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Aylward Supports Local Government? Transparency? Civil Liberties?

Because we don’t hear nearly enough about the handful of third-party candidates on this year’s ballot, here’s Libertarian party chairman Aaron Aylward explaining why he’d be a good Representative for District 6:

To the bad, Aylward upwardly intones the ends of his sentences, making almost every line sound like a question or an item recited from a list. Be confident, candidates! Bring your intonation down at the ends of your sentences. Make statements.

In similar subtle uncertainty, Aylward twice uses an odd “if you want to call it that” qualifier. Why would there be any doubt about calling these three main points your “platform”? Why soft-pedal the importance of your concluding item, civil rights? If you’ve crafted your speech to list points in order of importance, don’t equivocate: make your intent clear.

On policy, Aylward gets a little distracted with rhetoric about the federal government “having a say on a lot of the things we do.” Legislators won’t have a lot of impact on the laws Congress passes. The only way for Aylward to enact this standard anti-DC platform plank is to not spend the federal money Congress sends us, which would leave us driving to Pierre on gravel.

To the good, Libertarian Aylward’s statement isn’t a quarter as full of error and horsehockey as the statements of Kristi Noem, Al Novstrup, and other Republican hogwashers. He expresses an honest desire for more local control. Instead of crying “Taxation is theft!” as some anarchist Libertarian clingers are wont to cry, Aylward urges transparent and efficient use of our tax dollars. Transparency is the same thing Attorney General Marty Jackley says we need to fight corruption, since he can’t successfully prosecute anyone for misuse of tax dollars.

And in his most important, best-for-last point, Aylward calls for protecting civil liberties “for all constituents.” His “do want you want in your house, on your property, as long as you’re not hurting your next-door neighbor” doesn’t explain Aylward’s commitment to the broader protections that LGBTQ South Dakotans, immigrants, refugees, American Indians, and women need in South Dakota when they step out of their houses and off their property to work, vote, learn, visit the doctor, or exercise their liberty throughout their community.

In another video, Aylward says he grew up in an independent/Democratic family, which suggests he at least started from a base of respect for equal rights. But then Aylward says he turned to Libertarian on the teachings of Ron Paul, who said overturning Jim Crow laws was less important than protecting property rights. Let’s hope Aylward doesn’t really buy that sort of discrimination the way Republican District 9 House candidate Michael Clark does.

While he’s got to iron out that upward intonation, Aylward comes across at least as cogent as the Republicans who babble their party talking points (or, in Rep. Isaac Latterell’s case, their total distractions from practical policy problem-solving). Harrisburg, Tea, Lennox, if you’re just too conservative to vote for Farmer Nancy Kirstein (but how, how could that be?!), use your vote to send the first Libertarian legislator to Pierre.


  1. Aaron Aylward 2018-10-15 08:49

    Local Government? Transparency? Civil Liberties? Yes! I am for all of those and more! :)

    I appreciate the constructive criticism, Cory. Over 4,000 doors knocked in District 6 and hoping to get 6,000 before the election. It’d be great to be the first Libertarian legislator sent to Pierre!

  2. Joshua Sopko 2018-10-15 10:32

    I think Aaron will make a great house rep for D6! I’m sure if you went into the specifics with him about more local gov’t and removing federal intervention, you’d find that road funding wouldn’t be a high priority (if at all). There are many facets of federal gov’t intervention that Libertarians believe are better handled by states. Road construction and funding do not rank high on that list.

    Aaron Aylward has 100% of my support and my vote. Our state congress needs a real conservative voice that advocates for our civil liberties (all our rights, all the time). We’d be smart to do whatever it takes to get him into this elected seat.

  3. Donald Pay 2018-10-15 11:09

    Here’s an interesting thing I’ve pondered from time to time. It may not apply to Aylward, but it applies to upward intonation in South Dakota.

    The upward intonation is something you hear often on the rez when people speak English, but when I have listened to people speaking in Lakota, I don’t hear that intonation as much. So, am I not hearing Lakota correctly, or is there a difference in the way the Lakota originally learned English which has been carried down through the generations. Or is it a Pan-Indian idiom?

    My theory is that most Lakota in the reservation era learned English in the boarding schools where the children were isolated and scared. The treatment they received was abusive and they were probably always very tentative and questioning about their English. Partly that was because the children were disoriented, lonely and scared. Children in that situation tend to be more questioning and submissive-seeming, and it would be natural to pick up and use language in a way that would elicit a favorable response from the sisters or other authority figures. Partly it may be that Lakota culture instilled greater respect for elders, so you made your statements what may have seemed a more polite and tentative manner.

    However it started, my ex-wife, who has an inate facility with language which got passed on to my daughter, picked up on this immediately. When communicating with Indians, she always goes into a version of rez-speak English with up-ward intonation.

    If you listen to white South Dakotans speak, you sometimes hear little snippets of rez-speak sliding in here and there. Might upward intonation be one of them?

  4. Thought police 2018-10-15 14:58

    Aaron knocked on my door and I was very impressed at his ability to talk coherently over my loudly barking dog the entire time. He also reminded me that I get to vote for 2 names in this election so I can mark both Nancy and Aaron to be my representative. I think his libretarian views of relative financial conservatism paired with a strong commitment to social justice will play well in the part of southern Sioux Falls his electors live in…. now if he can just get that message out through all the political noise

  5. Debbo 2018-10-15 15:32

    Transparency is a critical issue in an uber corrupt state like Kock/SDGOP SD. It’s not only readers and commenters of DFP who are aware of how bad the SDGOP has become.

    Walt Hickey writes Numlock News, which included this item today:

    “Ballot Initiatives
    “In the past two election cycles there have been a surge of ballot initiatives pushed by citizens rather than legislatures. In 2016, there were 76 citizen initiated ballot initiatives, the highest in a decade. In 2018, thus far, 69 of the 154 statewide measures on the ballot originate from citizens. Still, lawmakers have been pushing back on this direct democracy: Measure 22 in South Dakota, which enforced campaign ethics regulations, was rolled back by legislators who would have been accountable to it. Initiative 77 in D.C. — which raised the minimum wage for tipped workers — is in the process of repeal.” Sarah Holder, CityLab

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-10-15 22:35

    4,000 doors knocked, targeting 6,000 total—that’s the smartest, most practical thing I’ve heard any Libertarian say. Keep knocking, Aaron.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-10-15 22:37

    Upward intonation among Lakota speakers? Interesting, Donald. Curious: how do Lakota speakers use upward intonation in their native language?

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-10-15 22:38

    TP, you would get better representation and better government from a Democrat and a Libertarian than you get from the two Republicans who currently represent District 6 in the House.

  9. Donald Pay 2018-10-16 11:24


    I’m not sure whether Lakota has upward intonation or not, but I have noticed that upward intonation is common on the rez when people speak English. I think it’s an idiom that developed early in reservation days.

    I love local variants of English. I’ve notice some in Wisconsin. The Packers, for example, often has a clipped “short a” so that it sounds midway between packers and peckers.

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