes of one public forum, how can we take any of their words as anything more than convenient slogans and false narratives meant not to convey truth or educate voters but manipulate public opinion to protect their power?

  50. Donald Pay 2018-09-18

    My ass is still in pain, Grudz, but you’re welcome.

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